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02-04-2007
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Everyone I meet who does this full time fell into the job by complete mistake. It's mystifying. One girl, bless her heart, is so fashion confused and was a tech support person before getting a chance to do the forecasting work at one of the major agencies. I'm not naming names...

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07-04-2007
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If I did an undergrad. in say.... English, Media and Cultural Studies....would that be considered appropriate for a post-grad. in something fashion-related such as this?

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07-04-2007
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^ it could certainly work

merged with older discussion so you guys can get some more info on trend forecasting careers

always remember using tFS search feature before starting new discussions

trust me, it's painless

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08-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lena
^ it could certainly work

merged with older discussion so you guys can get some more info on trend forecasting careers

always remember using tFS search feature before starting new discussions

trust me, it's painless
Thx for the answer, helpful!

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11-07-2007
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Fashion Forecasting
hi... i'm ali. this is actually my first post- ever.

so i have been working in a luxury multi-brand wholesale showroom in new york for the past 2.5 years and ready for a change.

i am extremely interested in working in trend forecasting. i know, me and the rest of the world. i need an outlet to channel all of my creative energy into. and for various reasons, have no doubt in my mind, that i could convince anyone who gives me a chance- that i will not disappoint them doing so.

as can be expected i have contacted each trend forecasting agency in nyc (the handful of notable companies).. i know its all about right person right time.

does any one have any advise or leads that may help?

thanks

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12-07-2007
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^ Merged with existing thread.

Welcome to tFS, Lazy Queen! There's a bit of information earlier in this thread ... perhaps someone else might have something to add.

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12-07-2007
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Just saw this thread in the Trend Spotting forum about people working in one area of fashion forecasting .... "trend spotting/ cool hunting" for apparel makers and retailers. Interesting ... tells how this part of forecasting is done on the street level.

Thanks to Lucy92 for posting in Trend Spotting.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Quote:
Spotting the Next Hoodie

Fashion Increasingly Relies
On Trends From the Streets;
Spying Raccoon Hats in SoHo
By VANESSA O'CONNELL

Standing near a cluster of bars at the corner of Red River and East 6th streets in Austin, Texas, earlier this month, Helen Job grew anxious about denim. She had spent four days in the hip college town, trying to determine whether a new look was catching on.

After seeing mostly skinny jeans, which she believes are on their way out, Ms. Job finally spotted a young woman in a T-shirt and high-waisted, straight-legged jeans. The sighting was further confirmation of a trend her colleagues at Worth Global Style Network had already documented on the streets of Scandinavia, Europe and Japan and in stores in Paris and London. "Give it about six weeks," she said, "and all the New York stores will have them in the windows."

Ms. Job is one of the fashion industry's secret weapons. As U.S. editor of WGSN, a fashion-consulting service, she is one of a growing number of third-party researchers who go out into the streets to get an early look at emerging styles and to find out where young people are shopping. A competing service, Doneger Group, has increased the number of employees dedicated to so-called trend spotting by 50% to 120 people in the past five years. The 30-year-old Ms. Job even teaches a class on trend spotting to fashion-merchandising students at Parsons The New School for Design.

The role of trend spotters -- sometimes also called cool hunters -- has grown in importance as the fashion cycle has speeded up. Desperate for an edge in a lackluster market, apparel makers and retailers increasingly are seeking help in quickly sorting through competing trends. Trend spotters can help mass merchandisers figure out which nascent trends from chic boutiques or even thrift stores might be hot sellers on a wider scale.

Street style has become an important source of inspiration for retailers eager to lure shoppers with a taste for "fast fashion" at chains like H&M and Zara. Many chains have their own in-house trend spotters. Store inventory is also turning over more quickly, as retailers strive to refresh the merchandise on their racks. At Nordstrom Inc., for instance, inventory turned over 5.06 times last year, compared with 3.7 times in 2001.

These consultants work in different ways, but many produce slick, periodic reports -- often focused on key looks, such as accessories -- which they sell to mass retailers, apparel manufacturers and designers. Ms. Job says her photos are used by clients such as Levi Strauss, Liz Claiborne, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein and Polo Ralph Lauren.

Many trend spotters focus almost entirely on young people on the theory that they have an impact on the broader fashion scene. "A lot of the people we buy from are the people who are interpreting the street trends, they are just doing it at a higher-level quality," says Julie Gilhart, fashion director at Barneys New York.

"There is the longstanding debate of what influences what. Does the street influence high fashion or does fashion influence the street?" says Michael Macko, vice president for men's fashion at Saks Fifth Avenue. He for one, is "always fascinated" by street fashion. The recent rise of the men's all-over-print hoodie, or hooded jacket, shows how street trends spread. The Japanese urban streetwear chain A Bathing Ape helped push the look into the U.S. from Tokyo a couple of seasons ago, prompting small retailers like Union in New York's SoHo neighborhood, Barneys Co-op and Internet stores such as Hypebeast and Karmaloop to start selling their own versions. Soon, print hoodies were showing up in hip magazines such as Complex and Nylon and hip-hop videos. Over the past six months, more mainstream designers and apparel makers picked up the style, which is now widely available.

Equally important to identifying trends, is figuring out when they are over. Tim Bess, the 41-year-old menswear street-style guru for fashion consultancy Doneger Group, studies men ages 18 to 26. Sometimes he brings along the young woman who works as his assistant to help break the ice.

On Saturday, he roamed the streets of SoHo and Harlem in New York. He chatted briefly with several sharply dressed kids, two of whom wore printed hoodies, and checked the window displays of influential boutiques. His conclusion: The printed hoodie trend still has legs, but won't last much longer. Some guys on the street had already moved on to a more "cleaned up" look of solid shirts and jeans with little or no detailing.

