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Fashion Distribution & Logistics Lecture 1

Course Outline The Fashion Forecasting Process

Fashion used to come from one source at a time, be it the streets, the runways or the entertainment business. The interesting thing about today is that influences come from high and low everything from couture to Target. Michael Kors.

Fashion Forecasting

Trend Chasers Who, What, Where, When, Why and How


Trend chasers
o Locate the spawning ground(s) of trends. o Use their skill and knowledge to identify emerging concepts.

Trend Chasers Who, What, Where, When, Why and How


o Transmit findings to forecasters, product developers, marketers and the press (setting off chain reaction known as fashion) o Resulting in continuous flow of innovation (decoration, styling, products).

Trend Chasers Who, What, Where, When, Why and How


Trend chasers work in many different fields:
Designers Advertising agencies Fiber producers Trade organizations Retail chains Apparel brands

Trend Chasers Who, What, Where, When, Why and How


Job titles range from
Director of design inspiration Manager of trend merchandising Fashion director (Backgrounds are just as varied)

Job Requirements

Trend Chasers Who, What, Where, When, Why and How


Frequent travel -Quarterly trips to Fashion Capitals (Milan, London, Paris); Emerging fashion cultures (flea markets); Fashion shows, trade shows etc Colour research scans done internationally.

Trend Chasers Who, What, Where, When, Why and How


Forecasters also work in trend agencies that consult with companies in:
Apparel Cosmetics Interiors

Trend Chasers Who, What, Where, When, Why and How


Each agency develops a distinctive approach
Nelly Rodi
Based in Paris Employs 25 consultants and 11 agents Calls on sociologists and psychologists to define trend

Trend Chasers Who, What, Where, When, Why and How


Each agency develops a distinctive approach
Peclers Paris -

Employs 65 ppl and 25 agents worldwide Depends on intuitive insights from its creative team

Trend Chasers Who, What, Where, When, Why and How


Agencies publish trend books to illustrate their forecasts approx. 18 months ahead of the fashion season. Books include
Colour chips Textile samples Fashion sketches Photographs to illustrate trends

Trend Chasers Who, What, Where, When, Why and How


Trend chasers enable companies to execute a strategy based on timing. Called strategic windows this strategy involves timing the firms product offerings to the customers readiness and willingness to accept and adopt those products.

Gardner (1995) compares fashion forecasting to chasing the future with a butterfly net. However! It is not difficult for those who immerse themselves in
Popular culture & Trade news.

Forecasting Defined

Forecasters pluck signals that others miss.

Forecasting Defined
Forecasters vary in the methods they use, but all are looking for an apparatus helps them to predict: Mood Behavior Buying habits of consumers

Forecasting Defined
Because trends signal the emerging needs, wants and aspirations of the consumer, canny manufacturers and retailers capitalize on their potential for turning a profit.

Forecasting Defined
Forecasting Is a creative process that can be understood practiced and applied (by anyone who has been introduced to the tools)

Forecasting Defined
Forecasting It provides a way for executives to expand their thinking about change, anticipate the future, and project the likely outcome.

Forecasting Defined
Forecasting Executives use forecasting as input for planning. Marketing managers position products in the marketplace using both:
Short term forecasts Long term forecasts

Forecasting Defined
Forecasting Planners of competitive strategies use forecasting techniques to look at the market share and the position of competitors in the marketplace.

Forecasting Defined
Forecasting Product developers, merchandisers and production managers use the short term trend forecasts of colour, textiles and style direction to shape collections.

Forecasting Defined
Visualization & Forecasting In the narrowest sense, forecasting attempts to project past trends into the future.

Forecasting Defined
Visualization & Forecasting A trend is a transitory increase or decrease
Some trends have lasted for millenia e.g. human population growth All trends have the potential to eventually slow down and decline.

Forecasting Defined
Visualization & Forecasting The mechanisms of fashion change work in the background to create patterns familiar to the most experienced fashion watchers. Visualization helps forecasters understand and communicate the movement of fashion and project future directions.

