6 tools that help you predict fashion trends

Milan Woman Fashion Week Spring Summer 2016 Gucci

Ever wish you could to stay on top of fashion trends with less reading and less stress?

Trend forecasting is so important. In fact, it is a legit career. Knowing what’s in and what’s out is a crucial factor for a thriving fashion label. Identifying and predicting styles are some of the key components why larger retailers like Forever 21 and H&M are so successful.

Forever 21 for example, have their own trend departments where they monitor the upcoming styles, fabrics, and colours for the upcoming seasons as their inspiration for their new collections.

High-end retailers also use trend forecasting to help them set the best pricing and markdown strategies, and as basis to predict right mix of products, colours, and sizes for every location.

So, if you are wondering how the big brands can pull off four to six seasonal collections every single year, it is because they are always on top of the fashion trends and they use their findings to their advantage.

For budding fashion businesses, it’s no different.

If you want your brand to resonate with your fashion conscious customers, you should find ways to anticipate the whims of fashion. And to help you with that, here are trend forecasting tools so you can be your own product developer.

6 tools that can help you predict fashion trends

Collezioni magazines

Collezioni are in institution in themselves. They’re not cheap but you get so much amazing info in these magazines. There is a magazine for ready to wear, couture, accessories, kids, bridal – you name it, they have it.

I remember working for other designers and seeing these books come in every season, then drooling over them for hours on end. If you only do 1 thing on this list, make sure you buy Collezioni!

Milan Woman Fashion Week Spring Summer 2016 Gucci
Milan Woman Fashion Week Spring Summer 2016 Gucci. Image via Collezioni.info

Trend forecasting websites

There are websites that connect designers to free preview of trends for fashion, colour, prints, and textiles. When you sign up for these websites, you get access to their free reports, webinars, and member-exclusive content. The most popular ones are WGSN, Trendstop, and Pattern Bank. These websites also offer paid consultancy but that’s totally up to you if you would opt for their service.



From power editors, to super stylists, to fashion-forward bloggers, to street photographers, and models off-duty, there is no better place to stalk influencers in the fashion world than social media.

Fashion forecasting today requires looking at social communities. Trend forecasting is basically hunting for a ‘flurry’ of a certain style and with Instagram you can monitor sudden bursts in particular clothing styles by following the key influencers in your fashion niche and see if there’s a particular style or design that keeps popping up.

Google’s annual trends report

The biggest search engine in the world makes it easy for you to identify what people will be wearing every year. Google’s annual trends report for shopping and fashion is built to help you predict what products will be flying off the shelves by analysing accumulated search data.

The pioneer report that came out this year analysed data from six million search queries from January 2012 to February 2015. Certain fashion fads like peplum dresses, normcore, and corset dresses were observed to decline.

On the flip side, there has been a noticeable spike in searches for Tulle skirts, jogger pants, midi skirts, palazzo pants, and waist trainers.

For a more proactive research, if you want to find current trends using the internet with for a specific apparel category, Google Trends is the best tool to start your research. All you need to do is brainstorm a list of product keywords and check each keyword for search volumes. You can also narrow your results with filters such as mobile/web search, location, time frame, and categories.


In 2012, there was a commotion among heavy pinners over at Pinterest on a particular clothing style. Endless boards devoted to ‘color blocking’ hinted the popularisation for the colour blocking trend, which has been substantiated by Google’s search term volumes on the specific term “colorblock dress” that showed a minor peak in September 2011.

Pantone’s fashion colour report

The colour bible, as many fashion forecasters call it, Pantone releases a Fashion Colour Report for every season. Pantone creates a master list of top colours that gives designers ideas what shades and hues the season is moving towards to and these colours almost always tend to dominate runways and ecommerce sites shortly after the report is published. You can download the report for free at Pantone’s website.

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