Another sign: Mr. Bess spotted a printed hoodie on a scruffy middle-aged man walking by. "You can tell when a trend sort of moves on," he said. "When you start seeing people who shouldn't be wearing a certain brand or look, that's when it's over."

In SoHo, Mr. Bess stopped to chat with a group of about 10 young men in vintage 1980s garb, including big gold chains. Mr. Bess has worked with these men before, bringing them into his office to pose for one of his street reports. Calling themselves the "Retro Kids," they say they try to promote 1980s style. "It's easy to start something new," said one man in the group, Ladaz Marshall, age 20. "Anybody can do it."

Up in Harlem, Mr. Bess admired the outfit of one young shopper, Xavier "Ozve" Peña, age 19. Mr. Peña was wearing slim-cut jeans and a Kidrobot all-over-print hoodie. "What are your favorite Web sites?" asked Mr. Bess. "Do you go to Karmaloop?" The young man said he got his jeans at a New York outpost of the Japanese chain Uniqlo.

For next year, Mr. Bess predicts a shift to a '90s grunge style. Some boutiques, he noted, have begun carrying plaid and flannel shirts.

It's getting tougher to figure out where to find fashionable folks. In the 1970s and 1980s, trend spotters trawled the boutiques of St. Tropez, France, after the Paris fashion shows, in search of emerging labels. Some still swear by the French resort when it comes to resort or cruise wear.
But trendy neighborhoods are constantly shifting today. Trend spotters now attend rock music festivals in Denmark and Scotland, and trek off to Colombia, Brazil and Istanbul. Barbara Fields, who runs her own trend-spotting firm, travels monthly to the streets of London, Barcelona, Tokyo or Seoul, and says lately one of her best tactics has been taking photos of young people on the streets of the Harajuku district in Tokyo. Based on what she's seen there, she believes fur-trimmed hooded athletic jackets will be an emerging trend for fall, along with wide-leg pants with a diameter of 24 inches to 33 inches, among other styles.

Janine Blain, head of Doneger Group's Los Angeles office, meanwhile, recently began dividing up her presentations according to where the photos were shot: Third Street in Los Angeles or Malibu/Santa Monica, for example. She sees a movement away from "girly" styles to an "alpha male" look of structured women's jackets and pants in menswear fabrics.

This week, WGSN's Ms. Job sorted through more than 400 pictures she took in Austin, putting together groupings of three to six shots that illustrate a trend for her "trend flashes" -- short reports that she will produce once a week for the next three weeks. In addition to high-waisted jeans, which she has noticed since at an H&M store in New York, she plans to focus on Ray-Ban Wayfarer-style sunglasses and the trapper-style raccoon hat that several young women were wearing.

Next stop: Portland, Ore.

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Last edited by BetteT; 12-07-2007 at 11:56 PM.
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18-07-2007
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wgsn, you should check that out if you haven't already.

I study costume history and am currently interning with the forecasting department of an American design house. It's fun but we forecast specifically for the brands within the company. Not sure how somewhere like wgsn would work. We look at a A LOT of pictures.

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22-07-2007
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I go to FIT and took a Intro to the Fashion Business course last semester. One of the things we covered were the various careers in fashion. There were tons, but when we got to fashion forecasting in the book, our professor said to skip that section. He said the business of fashion forecasting is "simply one big lie." He then went on a long rant. The man isn't senile either. In fact, he started and up until recently still owned the fashion brand London Fog. Ever since hearing that, I have a negative opinion of fashion forecasting.

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22-07-2007
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Would be nice to hear why you have a negative opinion of it, shoelady
and why your prof said it is a big lie

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22-07-2007
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Interpretation oh yes.

Do I stay on my film/photography course or switch to Cultural Studies ? Ah the choices.

Thankyou for the advice in here it's really given me more to think about I've found it extremely helpful.

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26-07-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gius View Post
Would be nice to hear why you have a negative opinion of it, shoelady
and why your prof said it is a big lie
What he basically talked about was the fact that fashion forecasters sling BS on insecure people. Different company's use different forecasters. They all read the same magazines, go to the same forums, and travel to the same places at the same times. They just steal from eachother and call in "inspiration." I worked for a fashion forecasting website - Stylesight.com. It cost around $15,000 a year for a subscription. I knew every client that used the database - everyone from coutoure designers to the biggest low-cost chain store retailers. They are all looking at the same "inspiration."

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26-07-2007
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Interesting, ShoeLady. Thanks for sharing.

But I would not say it's exactly bogus, because that is how the business of forcasting works ... trends are actually artifically engineered. So they are not really "forecasting", they are creating trends, IMHO.

One or more of the big forecasting companies forecast similar things based on the same factors and then the designers and retailers who subscribe all make the same move at the same time. That's why each season you'll see the same colors in every store ... and all of a sudden platforms or ballet flats are in every shoe store or why so many designers suddenly all had made poufy, short skirts in the same season.

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27-07-2007
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thanks so much for all the help and info.

shoelady- u mentioned you worked for stylesight. what did you do there?

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27-07-2007
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Bette, I definetly see what you are saying. I do not think it is a bogus career, if that is what someone loves, great. Some people make A LOT of money forecasting. I just wanted to bring up the fact that there is also a very negative view of the career among some people in the industry.
I worked on the fashion end at Stylesight. I assisted the content manager and was in charge, with a few other people, of setting up their vintage database.

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