Trends | Shop By Values

Decode, Design, Deliver: The Power Of Trend And Market Research For Your Fashion Brand

Jan 24, 2024 | Divya Salgiya

"Fashions change like leaves on the bough, some of which go and others come," said Dante in the Divine Comedy. The four fashion capitals of the world, namely New York, Paris, London, and Milan, rule the ramp and have a huge influence in setting the upcoming trends. Fashion weeks, celebrities, and fashion designers introduce new trends and set the style for different seasons. Magazines, blogs, and tabloids endorse these latest trends to the masses and retailers.
What Is Fashion Forecasting?

Fashion forecasting is a method by which brands predict future trends in the fashion world. Brands use it to predict the colors, fabric, texture, material, accessories, prints, designs, and formats of garments that will be relevant in the future. Fashion brands then use this information to modify their offerings in time for their customers. Fashion forecasting can be classified into two  categories. 

Long Term Forecasting

In this type of fashion forecasting, forecasters look at macro trends that will greatly affect the fashion industry. Long-term forecasting is done based on changes in demographics, cloth manufacturing and selling methods, and most importantly, on the changes in the lifestyle of the consumers. These forecasts will remain relevant for at least a couple of years. 

Short Term Forecasting

Short-term forecasting is done based on micro trends that will not last more than a season. This type of forecasting is done to suggest changes in the color and style of the dresses. Some of the factors that may impact short-term forecasting are the emergence of a type of cloth popularized by fashion influences or temporary changes in the lifestyle of people owing to any temporary condition like the lockdown imposed during Covid-19. trend

Decoding the process of trend forecasting in Fashion

"Fashions change like leaves on the bough, some of which go and others come," said Dante in the Divine Comedy. The four fashion capitals of the world, namely New York, Paris, London, and Milan, rule the ramp and have a huge influence in setting the upcoming trends. Fashion weeks, celebrities, and fashion designers introduce new trends and set the style for different seasons. Magazines, blogs, and tabloids endorse these latest trends to the masses and retailers.

So how does one decide what will be the next 'it' thing in fashion and what is 'hot' and what is 'not'? And who and how does one come to the conclusion that if 'it' is going to be the most fashionable thing? The answer lies in fashion forecasting. Fashion forecasting, as defined by Chelsea Roussou in her book "Fashion Forward," "is the practice of predicting upcoming trends based on past and present style-related information, the interpretation and the motivation behind the trend, and an explanation of why the prediction is about to occur." The ideal forecasting procedure undertakes both scientific skills and creative concepts.

The whimsical consumer preferences and ever-differing buying habits make trend forecasting a must for fashion designers and apparel retailers. Studying buying patterns and popular trends helps the retailers deliver the right product at the right time, the right place, the right quantity, the right price to the right consumer. Sound research, updated information, and sensitivity to ever-changing desires are necessary for fashion forecasting.

Trend forecasters take the following things into consideration:

  • Avail knowledge of historical and contemporary fashion and ideas for the future.

  • Study closely the social and cultural changes in society.

  • Observing movements and direction of changes.

  • Analyzing past data and consumer sales.

Forecasters and fashion analysts determine the future trends and deliver useful insights to industries, manufacturers, and designers, who then provide the final product to the consumers. Trend forecasters are a canny group of individuals who bring their expertise in fashion history, consumer research, industry data, and intuition all together to predict future styles and provide guidance to the producers.

However, besides fashion forecasters, fashion design students, manufacturers, apparel merchandisers, designers, product developers, retail executives, fashion magazine editors, researchers, and consultants also work towards forecasting the nouveau and upcoming trends. Fashion forecasters foresee not just the outfit but also the color, theme, kind of fabric, and the look and feel of the trend.

When it comes to creating a buzz about the latest trends, trendsetters play a significant role to make it popular. Celebrities, artists, stylish designers, socialites, and other public figures make statements with the hippest in fashion and set the trend.

