It’s no secret that the fashion industry is one of the fastest-changing markets the world has to offer. The latest clothing trends come and go, and keeping up to date with the next best thing is no easy task. From 70s-inspired punk to streetwear from the 2000s, many of us have jumped on board the retro-trend . With that said, you might be wondering how our favourite fashion stores predict what their customers want to see be available next season. This is where fashion forecasters come in.
Put simply, fashion forecasters use a variety of research and analysis techniques to predict what clothing items will be trending next. From materials to patterns, to graphics and shapes, forecasters consider every aspect of clothing in an attempt to satisfy future demands.
But how accurate can a fashion forecast be in this rapid-changing industry? Here, we discuss the process of fashion forecasting and how accurate it truly is at predicting the next big thing.
The process of predicting the latest trends
Although there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the process of predicting the next fashion trends, there are some key steps that can’t be missed.
The first step is research, and technology plays a major role in this. Using search trend platforms, fashion forecasters can collect and document data regarding what users have taken an interest in over recent months. The data collected doesn’t have to be only within the fashion industry either. Nowadays, people find inspiration for their wardrobe in many ways. Whether it be through art, colour, architecture, business – or wherever their interests lie – it’s beneficial for fashion forecasters to see what is trending in the industries around them.
After the research is complete, forecasters will divide their research into key themes. Whether they are researching a short-term product line within the next year or less or developing a long-term strategy for a line to be released in two years, now is the time to analyse the data and predict what trends will emerge soon.
Since great minds don’t always think alike, it’s important to get someone else’s opinion at this stage too. Once the visuals, facts, and content have been separated into categories, make sure that the information has been gathered and analysed correctly. Depending on the nature of the clothing store, it might be best to group the categories by product, concept, colour, or even fabric.
Now it’s times to put the theory in action. After assessing the different categories and matching them to your target audience, the ideas need to be used to create a new product line. Whether it’s men’s jeans, women’s blouses, or the accessories section that needs an update, use your findings to make a calculated fashion decision!
How accurate is fashion forecasting?
Conducting an in-depth and data-driven fashion forecast can help to accurately predict what the future of fashion will look like. Although it is impossible to predict exactly what will be trending in the seasons to come, fashion forecasts can give an accurate indication if done correctly. Fashion companies rely on an in-house team to forecast what the future of fashion will look like. Since each season presents something new when it comes to apparel, these companies tend to rely on short-term forecasting processes more than long-term.

With fashion tastes and trends constantly changing from season to season, it’s not always easy to predict what will be the next best thing. However, fashion forecasting could be the answer to this – accuracy and data should always at the centre of every fashion business decision!


Author's Bio: 

Written by Brooke Macdonald, copywriter for Zasimo.