Forecasting Defined
Visualization & Forecasting Three of the most familiar patterns are:
1. Fashion Curves 2. The Pendulum Swing 3. The Fashion Cycle

Forecasting Defined
Visualization & Forecasting - Fashion Curves Fashion trends are usually classified by the duration and penetration, within the context of time and consumer adoption.

Forecasting Defined
Visualization & Forecasting - Fashion Curves In this way it is easy to show differences between the shortest trends (fads), and the longest (classics).

Forecasting Defined
Visualization & Forecasting Pendulum Swing Refers to the periodic movement of fashion between extremes Examples
Fluctuations between long and short hemlines Fitted and oversized silhouettes Dressed up and casual looks (Swing from power dressing of the late 1980s to the relaxed dresscode of the early noughties)

These swings may take decades or a fashion season.

Forecasting Defined
Visualization & Forecasting Fashion Cycles Usually cycles have a fixed, regular periodicity. However variations in length and depth of cycles make the term a misnomer. No fixed, regularly recurring cycles have been identified and used to accurately predict the next cycle in business or fashion.

Forecasting Defined
Visualization & Forecasting Fashion Cycles Instead, it is more accurate to call recurring patterns a longwave phenomena Long Wave refers to any entity (e.g. prices or styles) with movement that rises and falls with differences in duration and magnitude, velocity, and momentum across periods. This wave model is reflective of movement in social spheres, including fashion.

Class Discussion Point


What are examples of: fads, classics, and styles that are recycled from former eras signs of pendulum swings in the current fashion season.

Forecasting Defined
Steps in Developing a Forecast Forecasting consists of tools and techniques applied systematically Steps in developing a forecast are
i. Step 1: Identifying the basic facts about past trends and forecasts. ii. Step 2: Determine the causes of change in the past iii. Step 3: Determine the differences between past forecasts and actual behaviour

Forecasting Defined
Steps in Developing a Forecast Steps in developing a forecast are
i. Step 4: Determine the factors likely to affect trends in the future ii. Step 5: Apply forecasting tools and techniques, paying attention to issues of accuracy and reliability iii. Step 6: Follow the forecast continually to determine reasons for significant deviations from expectations iv. Step 7: Revise the forecast when necessary

Forecasting Defined
Steps in Developing a Forecast A trend forecast should identify:
The source Underlying pattern Direction Tempo of the trend

Forecasting Defined
Steps in Developing a Forecast The most valuable currencies in todays competitive climate are information and learning. Information is easy to find but difficult to sift, frame, and integrate so that learning can take place.

Forecasting Defined
Steps in Developing a Forecast Forecasting is the process that translates information into a form that allows learning to take place.

Forecasting Specialities
Forecasting is more than just attending runway shows and picking out potential trends that can be knocked off at lower prices. It is a process that spans shifts in colour and styles, changes in lifestyles and buying patterns and different ways of doing business.

Forecasting Specialties
There is a process of negotiation between the fashion industry and the consumer and between the various segments in the supplyside chain.

Forecasting Specialties
Beware of tunnel vision: which reduces the flexibility that is so essential for decision making under conditions of high velocity change.

Forecasting Specialties
All apparel executives share the same problem:
how to make the right product, introduce it at the right time, distribute it at the right channels, and capture the attention of the right consumers.

Forecasting Specialties
When specialist talk to each other or talk to others in technical jargon, then the chance to collaborate on solutions is squandered.

Forecasting Specialties
Long term forecasting (5 years or more)
Provides a way to explore possible futures and to build a shared vision of an organizations direction and development. A compelling vision draws people toward a preferred future.

Forecasting Specialties
Short term forecasting (more than one year ahead) Involves periodic monitoring of the long term vision and revisions as circumstances dictate.

Forecasting Specialties
Forecasting keeps the momentum going because it forces a perspective of the future on the day to day business decisions. Decisions are supported by past experience fashion history, sales history and traditional ways of doing business.

Forecasting Specialties
Environmental scanning opens that window on the future. Executives gather useful external information when they
scan a daily newspaper, watch TV news, listen to the radio while commuting to work, and chat with people at a dinner party.