Fashion thrives everywhere, and which is exactly why forecasters keep their eyes open and observe what people are wearing. The society is generally besotted by celebrities and forecasters monitor activities of such iconic individuals, who impact fashion and trends majorly. Fashion shows, fabric fairs, red carpet events, and the streets are common places to spot latest trends. Besides these, a visit to textile museums, a downtown club, fashion galas, and textile work by students of institutes also help figuring out a possible future trend. Collaborating with textile researchers and engineers also give forecasters useful perspectives on prospective fabrics.

  • The fastest and the best way to find anything today is with the help of internet. A peek into social networking sites and fashion blogs gives forecasters a heads up at what is brewing in the fashion scene and the probable forthcoming trends. Interactive platforms like these provide a massive pool of information of what kinds of clothes and looks people are experimenting with.

  • A survey of retail sites, individually run fashion websites, and magazine sites provides an avenue for fresh ideas, concepts, and insights about certain kinds of fashion. Visiting boutiques in the boulevards of Paris, Milan, New York and London; shopping at emerging couture stores of Mumbai, Dubai, Shanghai, and Moscow; and witnessing the collection of clothes at museums, textile art galleries, and vintage stores help identifying rising trends with a different outlook.

  • Trend forecasting is generally done for the autumn/winter and spring/summer collections of retailers and designers. Apart from this fashion forecasters also provide views on Long-term forecasting and Short-term forecasting. Short term forecasting is done for two years in advance of the trend and long term is done five to ten years in advance.

  • Short term forecasting focuses on developing color stories, themes, deciding the silhouettes, and the kind of fabric. It includes details and specific designing features. Short term forecasting is useful to manufacturers to use current information for developing new products. Long term forecasting emphasizes more on the mood or the cultural shift of an era. It does not signify details but marks trends of a historical period. Such information helps retailers and designers position their businesses for long term growth.

The process of forecasting has five major stages:

Research: Carrying out a fishing expedition and investigating from different sources and places, to come up with fresh findings, better ideas, and recognizing potential trends.

Sort: Editing and filtering the collected information is the next step. Determining design and patterns from accumulated data, samples, and images follows further.

Analyzing: Interpreting and scrutinizing the causes, key factors, and possible results of upcoming trends. Considering what, why, and how a certain trend is catching up and how it will manifest.

Predicting: Forecasting possible trends and justifying it with available sources, data, and facts.

Communicating: Delivering the outputs, thoughts, and ideas behind the predictions through illustrations, storyboards, and presentations.

Fashion Trend Forecasting: Methods to Stay Ahead

In the ever-evolving world of fashion, staying on top of the latest trends is crucial for brands aiming to captivate the market. Fashion trend forecasting is a dynamic process that involves a blend of methods to decipher the upcoming styles and preferences. Here's a detailed exploration of the key methods that fashion enthusiasts, designers, and brands can employ to stay ahead in the fast-paced world of fashion.

1. Media Insights: Navigating the Fashion Landscape

One of the classic yet effective methods for trend forecasting is delving into media insights. Renowned fashion magazines and newspapers such as WWD, Vogue, and Elle serve as trend barometers, curating seasonal trends and providing a snapshot of the ever-shifting fashion landscape. Whether in print or online, these publications offer a wealth of information, showcasing the latest styles and emerging trends.

2. Fashion Forecasting Services: Beyond the Crystal Ball

Fashion forecasting services are the unsung heroes behind many trendsetting brands. Companies like WGSN, The Donegar Group, Fashion Snoops, and Promostyl provide specialized trend forecasting services. These services don't just predict trends; they deliver curated collections and personalized forecasts based on extensive research and analysis. It's like having a crystal ball into the future of fashion.

3. Runway Shows: Where Global Trends Take Center Stage

For a front-row seat to upcoming trends, fashion enthusiasts turn to global runway shows such as NYFW and PFW. These shows serve as catalysts, influencing not only individual garments but also broader trends in silhouettes, themes, and design details. It's a captivating journey through the avant-garde of fashion, where the industry's top players unveil their creative prowess.

