January 30, 2013

Fresh Off The Press! AATCC Review

We're off to a great start in 2013! Not only did we just officially launch in China but we were also interviewed for an article in the January-February 2013 AATCC Review on Fashion Color Trend Forecasting.

photo via AATCC

If you remember the AATCC featured us back in September as the blog of the month so we are super excited to be included in one of this year's publications! 

The image above is a sneak peek into something we designed for the writeup! To read the full article please click here and please give it a second to load! Enjoy!

January 24, 2013

NY Tradeshow Roundup Spring/Summer 2014

Trade show season is officially upon us and with five shows going on here in New York as well as the Bread & Butter in Berlin last week...can we say things got a bit hectic? This was the first season PVNY and BBB fell during the same week causing many to choose between the two major shows.

Texworld was our first stop of the week. Since we attended on the first day (with no other shows overlapping), it wasn't super busy so it was a great way to ease into the spring mindset. Pink tones were predominant from blush to hot pink and even purple shades. Americana influences shined through in both light blues and fire reds as well as in star and stripe prints. Laser cuts were something we saw a lot of but weren't really predominant at any of the other shows we attended. We loved the selection at Universal Textile Mills, an Indian based mill that featured a fresh array of Indian inspired prints and tropical florals. Overall, it was a bit shocking to see so many sequin fabrics and flapper elements lingering from a few seasons ago...so keep your eyes peeled to see how this translates down to the market for next spring!

photo via Deveaux

We're lucky enough to see the first of the PV shows here in NY and while not all the collections were complete, there were definitely some major key trends to note. We were happy to see the first day of the show was bustling with more industry professionals and fabric suppliers than ever. Featured at the Trend Forum was everything from textured jacquards to ombres and blurred effects, indigo blues, spring crepes, sheens, waxed fabrics and of course a plentitude of transparency. On the print front, we were surprised to see such an abundance of African and tribal influences but we loved the updated plaids on sheer fabrications like at Deveaux. Despite it being a little crazed, it seemed to be good for PV to push back a week when all the other shows were happening around town.

photo via Newlife™

One of the main highlights of our week and their second time showing at PV was Newlife™. If you remember, Newlife™ is a collection of high quality polyester yarns made from recycled plastic bottles via a completely non-chemical process. This time around not only has their eco-innovation library grown to include both new collections and applications, but they also introduced Newlife™ light, a cutting-edge ultra fine fibre as well as made their debut into the corporate wear market. In 2012, such big names as Armani, Valentino and Peter Langner have all used Newlife™ in their designs so without a doubt we'll be watching to see what this brand develops next!

While at PV, we of course had to stroll through Indigo NY to get our print on! While downstairs it was all about African inspired prints, we were super happy to see beading influences from India take surface. Again, we saw plenty of digital printing as well as Asian inspired watercolors and geometrics mostly in bright colors. We spent a lot of our time at Catherine B Designs who exhibited immaculate beaded designs as well as pretty much any type of print you could imagine, from tribal to geometrics to florals, animal, etc.

Last, but certainly not least, we stopped by The Kingpins Show to check out the latest denim and casual wear innovations hitting the market for next spring. As usual, it was a very relaxed environment to network, discuss industry related topics and trend spot. Here we saw tons of faded flower and rose prints, plastic-like coatings, recycled pieced together styles and metallic painted denim like at Artistic Denim Mills. ADM is definitely a leader in the industry and is now using promodal, a new tencel and modal fiber combo developed by Lenzing which counteracts stiffness. Not to mention, lightweight boyfriend denim was the highlight in women's wear and the distressed and paint infused "Artist Look" at Kaltex made a major splash onto the scene. This show was definitely another high point to our trade show circuit and exhibited the most cutting-edge innovations in the market so if you haven't been yet, do make an effort to attend next season!

photo via Kaltex

Overall, as we've predicted, while bright colors are still predominant, we are definitely beginning to see a strong shift towards neutrals like black, white and nude tones. This remains true for everything except the denim market which is expected to have a 50-50 split between color and blue hues for spring 2014. Digital prints are thriving but tribal, animal prints, stripes and roses continue to linger from seasons passed. We begin to see a shift towards the mixing of different patterns and a combination of sheers with plaids, which reflects updated 90's grunge influences from the runway. All in all, our hopes are high for next spring and as always we will continue to keep you updated on what's to come!

January 22, 2013

MBF Goes To China!

We talk about the importance of social media and emerging markets all the time, so today, we would like to announce our official launch in China! 

