If you are an export manufacturer for fashion or lifestyle products, fashion trends will play an increasingly bigger role in your products’ annual sales. Currently consumer sales are handled by Western retailers, which has kept the role of trends in consumer sales hidden from the Chinese supplier. Now, with the advance of cheaper manufacturing countries, Chinese manufacturers need to add value to their offerings and, for forward-thinking Chinese manufacturers wishing to take a more active role with ODM and original brands, it will become more and more important to learn to understand and work with fashion and lifestyle trends.
So how can these trends be understood? By having access to the right information. Let’s explore further.
What Are Fashion Trends and Fashion Trend Forecasting?
Many have heard the phrase ‘trend forecasting’, but not everyone knows or fully understands what it means. Fashion trends indicate in what direction the public interest and uptake is going in terms of color, print, trim, shape, and texture in fashion and lifestyle products. These are influenced by cultural interests, such as movies, books, celebrities, fashion shows and street style. The constant release of new movies, music and looks influences consumer tastes and, as a result, fashion trends change from season to season. In addition to this, Western consumers are very sensitive to trends and want to make sure that they are wearing the latest trends or have the latest trends in their home.
To sell to this trend-aware consumer, it is essential to know which are the next season’s most important trends. In OEM manufacturing, the retail supplier doesn’t need to know about the trends and what colors or designs their products should be, as their retail or brand customer has already provided the design.
However, any manufacturer who wants to offer original designs to the Western brand, retailer or consumer, needs to apply the latest fashion and lifestyle trends to their products. Otherwise it will be impossible to sell to the Western market.
How can the manufacturer know the right trends?
Fashion-trend forecasting is a professional service that conducts consumer research helping companies identify the fashion trends consumers will be most interested in 12 to 24 months’ time. This information, based on detailed analysis, will help you create products that will be attractive to the consumer, and therefore maximize your sales.
Trend forecasting is most developed in the West, particularly in Europe. In order to understand Western fashion trends, it is important to work with Western trend-forecasting companies. There are many websites who post information about ‘trends’, but you need to be careful with using them, as most of them do not verify their information against consumer analysis, and the information may not be reliable, causing reduced sales to your company.
The leading service in terms of providing the most thorough and detailed research into fashion-product sales linked to consumer trends is currently Trendstop.com. They work with clients including H&M, Topshop, Forever 21, Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, L’Oreal, C&A, Marks & Spencer and Next. They are based in London and have 150 trend reporters and analysts around the globe researching the latest and newest developments in fashion and cultural elements that influence consumer tastes.
Trendstop.com CEO Jaana Jätyri explains what makes Trendstop’s methods successful.
“We have very thorough data on every outfit at major fashion shows, and we are able to identify the new trend directions very accurately. Our team consists of design directors, buyers, merchandisers and analysts who have decades of experience in the industry and the combined skills to understand what will work for the consumer one to two years from now.”
Using a professional service like Trendstop.com will bring the knowledge of fashion trends to your business quickly, easily and accurately. By adding the benefit of a trend resource such as Trendstop.com to your seasonal planning, you will increase your company’s ability to provide on-trend products and product ideas that will sell well.
If you are visiting any of the Tradegood events, we strongly recommend you visit the Trend Corner for an introduction to Trendstop.com’s services.
Trendstop.com is an online fashion and trend forecasting agency based in London, internationally renowned for its directional trend analysis and forecasts. Clients choose us for our expertise in accurately predicting fashion and lifestyle trends from season to season, and for our ability to help our clients easily see how trends can be translated into their own designs and creations. Get to know us at www.trendstop.com.