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WHAT IS FASHION

Fashion is a popular aesthetic expression in a certain time and context, especially in clothing, footwear, lifestyle, accessories, makeup, hairstyle and body proportions.

What is difference between fashion and trend?

Trend refers to what is popular at a particular point in time whereas fashion refers to latest and popular styles of clothing, hair, decoration, or behaviour. This is the main difference between trend and fashion.

How to conceptualise the Fashion Trend of the people at large?

To cope with the ever-changing technologies, the markets and consumer are rapidly evolving from traditional, static, demographic-based criteria to more towards dynamic, modern, mood, lifestyle and psycho graphic influences.

Fashion trend forecasting resources help predict trends in the fashion industry. Fashion & trend forecasting is the prediction of mood, behavior and buying habits of the consumer at particular time of season. It is no longer a question of finding your markets or consumers by age, geography or income, but looking into how and what they buy, based on their culture, mood, beliefs, occasion & geographic locations, it is also dependent on fashion cycle and plays a major role in introductory phase of recurring fashion cycles.

Understanding fashion trends forecast is one of the most arduous and calculative work for all, I know most of top business houses around the world totally rely on designers for understanding the same, but on the other side there are others who do not believe in it at all. In current times when we look at the technology, we know nothing is by chance and there are people who are working behind the scenes, day and night to make things appear easy and affordable to us. Question which often comes to our mind is which trend forecast to use and how we can understand it better. Many technological forecasting methods have been reported in various forecast related books & mentioned in literature of many countries, and they have been successfully applied widely. As trend forecasting results are mainly influenced by the forecasting method used by the end user, it is of utmost importance to determine the method that will be most appropriate to a business model you adopt. Let us identify the main factors affecting Fashion trend forecasting:

Each season, the design and merchandising departments worldwide are waiting what is in trend for coming seasons. They rely heavily on creating a new line using these valuable data collected by professional agencies. Trend forecasts are based on seasons Spring, Summer, Fall &Winter like we connect certain colours with holiday and seasons, they expect to see earthy tones in fall season, jewelled colours for holidays, the pastels of flowers in early spring, and refreshing white for the summer. All the manufacturers include some of these standard colours in their line or collection planning. Work on new line normally begins six months before the selling season (A flowery dress to be worn in may should be in design section starting December). The manufacturers must produce four or five seasonal lines a year. Targeting delivery ahead a month is providing consumers with continual fresh merchandise each season.

The importance of Market Intelligence in Fashion & Trend

In recent years, world growth has slowed and markets have matured or become more protective. It is evident that the only way for many small & big companies to grow is at the expense of their competitors. Many large companies in the world are turning to market intelligence for input into their strategic management system and decision making. Conventional marketing research is increasingly viewed as being too narrowly focused on tactical and operational issues. The large retail & export companies around world are now looking up to role of the Internet in market intelligence for inputs into their strategic management system and decision making. It helps them determine their product acceptance in market. As world renowned designer Karl Lagerfeld remarked if acceptance is there, then surely market is there. There is no fashion if nobody buys it. Acceptance by large number of people makes market important.

The crucial part of Consumer Research

The agencies and Manufacturers may ask consumers directly about their buying preferences or can look in to their buying habits over a period of time. Consumer reactions are recorded and documented to find preferences for certain garments or accessories, sizes or colours and so on, or products to fit specific consumer tastes. Surveys, by phones, mail or customer feedback forms are conducted by publication and market research companies for manufacturers and retailers. These surveys include questions about life-style, fashion preference, income, and shopping habits. Customers are usually selected by the research firm to meet with manufacturers or retailers. Informal interview with consumer can help researchers obtain information by simply asking customers, what they would like to buy, what styles they prefer that are currently available and what changes in merchandise they want, but cannot find. Owners of small stores can often do this most effectively, because of their close contact with their customers.

The industry overall has one purpose, i.e. to provide a desirable and appealing product to satisfy customer needs, demands or aspire to have. When successful, this chain results in a sale, because this chain is the integral part of entire process. Every forecast begins with the consumer, by observing the consumer’s needs to the marketplace and in the unexpected ways the consumer adjusts the market place to his lifestyle and preferences. Consumer research figures are critical & of utmost importance in decisions about product development, marketing and retailing.

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