Through Weibo, a Chinese microblog, we can now post our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and mbf TrendTalk blog all on one platform to the growing number of internet users in China. We also have a Youku account, which is the Chinese version of youtube!

Also, make sure to  us on Facebook to keep up with the latest happenings both in the office and in the market!

January 17, 2013

New Demands

December 21st marked a global shift in consciousness and the beginning of a new era. This combined with the start of a fresh year calls for us to re-evaluate our lives, relationships with others and how we treat the world around us. We talk about this “shift” all the time and it’s here, as we establish a new set of demands. Our core values and beliefs are changing from young to old, east to west, as we begin to embrace lives full of meaning, passion and new experiences.

photo via NY Times

For some, this change starts at dinner as we bring manners back to the table. Chenery Park, a restaurant in San Francisco, hosts Tuesday "family nights" where children are expected to behave and practice basic etiquette. This restaurant is one of many etiquette based businesses who are trying to preserve and pass down the art of politeness to future generations who are too busy living in today's techno-crazed age. Even China is seeing a surge of interest in learning western etiquette in an effort to politely engage universally across many cultures.

photo via ft.com

Speaking of China, as double digit wage increases continue, many companies are shifting production out of the country to cheaper places like Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia and especially Cambodia, where productivity rates are rapidly improving. Look at Taiwan, who has built an entire high-tech fabric niche on behalf of companies exiting mainland China because of its terrible quality control measures. However, things seem to be finally getting better in China for employees as some plants begin to thoroughly re-evaluate workers' rights by regulating hours and upgrading their comfort standards by offering them chairs with more support.

photo via ft.com

Meanwhile, retailers push the limits ever so slightly as they test out high speed deliveries like Walmart, with its same day delivery service during the holidays. This initiative has developed as a response to companies who are entirely based online, like Amazon and Ebay's ability to speed up delivery times because of their more flexible business models. While the actual logistics of how many consumers prefer this method and how much costly it actually is remains under consideration, one thing is for sure, brick and mortar stores will not be able to compete with this pursuit for immediacy by e-commerce retailers.

photo via Chicago Tribune

We've discussed the importance of the "Made In America" initiative before on our blog and now it's really about to catch on as the largest retailer in the US, Walmart, seeks a more local approach to the way they do business. The retailer's plans include both buying an additional $50 billion in U.S. made goods over the next decade as well as hiring over 100,000 veterans over the next five years. Whether this is a response to their supposed low wages or merely a shift in business models, it is a monumental move that will hopefully unfold further for other retailers in the near future.

video via ecouterre.com

After major pressure from Greenpeace campaigns, Inditex, the parent company of Zara has pledged to eliminate all toxic and hormone disrupting chemicals from their supply chain by 2020. Other major commitments by Adidas, C&A, H&M, LI-Ning, Nike, Puma and Marks & Spencer are marking the beginning of healthier, cleaner and more transparent supply chains industry-wide. These instances reflect the changing demands of both the consumer and market to re-evaluate how we do things and figure out a more sustainable solution for this planet and its inhabitants.

photo via ft.com

No generation is more dedicated to a healthier lifestyle than Generation Y and the automotive industry is feeling the hit from it. Especially in more urbanized communities like Williamsburg, Brooklyn, there is a decline in car usage because for many young people, the car no longer serves as a status symbol. Instead, over the past few years, biking has made a major comeback to not only represent our lifestyle choices but a more cost conscious alternative to rising gas and insurance prices. Just as more innovative technology has reinvented the fashion world, car companies are going to have to develop new features that appeal to Millennials in order to win over this market.

video via ecouterre.com

In the past, all theses changing needs may have triggered major stress but not anymore. Bandu, a wristwatch that monitors stress levels before you even realize you are getting worked up, offers calming alternatives like listening to music, calling a friend or simply taking a few breaths to help you deal. This is one of many gadgets out there that focuses on our well being and making our lives a little bit simpler. Other forward thinking concepts on the rise include online banking start-ups like Simple, which offer free checking and a data heavy way to observe your spending habits and Polaroid who has experimented with retail locations so consumers can turn their mobile photos (which typically remain in digital format), into real-life keepsakes. 

Our demands are changing and our attitudes shifting. We are at a point where we are re-evaluating how we do everything to make it better, faster and more convenient. However, it's a learning process and a balance between more traditional aspects and advancing technology still exists and it probably will forever. We need to evolve but still remember who we are and where we come from. So take a leap forward, make a difference by doing something nice for someone today and remember to stand by what you believe in. 

