Careers in Fashion Merchandising: The Fashion Trend Forecaster
Predicting upcoming fashion trends is more than a guessing game, which is why many fashion companies invest in professional trend forecasting services, or hire on a team of full time fashion merchandising professionals known as Trend Forecasters.
Many merchandise marketing professionals roles, such as that of a Buyer, involve the ability to make business savvy predictions for what a fashion company’s target consumer will be seeking in upcoming season. A Fashion Trend Forecaster devotes their full attention to researching sociological and psychological variables that shape a consumer’s buying decisions. Based on this research, the Fashion Trend Forecaster will compile fashion forecasts and trend reports to present to management after analyzing the information to make it relevant to their company’s target and make suggestions for upcoming fashion designs.
London-based online fashion and trend forecasting agency TrendStop.com recently published a job lead for a womenswear Senior Trend Researcher. Requirements included “a great eye for spotting, editing and presenting trends,” as well as commercial experience in the fashion industry, strong research and analysis skills, and an ability source relevant visuals quickly and efficiently.
In general Fashion Trend Forecaster stays on the pulse of where the merchandise marketing industry is going, discovering new and innovative styles. Some of the important variables that the Fashion Trend Forecaster considers includes consumers’ wants and needs, attitude influencers, current events, social and cultural influences, fashion industry standards and any other relevant factors influencing their specific target market.
Typical day-to-day responsibilities of a Fashion Trend Forecaster may include:
- Conducting research based on the aforementioned variables
- Creating reports to predict new themes, colors, textures, fabrics designs and patterns for upcoming selling seasons
- Consulting with fashion merchandising management and design teams based on research
- Providing operational and creative support to designers.
- Maintaining relationships with vendors, fashion houses and magazine editors
- Keeping track of industry standards and competitor behavior
Skills and Specifications
- Thorough knowledge of fashion, its history and an inherent fashion sense
- Excellent research skills and knowledge of predicting the future trends
- Solid communication and networking skills to maintain effective interaction with the designers, retailers etc.
- A degree from a leading fashion merchandising college in fashion design, merchandise marketing or another related field