Before coming to LIM College, I had some idea about the many occupations and businesses related to the fashion industry. Fashion forecasting captured my heart when Sharon Graubard, who was then the Vice President and Creative Director of ESP Trendlab, came to speak to my Fashion Survey class. Her forecasting work sounded so cool and interesting that I decided to do research to get an even clearer picture of her occupation.
Forecasting is a crucial early step in product development necessary to bring any product line to market. Analysis for forecasting trends can take place one, two, or even ten years in advance of the launch of a product. Fashion companies generally pay outside forecasters a fee for providing trend information. The data can be based on many factors: past trends, changes in society, current trends in fine art or design, the intuition of the forecaster, and often on elaborate multiple-method survey and customer research.
I was fortunate enough to work for ESP Trendlab for my Work Project II, and was able to choose runway photos for the trend book, select color palettes, and come up with names for the colors. As well as gaining experience on the aesthetic side, I was able to attend sales calls and learn how ESP Trendlab sells its services to other companies.
Every company that I spoke with at the job-fair provided by LIM College for Senior Co-Op students was impressed that I had worked for a trend-forecasting company. That suggests that whatever one’s major or ambition in the industry, a background in trend forecasting can open doors.
-- Cassandra Haas
Two popular general-interest sites for an overview of forecasting: