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Fashion 101: Where Do Fashion Trends Come From?

Fashion 101: Where Do Fashion Trends Come From?

By Alexandra SUHNER ISENBERG Editor-at-Large

Fashion 101: Where Do Fashion Trends Come From?
A Spring Summer 2010 trend feature from online retailer

I'd like to do a Fashion 101 post about fashion trends and forecasting, since it is an area that I work in, and find quite fascinating.

In fact, I am going to write two posts on fashion trends, the first one will focus on how trends come about, and the second one about how magazines present trends. I feel bad for being so mean to the magazines, and revealing their dirty tricks, but in this day of absolute transparency (thanks to the internet), I think its only fair that the readers know how things work. But first, let's talk about where fashion trends come from.

One of the questions I often get asked is "Why do designers have the same ideas at the same time?" and by answering this, I am sort of answering the question "Where do trends come from?"

Designers don't all have the same ideas at the same time, as we saw on the Fall Winter 2010 catwalks, not everyone was doing the same thing. But there were certainly a few things that repeated: there were a lot more curvy, feminine silhouettes, lots of designers were reviving 90's minimalism, and there was a lot of sheepskin. So how does this happen? Do they all have a chat and decide what they are going to do? No, in fact its the opposite, designers are very secretive about what they do, until after their catwalk show. They have the same ideas at the same time because they are exposed to similar influences and they are looking for inspiration at the same time.

The fashion industry is small, and whether you are living in Paris, London, or New York, you are going to be exposed to similar inspirational influences as other designers. Firstly, everyone starts their research process after the shows, so in March while most of us were digesting the Fall Winter shows and wondering what we were going to buy come September when the collections were arriving in store, designers are off researching their Spring Summer 2011 more





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