Forecasting Specialties
Future Probes Forecasts

Fashion Scan

Fashion Analysis

Consumer Scan Cultural Indicators

Trend Analysis

Combined Forecast

Partners & Competitors

Competitive Analysis

Present

Future

Fashion Forecasting requires a balanced view that seeks out the newest styles breaking on the cultural edge (Fashion Scan) and the reality of changing demographics, identifies the fad and the long wave of change.

Forecasting Specialities
Fashion Scan Fashion professionals follow latest fashion news in order to spot Emerging fashion trends Emerging lifestyle trends

Forecasting Specialities
Fashion Scan Specialists (whether forecasters or apparel executives) focus on: Colour Textiles Style forecasting Each of which works on its own schedule, internal logic and insider expertise.

Forecasting Specialities
Fashion Scan
Environment trend scans include:
Travelling to fashion capitals and to other trendsetting spots to observe first hand Scanning print, broadcast and online sources for clues Networking with people in creative fields such as arts, architecture, interior design, cosmetics and entertainment.

Forecasting Specialities
Consumer Scan
Consumer segmentation
Identify clusters of people who share characteristics also exhibit similar consumption behaviours. Cluster usually share some combination of demographics, lifestyles, attitudes and behaviour.

Forecasting Specialities
Consumer Scan
Consumer research
Various data gathering methods (focus groups, surveys, observation etc.) used to uncover/ explore consumer preferences and behaviour.

Consumer Scan
By linking subsegments with

Forecasting Specialities

price points brands, Shopping behaviour Style preferences Executives can determine which consumers are likely to respond to the companys offerings i.e. the Target Market

Forecasting Specialities
Consumer Scan Consumer research is crucial to fashion forecasting. While POS data tells what sold, when and at what price; it cannot explain for example: Why purchase was made Why consumers needs, wants and desires went unmet by the available assortment

Forecasting Specialities
Consumer Scan Insights provided by research aids in the development of short-term forecasts that guide Product development Merchandising Marketing Promotion

Fashion Analysis Fashion and Consumer Scans provide input for Fashion Analysis the process of putting together the puzzle of what is likely to happen next. Fashion is really a dialogue between the creative industries (fashion, interior design, art, entertainment) who propose innovations and the consumers, who decide what to adopt or reject.

Forecasting Specialities

Forecasting Specialities
Social and Economic Trends
The shift to a casual lifestyle and a consumer resistant to following trends are manifestations of deep cultural changes in society. Fashion forecasting requires a wide scan to encompass the impact of the following issues on consumer preferences and spending
Cultural Economic Technological Political

Forecasting Specialities
Social and Economic Trends
Some forecasters/ firms focus especially on largescale shifts in cultural indicators (aka Megatrends) Megatrends cross industry lines because they:
involve shifts in lifestyles, Reflect changes in generational cohorts Mirror cycles in the economy

Forecasting Specialities
Trend Analysis
Using fashion and consumer scans, along with the identification of social and economic trends, Trend Analysis detects short and long-term trends that affect business prospects. Trend analysis looks at the interaction of shifts in fashion, consumer lifestyles and culture.

Forecasting Specialities
Trend Analysis
Trends start as experimentation, self-expression and reactions to changing circumstances. Many vanish almost as soon as they are created but some gain adherents and build momentum.

Forecasting Specialities
Trend Analysis
When they are recognized by the gatekeepers of fashion (designers, journalists, merchants, forecasters) the trends start to appear in media coverage.

Forecasting Specialities
Competitive Analysis
To be competitive in such a business environment, companies must observe the plans and capabilities of competing firms through the regular tracking of key information. This allows a company to benchmark its activities and develop what if scenarios based on current information about competitor initiatives.

Competitive Analysis

Forecasting Specialities

Information very useful for new businesses especially in the start up stage and helps established businesses scout new markets

Forecasting Specialities
Competitive Analysis
It has to be a continuous, long term project using research and analysis strategies similar to those used in other types of forecasting.

Discovering the Zeitgeist


Fashion historians contend that fashion is a reflection of the times in which it is created and worn. Fashion responds to whatever is modern that is, to the spirit of the times or the Zeitgeist.

Discovering the Zeitgeist


According to Blumer (1969) individuals in large numbers choose among competing styles, those that click or connect with the spirit of the times.

