Heading up Accessories Directions Trend Forecasting Service is Jayne Mountford, a trend analyst veteran and industry insider. Mountford joined the Accessories Magazine and Directions team a few months ago and already has put her stamp on our properties. Here, she gives us a peek into her process and insights. (To hear her fabulous English accent, however, you’ll have to sign up for her webinars!)
How did you get into trend forecasting?
You’ll find that many forecasters fell serendipitously into the industry—particularly because until recently there were no bona fide university courses—and I’m no exception. I grew up in the UK and always loved fashion but my degree was in social anthropology. But with trend forecasting, I soon realized I could utilize what I had learned about “tribes” to analyze consumer groups! I’ve worked in-house at trend agencies as well as in a department store fashion office and lots of consulting for apparel and accessory companies, so I’ve seen how the industry works from both sides.
Has the trend forecasting industry changed a lot since you got into this field?
Not really. But what has changed is the way the industry markets itself. It used to be very secretive, I think because designers and department stores didn’t like consumers knowing they employed outside sources to determine their fashion direction. That’s starting to change and some trend forecasters are becoming celebrities in their own right.
How have your experiences made you a unique expert in trend forecasting?
I think my social science background makes me more analytical than most. My definition of trend forecasting might be broader, as is my idea of fashion. These days I believe that our phone, tablet, etc. is part of our personal style and therefore as important a part of fashion as our clothes and accessories.
What would you say your specialty is?
Color! I have long been fascinated by color, perhaps because I have always loved art and photography. It is such an important part of the design process and once I understood that color trends could be traced just like any other, I was hooked. I love to determine how megatrends will affect the colors people will want to buy!
What’s your favorite color?
Oh, it changes all the time! But I tend to think in terms of palettes instead of one single color. Currently I like skin tones mixed with plum, hot pink and lemon. Look out for out Modern Couture palette for Fall/Winter ’14.
Who are some of your favorite apparel designers that utilize accessories in creative ways on the runways?
I tend to look for trends rather than specific designers when I watch the runway shows but I must say that I’m impressed by Proenza Schouler and what they’ve achieved in terms of a total look.
Does trend forecasting still come straight off the runways, or has it shifted to now include larger societal or design trends?
True trend forecasting starts with an analysis of the societal megatrends, politics, economics, art and culture, global events, even the weather! They all play their part in determining the colors, materials and shapes consumers will find desirable in a year or two years time. Some industries such as active footwear develop product too far out to consider the runway much at all.
You’re a New Yorker from England. What are some of your favorite inspirations spots in New York and London?
The Tate Modern in London and The Metropolitan Museum here, I’m a frequent visitor of course. The incredible skyline that both cities have inspires me. I love to find the places where nature and the urban landscape collide. The Highline in New York is a unique spot and walking along the south bank in London gives me the same sense of joy.
Without giving away the trends, I will say that it offers everything you need to know to plan a diverse spring/summer assortment. We give you the 5 Big Trends, the seasonal must-haves and the micro trends across all classifications of accessories, including handbags, footwear, jewelry, headwear and scarves.
for more information on Accessories Directions Trend Forecasting service, go to www.accessoriesdirections.com