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Types of forecasters

You will be introduced to the world of trend forecasters, from those in color and textile forecasting to those in theme, style, and detail.

In this course, you will be introduced to the world of trend forecasters, from those in color and textile forecasting to those in theme, style, and detail forecasting.

In general, there are four primary types of trend forecasting firms: fiber and textiles, color, consumer population, and broad spectrum.

First, there is the forecaster who works for a fiber house, or fabric or textile house, a company that represents a fiber source or a fabric. Examples include Cotton Incorporated and the Mohair Council of America.

Second, there is the forecaster who specializes in color trends and is employed by a firm such as Color Association U.S. This forecaster provides information on color preferences and palettes for a wide variety of clients, from automobile manufacturers to flooring producers to apparel designers.

Next, there is the forecaster who projects population trends and explores the social, economic, geographic, and technological changes in the world, as well as shifts in the population. The population trend forecaster tracks a population’s age shifts, residential and geographic preferences, changes in family sizes and structures, entertainment preferences, spending patterns, influences by celebrities, films, and art, as well as other people-related topics, such as values and beliefs.

Finally, there is the forecaster who is employed by a broad-spectrum firm, a company that provides forecasting services for a wide range of target markets and product categories or industries. The clients of broad-spectrum firms represent a variety of product categories, as illustrated by the following list of Li Edelkoort’s clientele:

  • the paper industry
  • automobile manufacturers
  • the food and drink industry
  • beauty products
  • high-tech firms from telecommunications to electronic devices.

Companies like Trend Union, The Doneger Group, and Promostyl provide information on all of the trend areas for many target markets and product categories, including color, fabrications, silhouettes, fashion influences, design themes, and population trends.

In essence, they offer a one-stop trend forecasting and strategic planning service.

Depending on the market sector in which trend forecasters specialize, will determine where they go for information. There are various sources of information that you will explore in this course.

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Careers in Fashion: Trend Forecasting and Textile Design

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