Discovering the Zeitgeist


This collective selection forms a feedback loop between the fashion industry and the consumer, a feedback loop moderated by aesthetic trends and socio-psychological processes.

Discovering the Zeitgeist


The problem with this concept in terms of forecasting is that it offers little advance warning of potential fashionability in proposed looks. The industry must wait until fashion demand converges on something symbolic of the times.

Discovering the Zeitgeist


All cultural components respond to the spirit of the times. The power of the Zeitgeist is its ability to coordinate across product categories.

Discovering the Zeitgeist


E.G. - Fashion and cuisine exhibit the same trends and cycles.
Once all fashionable sandwiches were served on pita bread, followed by croissants, then multi grain peasant-style bread, then wraps.

Discovering the Zeitgeist


Fashion affects all product categories food, sports, architecture, interiors and automobiles Sports like bicycle racing and snowboarding were once the hobby of a small market segment. Today they are covered on TV sports channels and the functional clothing of participants has been adopted to mass fashion.

Media not only report on the culture, they are shaped by it. Watching network tv for example was all important until the coming of cable, startup networks, the Web, video games, and computer games pushed the networks off the cultural front burner.

Discovering the Zeitgeist

Discovering the Zeitgeist


Magazines that report on fashion are like any other product; they have natural life cycles connected to the spirit of the times.
They reinvent or refresh their look and their focus in response to the spirit of the times (usually by changing editors. New editors replace old ones because they have a vision, one that is in touch with the times and they can shape the magazine to reflect that.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


In simplest terms, fashion is a style that is popular in the present or a set of trends that have been accepted by a wide audience.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as a Social and Psychological Response
Defining fashion means dealing with dualities because clothing simultaneously reveals and conceals the body and the self.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as a Social and Psychological Response
Clothing choices express personal style and individuality but also serve to manipulate the public image to fit situations and expectations of others.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as a Social and Psychological Response
The engine of fashion is sparked by the dual goals of:
Imitation and differentiation Fitting in and standing out Following the leader and being distinctive

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as a Social and Psychological Response
Human ambivalence conflicting and contradictory yearnings finds an outlet in a capitalist marketplace as appearancemodifying goods.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as a Social and Psychological Response Duality exists even in the buying of fashion because the process is both cognitively challenging (as when ppl evaluate price and value) and emotionally arousing (as when ppl react positively or negatively to the symbolic meaning in the products)

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as Popular Culture
Defining fashion means operating within the domain of popular culture. Unlike high culture (fine art, classical music, great literature), popular culture often seems trivial and transient.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as Popular Culture
Popular culture invites skepticism because it sometimes seems extreme and frivalous. For the same reasons it is difficult to take fashion seriously.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as Popular Culture
The study of popular culture the content and people relationship to that content has attracted the attention of scientists and scholars (anthropologists, psychologists and sociologists).

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as Change
Defining fashion as change captures the charm of novelty, the responsiveness to the spirit of the times, and the pull of historic continuity.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as Change
It is present in
the design of automobiles and architecture, the shifting popularity of cuisine, the development of technology and the buzz words of business management strategies.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as Change
Every few years a new management strategy is touted as a breakthrough, only to be replaced by another one a few years later. Understanding fashion helps explain how these transformations happen.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as Universal Phenomenon
The excitement of fashion can apply to any area of life. In the 1630s the tulip, an exotic import from central Asia, became the focus of desire. Wild speculation among the normally sober Dutch people drove the price up until a single rare bulb cost as much as a house.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as a Transfer of Meaning
Meaning exists in the cultural environment. Designers, marketers and the press transfer the meaning to a consumer good and increase its visibility. The consumer fetches the meaning out of the marketplace in the forms of good and constructs his/ her own personal world.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as a Transfer of Meaning
Not all goods catch the attention of or find favor with consumers. Some meaning meanings are rejected initially and are taken up later.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as a Transfer of Meaning
Some meanings are recycled over and over. Obsolescence is designed into the process. Fashion in its many guises plays a constant role in the evolving cultural environment.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as an Economic Stimulus Planned obsolescence powers the economic engine of fashion. Wearing clothes until they wear out or wearing the second hand clothes of more fickle buyers are acceptable strategies for dressing.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion as an Economic Stimulus Creating fashion goods requires the ability to mix aesthetic concerns and market mindfulness For instance, mass produced fashion is the product of negotiation within and between the sub-worlds that make up the fashion industry

