By Aida Brown
BA (Hons) Fashion Branding and Communication Student
Myself and five other students from BA (Hons) Fashion Branding & Communication were picked to showcase our Trend Forecasting module work at BDA London’s Shoreditch studio as part of a live industry brief.
This amazing opportunity saw us present our work to their in-house Editor of ‘View’ – a retail trade publication which fashion brands use to inform their new clothing and product ranges. View is beautifully designed, reads like a magazine and of course it is very insightful.
Fashion trend forecasting basically entails gathering intelligence about news, current affairs, social issues and new technology and spotting patterns in your research which then goes on to form the basis of a new trend. In the early stages we created CSI style evidence walls to map out our connections – it was like being a detective. Many trends are already out there under the wings of early adopters, and it’s a trend forecasters job to detect which trends will be commercially successful i.e. they have strong enough substance to trickle down to the mass market should they be presented with it. We were given outlines of emerging trends to research further within our own creative boundaries.
Being that the lines between the worlds of business and leisure are becoming more blurred, I could see that there was a gap in the market for a new type of product. There is a greater need for efficiency in all areas of our lives, and we need products that can perform more than one function. For example, mobile phones have replaced books, cameras, the need to actually visit your bank, the list goes on – and this notion of a multitasking product should also be applicable to the way we dress. In addition, as we become more environmentally conscious of human impact on the planet, we are beginning to adopt cleaner ways of travel, such as commuting by bicycle to get to work.
My outcome focused on versatile clothing through modular features – such as zips under the arms of smart shirts to make them more comfortable when cycling and detachable utility pockets on tailoring to make clothing hyper functional when travelling, that can be adapted to look smarter in the office. The idea was to create a 1-Day outfit that would take you from your commute to work to playtime. Not having to go home and change saves time, fuel and means not having to buy extra clothes. I focused on using technical fabrics that perform with the body to make life easier whilst being sustainable and durable to reduce the need for shopping and its associated wastage.
This module has been one of my favourites and has taken me on a journey of discovery to some very strange concepts – such as the Oxford Shoe/Nike Vapormax hybrid by a brand called Botter. As we all have a unique exposure to knowledge and information we all ended up with V E R Y different outcomes and seeing what my classmates had come up with was so much more exciting. Getting positive feedback on my work from industry experts was a great feeling and has really boosted my esteem. Moreover, we were able to develop our professional and presentation skills through this experience.