Since you’re smart and understand how trends effect your brand and garments, you’ll probably want to find out more information on them. You’ll also know that most of the online information, blogs and fashionista’s comments, are completely wrong, since it’s more about styling, than actual trends. By the way, if you missed that post, you can find it here: THE 1 MISTAKE THAT ALL TREND PREDICTORS MAKE.
If you want to develop your skills, then this post will focus on where to get that information and cover the various sources where you can look for proper information.
By the end of this post, we’ll have covered:
1. INTERNATIONAL TRADE EVENTS, 2. LOCAL TRADE SHOWS, 3. ALL IN ONES: WGSN, 4. TREND PREDICTION BOOKS, 5. TREND PREDICTION SEMINARS, 6. TREND PREDICTION MAGAZINES, 7. TREND PREDICTION MAGAZINES, 8. TREND PREDICTION WEBSITES and 9. RETAIL or TRIAL DROPS.
Since there are so many legitimate sources and a lot to explain, I’ve split them over 4 blog posts. So without a further delay, let’s get stuck in.
Sources of trend information vary mainly due to your own industry, for example, Streetwear, Kidswear, Denim, or Knitwear and I’m sure you’ll know or will have heard of the best ones for you. However many people only consider either websites or books when choosing the ones they need, so maybe it’s a great time to cover some of the many options that you might have.
Now as I mentioned, industries will have their own specific places to get information but there are some general points to consider, as well as 9 areas of information, that will apply to everyone and every industry.
1: INTERNATIONAL TRADE EVENTS:
A trade show is a private show that is open to visitors from that particular trade. Traditionally the only people allowed into these shows are included in the name, Trade. So buyers, designers and some press were allowed in because these are the people with the purchasing power to use the products displayed there and having looked into stand prices, the people displaying their goods are paying thousands of dollars just to rent the space to then try to sell them to the people attending.
Ironically in a trend prediction blog post, these are not trend information shows. These are shows that sell materials, machinery or other products and the trend information is really a side feature within the show.
If you aren’t going to buy, essentially you’re wasting the sellers time and believe me, it is not appreciated. Because of this, there used to be very stringent checks for people attending the show like tax registration codes, full company information, buying power, annual turnover etc. It was a really long process and I remember years ago for a specific show in Florence, it took me the best part of 2 hours to fill out the registration forms.
Shows such as Bread and Butter still have a strict entrance policy to such an extent that unless you were invited onto a stand by a seller, then you really weren’t going in. However it’s a niche show that remains a majorly popular one because of the useful content it provides for denim and street wear designers.
Examples like PV, or Premiere Vision in Paris are fairly lax in who they allow into the show. Sorry but it’s true and in recent years have dropped a lot of their strict entrance criteria. However, even though it’s one of the largest trend prediction trade shows in the industry, I never usually go and in the last 20 years I’ve been twice, not through my own choice, but once as a designer and once as press, both for two very large companies at their request.
So you are probably wondering why the objection and why I’m even talking about them for trend prediction?
Well I’m talking about trade shows, because all of the proper shows have trend prediction areas, usually coordinated by the official prediction companies that have booths at the show, alongside the goods, or fabrics, from other vendors, trying to display their goods.
When it comes to objections, many of these larger shows, like PV, are just too broad. They cover everything. Every fabric and every product, which means that nothing is done in enough depth to be useful, if you know what you are looking for. Quite often the trends, fabric textures, and colour are just not accurate enough, especially when you have the experience of looking at the information, seeing the seasons roll around and confirm [or not in this case] them. Unfortunately, they just don’t work for most people.
SHOULD I GO?
Well if you decide to travel, because most of them are in Europe, US and Asia, then you’ll need to think about a few things.
First judge for yourself whether the information is relevant. What is right for me might not be right for you and don’t forget that from season to season the content quality will vary.
As you will be most likely flying somewhere, you will really have to consider whether the cost and your time is worth it, especially if the show is a broad one. Specific niche shows are worth it, since the information is tailored and very accurate, so these shouldn’t be underestimated, however if it’s broad, then it might not worth the cost.
2: LOCAL TRADE SHOWS:
For a lot of cities, you will probably find some local trade shows. Again the point here is to sell you products or materials but again there is usually some trend information areas, because it’s in the sellers interest to promote their items as ‘’on trend’’ and if you are lucky, you might even find that some of the largest trend prediction companies will do a seminar or show for future trends or maybe show some boards at least with areas where you can take pictures. The picture taking police are usually not as strict at these smaller shows, bearing in mind that many of the individual companies looking to sell products probably won’t like it and their stands are very different to trend specific areas.
The benefit to local shows is that usually the cost to get there for you will be much lower. The cost to attend will be lower and the security is far less picky because they are trying to attract a city wide, rather than worldwide audience.
The drawback is that it may have more general information, although you may find that the smaller the show, the more niche the information becomes, which is great for you unless you end up going to something that is completely wrong for your market, so check what exactly it will be covering.
The other main drawback is the quality of the information. Don’t forget these are local shows, so they will be concentrating on local companies and local people. This might make their trend prediction information far more local and sometimes a little unsophisticated compared to other larger shows because they won’t have the budget to employ large prediction companies to cover it.
You might also find that the prediction information might go the other way and be so niche that they end up ignoring other trends because they don’t fit [in their opinion] specifically enough to that market. So you might need to look at additional trends that might apply or give you inspiration that may be missed otherwise.
SHOULD I GO?
The thing to consider here is that because they are so niche, you might find that the show concentrates on a particular material or niche market. If it doesn’t align with yours perfectly, there will always be other influences that you will need to consider, otherwise you will be working to information that is completely wrong for your customers
Again the best way to know is to visit.
If you haven’t read the other parts, then click below to read on:
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