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion and Gender Differences
Men traditionally rejected the social distinctiveness of dress in favour of occupational clothing with similarity in cut, proportion and design. Women in a relative weaker social position than men, used fashion as a field where they could vent their individual prominence and personal conspicuousness

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion and Gender Differences
By the 1930s, fashion commentators were seeing a change the breakdown of social hierarchies- and the ever increasing socialization of women.

Discovering the Zeitgeist Defining Fashion


Fashion and Gender Differences
Perhaps the years of the new millennium will see the reconciliation between the sexes on the question of fashion with men having more access to colour, ornament, and self expression and women having less reliance on extraneous accessories, painful footwear and constricting styles.

What factors should the forecaster monitor? What external factors shape the spirit of the times? Nystrom (1928) attempted to list factors that guide and influence the character and direction of fashion.

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


Dominating Events
Nystrom listed 3 kinds of dominating events
i. Significant occurrences war, death of world leaders, world fairs. ii. Art vogues Russian ballet, modern art (of Nystroms day) iii. Accidental events discovery of Tutankhamuns tomb in the 1920s.

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


Dominating Events
International events still pull in huge audiences, one such even is the academy awards ceremony, with its celebrity fashion parade. Olympic games active wear for athletes and casual wear for the mainstream consumer.

An updated list of significant occurances include:


End of Cold War (1990s) Web culture 9/11 The millenium US military action in middle east Economic downturn in the US

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


Dominating Ideals
Ideals such as patriotism and the greek ideal of classical beauty

Dominating Ideals

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


An updated list would include
Ideals of multiculturalism Environmental and humanitarian issues Equality of men and women Connection between fitness, beauty, and youthfulness

E.g. growing multiculturalism in the US - increase in Hispanics and Asians

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


Dominating Social Groups
Nystrom identified the dominating social groups as those with
wealth, power, and leadership positions.

Groups themselves would have changed, the criteria still applied to todays culture.

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


Dominating Social Groups
The power of celebrities in popularizing fashion trends can hardly be over emphasized. E.g.
Cindy Lauper (80s) whimsical, colourful, vintage style Madonna (80s/90s) lingerie as outerwear Courtney Love (90s) hardedge glam

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


Dominating Social Groups
Stars in music more influential on younger consumers while actors have more influence on older consumers. Celebs Highly visual and highly influential

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


Dominating Attitude
The engine of fashion the interplay between an individuals desire to fit in and to stand out, between imitation and differentiation imprints the Zeitgeist.

Dominating Attitude

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


When the desire for differentiation is the dominant attitude in an era, new fashion arise, the changes are revolutionary and the pace of fashion change is swift. The flapper era (1920s) and Youthquake (1960s) are examples of an era when the dominant attitude was differentiation.

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


Dominating Attitude
When social conformity and imitation is the dominant attitude, fashion innovation slows down. The depressed 1930s, conforming 1950s, and dominance of casual styles beginning in the 1990s are such eras.

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


Dominating Technology
Nystroms list must be expanded to include the dominating technology of the times. Today, technology is deeply intertwined in everyday life, especially in the realms of communication, entertainment and computers.

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


Dominating Technology
Cell phones, portable music systems, and hand held computers such as personal digital assistants (PDA) may eventually give away to wearable computers a development already being studied at MIT media lab.

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


Dominating Technology
Wearable technology sometimes called cyber-style or cyberpunk may become the essential fashion accessory in the new millennium.

Dominating Technology

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


Technology imprints not only the Zeitgeist but also the production methods. Without computers and rapid worldwide communications, quick response strategies and global apparel production would not be possible.

Nystroms Framework for Observing the Zeitgeist


Conclusion Together, the dominating events, ideals, social groups, attitudes, and technology amplify and influence the spirit of the times. Together they illuminate the structure of society with fashion illustrating variations on the cultural themes.