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Forecasting Fashion in a Changing Global Environment Rosalie Jackson Regni Assistant Professor, Dept of Fashion Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Presentation on theme: "Forecasting Fashion in a Changing Global Environment Rosalie Jackson Regni Assistant Professor, Dept of Fashion Virginia Commonwealth University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Forecasting Fashion in a Changing Global Environment Rosalie Jackson Regni Assistant Professor, Dept of Fashion Virginia Commonwealth University

2 Forecasting as a Discipline According to Promostyl (leading forecasting company), fashion … begins with observations of major currents in society, lifestyles, mentalities and widespread culture …as well as more elitist expressions of culture…It is these major currents in society that set off fashion trends. …It is the public that launches fashion

3 Forecasting Tools Fashion Curves – consumption adoption rates measured by duration & penetration: fads, trends, classics Pendulum swings – movement between extremes Fashion cycles – fixed, regular reappearance of trends. Recurring events seen as long-wave phenomenon short long

4 Basic Rules of Forecasting No one can forecast in a vacuum. In order to forecast the future, we must first study the past, look at the present, and then find a logical path to the fashions of the future. Forecasting is more than selecting pretty things that we like. We must understand how fashion mirrors the Zeitgeist of the times

5 The Nine Key Drivers that impact trends Econographics looks at key factors that influence consumer behavior (macro) Economy Technology GlobalizationGovernment Environment Consumer PsycheWellness Demographics Retailing -from Harness the Future by Roberts

6 Generating Analysis and Critical Thinking Ask students to think about what factors in our world today influence fashion: Economy Influence of other cultures/ globalization New male shopper/ more confident young men Mores/ celebrities/ music Environmental concerns

7 History: Ecological products Espirit owner Doug Tompkins recognized potential for future in late 80s: staged a company eco-audit 90s: Earth Day, Elle mag. Green Consumer Guide, short lived eco-fashion trend Environmental push is a long-term, not a short-term fashion trend

8 Organic focuses on the farm – growing fibers in a way that is earth friendly, like organic food Sustainable has its emphasis on reuse and recycling of manufactured products

9 Retailers & Manufacturers rush to be Eco-Friendly American Apparel, USA made, largest mfg. of T- shirts US, organic collection Eileen Fisher – 20% has SOME earth conscious element Small boutique suppliers like Indigenous & Prairie Underground

10 Corporate Responsibility Sustainability reduces landfill waste Involves using & reusing environmentally friendly packaging Requires reducing manufacturing & operational waste & pollution Means becoming energy efficient Needs better labeling to communicate sustainable message

11 What does the consumer want? 2006(%) 2008 (%) Fit 9598 Price 9394 Style 8688 Color 8787 Brand 5247 Made in USA 5057 Eco friendly 4550 Source: Lifestyle Monitor survey

12 What can consumers do? Wear Vintage Purchase clothing made of eco-friendly fibers: bamboo, tencel, organic cotton, hemp Participate in activities that offset carbon footprint, like planting trees & bring own shopping bags Wash & dry clean less, repair & re-use instead of buying new

13 What can consumers do? Repair & re-use instead of buying new, disposable fashion Use recycled products: bring our own shopping bags to stores, use recycled paper Find alternative energy sources (solar for the home, e.g.) Walk or ride bikes when possible

14 Nobodys Perfect Yet Earth Pledge goal: optimizing lifetime of apparel We cant do everything; just do something that moves us in the right direction Work toward light garments

15 Nobodys Perfect Yet Ask the right questions: 1. Where does product come from? 2. Where does it go? 3. What is my role in the process? Be mindful of 4 stages of product life 1. Birth 2. Manufacturing/ Processing 3. Distribution/ use 4. End of life

16 What will bring about Big Changes? Business as usual needs to change, according to Lynda Grose of Earth Pledge Eco trend has resurfaced, but business and manufacturing more ready to deal with it Consumers are open to renting, buying vintage, recycling

17 What are the Challenges? 70% of Americans believe that green products are just a marketing tactic (Ipsos Reid) Manufacturers have problems passing on increased costs to retailers; retailers unsure of whether consumer will pay more What will sustainability mean for luxury market? What will recycle mean for fashion industry? Estimates are that going green costs approximately 20% to 30% more to achieve

18 The Assignment Select a big topic that influences forecasting Research past, analyze present, predict future Tie into specific trends: now vs yesterday Write a prediction; support it with trend boards or a powerpoint Deliver the forecast to an audience; defend predictions

19 Forecast with Trend Boards

20 Creating a Forecast

21 Bibliography Bonini, Sheila M.J. and Jeremy m. Oppenheim, Helping Green Products Grow, The McKinsey Quarterly, October 2008 Brannon, Evelyn L. Fashion Forecasting. 2 nd ed. New York: Fairchild, 2005 Clark, Evan.Wal-Marts Ethical Sourcing Push in China, Womens Wear Daily, 2008 Hethorn, J and Connie Ulasewicz. Sustainable Fashion: Why Now?. New York: Fairchild, 2008 Roberts, Shirley. Harness the Future: The 9 Keys to Emerging Consumer Behaviour. Canada: John Wiley & Sons, 1998


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