4. Trade Shows: Connecting with the Pulse of Fashion

Trade shows provide a unique opportunity to witness emerging trends directly from suppliers. Attending these events grants access to curated presentations, offering a sneak peek into what's next in the world of fashion. Beyond trends, trade shows facilitate networking within the industry, fostering collaboration and the exchange of insights on the latest fashion developments.

5. Market Research: Decoding Local Influences and Customer Behaviour

Performing Surveys and Consumer Research

Understanding the local landscape is essential for successful trend forecasting.  Market research involves analysing customer buying habits, considering local influences, special events, and even weather patterns. Seeking in-person feedback at stockist locations adds a personal touch, allowing brands to understand how customers wear and perceive their products.

What are the benefits of trend forecasting?

By understanding the fashion trends and the public that follows them, your company will have a greater chance of creating successful collections.By doing fashion trend forecasting, you can learn what the public wants. Get to know some of the other benefits below:-


Helps the Marketing and Sales team

Good trend research is essential for the teams responsible for the Marketing and Sales of the items. 

With the data collected, it is possible to develop strategies aimed at the targeted public that is really interested in consuming your brand. Moreover, you get to know what types of products to create, which fabrics to use, and even what colors are in season.

Researching fashion trends also allows the creation of assertive content for websites, blogs, social networks, and email marketing campaigns, for example.With Marketing and Sales working together, chances are your brand will come up with collections that are in line with what the public wants – and will make them feel more confident when making the 


Guides the company’s goals

Trend forecasting can provide your clothing company with invaluable insight into consumer preferences, anticipating potential objections, and even identifying new technologies that can be implemented.

By aligning these findings with your company’s objectives, you can improve its brand image and, consequently, drive profits.With the help of trend research, managers are able to analyze paths to reach established goals and design a highly effective plan of action to achieve them.


Streamline production

Those who can forecast fashion trends can efficiently plan their fashion collection, allowing more room for creativity, seeking inspiration, and budgeting for materials.You’ll be able to compare suppliers, having more flexibility and freedom to let your imagination run wild. This ensures that your collection is delivered on time and without any rework close to launching dates.

Trend Forecasting Agencies

With the development of fashion forecasting in recent years, several companies have set up agencies to help different brands forecast their future. These agencies consist of people from various creative fields who know different factors that affect the fashion world. People like fashion designers, social psychologists, fashion bloggers, and data analytics professionals play a crucial role in helping brands forecast their future. 

These agencies analyze all the fashion spaces, like social media, fashion magazines, and fashion shows to advise fashion brands on fast fashion. Fast fashion is a method employed by many brands like H&M, where they emulate the dress worn at any latest runway shows which are as fresh as a week old. This short-term forecasting helps businesses in making huge profits in a short period. Moreover, by satisfying the customer demands, fashion forecasters from trend forecasting agencies help brands build new returning customers every season.

By observing the latest developments in the fashion world, and the increased usage of fashion forecasting, it is evident that it has made the future more predictable. Fashion forecasting can be the reason behind the next big change in the fashion world. However, if any fashion brands need help in sourcing the clothes that they think will satisfy the taste of the future consumers, they can get in touch with Fashinza

Fashinza is a B2B apparel manufacturing platform that helps clothing brands manufacture their collections with ease by connecting them with suppliers. Brands can use their platform to place manufacturing orders for their collections and have them delivered, with options to track, communicate, make payments along the way.


By this time, you already know why fashion forecasting is important. Every step a brand or a business takes is a precisely calculated step. For this kind of planning, they need to understand and have an idea of what might and might not work in the future (both long term and short term). Fashion forecasting helps them with this, they provide all the information a brand needs on the upcoming trends and the brands use this data to plan out their next designs. It's about understanding the nuances of consumer behavior, cultural shifts, and the pulse of the industry. Media insights offer glimpses into curated trends, while forecasting services act as the industry's silent architects, shaping collections with precision. Runway shows serve as global stages, showcasing the avant-garde of design, and trade shows provide a tangible connection to emerging trends at the supplier level.

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