“We are a sinking ship in the sea, surrounded by numerous life savers and its up to you which one you chose to sail the sea of possibilities and abundance,” announced Christine Boland in the latest seminar for consumer trends 2015 andbeyond. Award winner for TWOTY 2012 for trend watching, Boland manages to hit the ‘right chord’ when it comes to trend analysis. Presenting the seminar alongside with David Shah, specialist in developing fashion and lifestyle concepts, the pair painted a picture for the new emerging trends.
'How to faith the future' of consumer trends
is the answer to something we want,” began Boland. In order to understand what consumers want, one has to take a step back and start anew. Both Shah and Boland agree that there is a ‘disturbed balance in the world’ and consumers are looking to the past and connecting to their natural roots to find a way to solve the imbalance. In order for a company or brand to survive in these new waters, they need tap into this new simplistic and minimalistic age. Selfridges took this concept to a whole new level when they launch the campaign “No Noise” beginning of this year. For six weeks the department store celebrated ‘the power of quiet’ and released a variety of products that had been silence or de-branded. The majority of these products have now become cult items and sparked a number of similar concepts, like Starbucks un-branded cafes opening across the US. Minimalism was a already big hit on the Autumn/Winter 13 runways as well, seen in the form of ‘pristine shapes, neoprene, plastics and patent leather,’ according to Editd, data analysts for the apparel industry.
Shah called current consumers “the Just Nots,” stuck in the mentality that things in the world are never going to be the same, even after the economic crisis is over. This sense of impeding doom is reflected in the emerging survival and cave-man trend, argues Shah. “We can learn from Mother Nature in everything we do,” says Boland, and this yearning to return to a more natural age is currently being reflecting in a number of emerging trends. Animal and Safari prints were seen all over Spring/Summer 14 fashion shows, according to Editd. Natural materials, like wool, leather and silk are in demand and on the rise. Commercial data indicts a 52 percent growth in the number of leather goods arriving online in the previous 3 months, compared to the same time frame one year ago. Puma launched a range of biodegradable shoes and clothes last year, deciding that ‘sustainability is a mega-trend.’ Not one to stay behind on trends, Zara, part of the Inditex Group, launched a new store concept this year, revolving around sustainability. Hennes and Mauritz followed in suit, with the introduction of the H&M Conscious line and their recover and re-use concept. The Swedish retail company offered its customers discount in exchange for a bag of unwanted clothing to be re-cycled or donated.
are learning to feel again and working together to become human again," claimed Shah. The urge to share a sense of empathy and connect with one another can be seen in the increased popularity of websites like Rent the Run Way and Le Tote. Not only do these sites connect fashion lovers with one another, they also allows their users the chance to borrow or rent a designer item and then send it back when they are done, importance being placed on item quality rather than price. This can also be seen in Marks and Spencers comeback, when they re-introduced quality British items at an affordable price with their Leading Ladies campaign and the Best of British Heritage collection launched end of this year. Vintage, retro and heritage are all key trends that can be seen emerging as well, according to Boland. Being able to ' tell a story' with the products and see where they come from is becoming more important to consumers. Retail stores like Urban Outfitters and Nudie Jeans are currently embracing this concept and bringing it to life, Nudie even sells recycled carpets made of old denim jeans, while Urban Outfitters offer vintage sections in their stores. Other brands like Soap and Glory, bring back the essence of a simpler time by using retro marketing ads and packing for their products.
Shah concluded that for any brand to be successful in the future, “companies will have to offer solutions to meet this new mindset, from new ways to regulate digital intrusiveness, to holistic spiritual spaces, to products and services that genuinely promote well being and happiness.”