POW-v-HYGGE  Influences of the outside world

Released On 18th Nov 2016

Being a designer/manufacturer isn’t just about making the things you like and then hoping to find a customer to buy them.  It is much more about deciphering what the world wants to buy (whether they know it or not) producing it and marketing it in an attractive and affordable way.

Trying to see and define these new directions and trends is a very exciting but challenging job, nowadays there are so many influences that cutting thru to find out which ones are relevant to your product and (more importantly) your customer is very tricky, 

Working out which ethos’s, trends, and colours are going to stick, at least for a while, is the big question– we manufacturers all want to know what the next big thing will be.

Much of design is about evolution, nowadays very few people have the money or indeed the time or appetite to completely make over their wardrobes, their homes, or their lifestyle so what designers and manufacturers have to offer are things that take the customer forward painlessly.
 
We have to add something new, reflect the customers evolving tastes and aspirations, add value but also fit in to their present day collections, but not fit in and disappear, we must  Fit in and stand out – that’s not always easy. 

It is not easy because all of the best laid plans of mice and men can get altered overnight.

Without getting too political, I feel the events of the American election and possibly now Brexit allied to that, will influence how the needs and preferences of the Western consumer will evolve in the short and possibly even medium term.

Within the forecasting world, that is trends not pollsters – (let’s hope we are better than the pollsters) there were several areas where the fashion and lifestyle world was heading.

During 2016 the fashion and lifestyle gurus had identified these categories for 2017:-
  • Purity, Honesty, Eco Friendly, Wellness  
  • Traditional values -embroidery, hand crafting, tie dyeing etc
  • Vagueness – soft, layered, monastic, water colour
  • A Utopian society - modernist, plastics, padding, rubber, tech inclusive
  • Singularity – Brave New World – Punkish, ironic, disorientating 
  • POW – Cartoons, emoji’s – black edged.

I think the obvious clash of these projected trends is very prophetic at the moment. 

The question for me is how I move the OB collection forward to make a marriage of these influences - interesting isn’t it ? Obviously, via seminars, trade shows and trend forums I have much more information to guide me than just the headings – but rest assured that doesn’t make it any easier.

From a personal preference the present Hygge/Scandi is very much where I want to be at the moment, surrounded by sheepskin, stars, scrubbed wood, candles, throws seems a very comfortable and relaxed place.

But from a business perspective I have to crawl out from under my toscana wrap and throw aside my sheepskin hot water bottle cover and look to the Spring /Summer of 2017 now that the ground has moved.

Arghhhh – I don’t want to  - please let me stay just here !!!