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The dynamics of fashion trend forecasting

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The dynamics of fashion trend forecasting

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QUOTE 1 “Fashion trend forecasting is part of ‘Futures Studies’, which is still a vague area of expertise since its practices and approaches have not yet been defined clearly.” QUOTE 2 “We can imagine the complexities that come into play when analyzing intuition and the role it may play in trend forecasting, since intuition is a force in itself that is influenced by multiple factors. […] this report focuses on the distinction and dynamics between traditional trend forecasting (in which intuition is involved) and scientific data-based forecasting. Next to that, it zooms in on the use of trend forecasting (either traditional or data-based) and the use of ‘free creativity’ by fashion companies. With the purpose of shedding light on these matters, the connection between the unquantifiable and the quantifiable is discussed.” QUOTE 3 “For this research, the area of ‘forecasting agencies’ […] has been divided into traditional trend forecasting and Fashion Analytics. The former, on its turn, consists of qualitative market research forecasting and visionary based forecasting.” MAIN RESEARCH QUESTION To what extent is trend forecasting actually ‘forecasting’ and to what extent is it ‘determining what we will wear’? What are the dynamics between the consumer, forecasting agency and the fashion company in terms of determining the eventual fashion trend? SUB QUESTIONS 1. What is the role of intuition in trend forecasting nowadays; what is the role of big data; and what is the relation between the two? 2. What type of trend forecasting do fashion companies make use of; to what extent do they follow the advice of trend forecasters; and to what extent do they use their own ‘free creativity’? 3. What is the role of the consumer in the creation and dissemination of fashion ‘trends’? 4. How do consumers, forecasting agencies and fashion companies influence each other in the process of trend forecasting? ARTICLE ABSTRACT Fashion trend forecasting is a dynamic process in which consumers, fashion companies and forecasting agencies play a crucial role. Specific dynamics between these agents make clear that on the one hand intuition will never cease to be a part of trend forecasting, and on the other hand that data analytics is increasing in popularity. The conceptual pair of the smooth and the striated as coined by philosopher Gilles Deleuze clarifies intuition in relation to the unquantifiable and data in relation to the quantifiable. Both intuition and data, however, have their limitations and implications. A Deleuzian approach is applied to discuss the possible consequences of relying on either intuition or big data in fashion trend forecasting. The trend forecasting cycle is part of a creative practice yet, paradoxically, its process is self-fulfilling and causes a uniformity of trends. It is argued that the fashion industry is in need of an alternative approach with regard to ‘fashion trend forecasting’ since the current practice limits creativity and artistic freedom. In addition, ‘forecasting’ is an unjust term, as the future is unpredictable. Ultimately, Deleuze’s notions of the virtual and actual help to understand the impossibility of ‘forecasting the fashion future’.

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OrganisatieHogeschool van Amsterdam
InstituutMedia, Creatie en Informatie
Gepubliceerd in
Jaar2016
TypeBachelorscriptie
TaalEngels

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