January 8, 2013

What to Watch in 2013

Last year all eyes were on Lana Del Rey's ad campaigns, Psy's hit "Gangnam Style," and Raf Simons debut at Dior. The Rolling Stones were the comeback of 2012 and now Fleetwood Mac will resurface onto the music scene this April with their 34-city tour. On the television front, Lena Dunham's hit show of 2012 "Girls" will return this weekend for a second season of Millennial woes. Etsy CEO, Chad Dickerson definitely gave the e-commerce world a sense of craftiness by bringing an online community to the real world. And last but not least, the Pinterest boom is finely beginning to calm, but just in time for the next wave of newness. If 2012 was the year of change, 2013 will nonetheless be a major year for development and evolution. Not to worry though! There is a ton to look forward to as a fresh array of talent lead us into the coming year!

photo via nymag.com

Without a doubt all eyes are on Alexander Wang as he takes the reign at Balenciaga this year. How will he incorporate his downtown, edgy cool into the classic Parisian brand? Well, for one, Carine Roitfeld may be joining him as a stylist for the fashion house. And equally as important, what will become of his own label? As he continues to focus his brand's growth in China (with 14 stores planned), some predict he may also start to expand his secondary line by launching T by Alexander Wang specific stores.

photo via Business Insider

Now that CEO Ron Johnson has a full year under his belt, will JCPenney finally make a successful turnaround in 2013? According to an interview where WWD named Johnson Newsmaker of the Year, the "fun" hasn't even started yet. Thus far, he's fully focused to update the department chain for 2013 include bringing in major brands like Joe Fresh, Martha Stewart, Marchesa, Jonathan Adler and Carter's, launching both "The Street" hangout area and "The Square" for seasonal events and snacks, supplying employees with iPads, and continue allocating 40% of floor space for the new JCPenney shops.

video via YouTube

We posted about Rita Ora on Facebook back in 2012 and this year she's finally making moves here in the U.S. She kicked off the New Year in the heart of Times Square at MTV's Club NYE 2013 as she performed her song "How We Do (Party)." And now, with a second album and U.S. debut, tour, and numerous collaborations in the works, Rita is really ready to party!

photo via Refinery 29

Korean American photographer Jason Kim has a very harmonious point of view when it comes to combining color, texture and form into one stunning image. He is known for his precise use of lighting and minimalist visual aesthetic which makes his photographs so powerful. He made Refinery 29's list of 8 On-The-Rise Photographers at the end of last year and his client list includes V, Vman, Elle, Nylon, Yigal Azrouel, Richard Chai, and Peter Pilotto to names a few. Keep an eye out because we'll definitely be seeing more of his work on the fashion scene in the very near future!

photo via WWD

With lawsuit from ex-husband Chris Burch settled and his shares sold to new investors, it just may be Tory's year as she officially becomes a fashion billionaire! Retailing at about $200, her signature ballet flats have defined her brand as a status symbol for working women alike, and now rumors have been surfacing that Tory Burch's company (with an approximate net worth of $3.4 billion) may be up for IPO.

After Lady Gaga took everyone by storm with her theatrical performances and outrageous fashion ensembles, along came manager Try Carter, the creator of Backplane, a new social media platform and home to Gaga's hardcore community of fans, littlemonsters.com. This new form of social media geared towards building relationships between artists and fans may just well be "the future of micronetworks." Unlike the control that many common sites like Facebook and Twitter have to regulate data, change settings or deactivate accounts, this platform creates a direct relationship between the musician and her following.

video via Givenchy

If there is one fashion icon who will never go out of style it's Kate Moss! At 38, she's been everywhere and she just scored three major Spring campaigns for this year including Versace, Stuart Weitzman and now as the new face of Givenchy! Not to mention, this living legend even released an autobiographical book towards the end of last year showcasing her extraordinary career. Could she be the world's greatest supermodel? We think so!

photo via AskMen

So who is the most desirable woman of 2013? According to AskMen, it is none other than 22-year old Jennifer Lawrence. Her performance as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games film earned her Rolling Stone's title of "the most talented young actress in America." She is also up for a Best Actress nomination at the Golden Globes for her role in Silver Linings Playbook and it very likely may be her first win. With a new X-Men movie in the works and the anticipated release of The Hunger Games sequel later this year, Lawrence won't be fading away anytime soon!

Hall Five Trend Forum

This week, we are excited to announce that MBF Trend Consulting has been featured on Hall Five's Website to predict Consumer Trends for 2013!

photo via Hall Five

Hall Five is a website offering the first social networking experience for people interested in lifestyle trends in fashion, home furnishing, industrial design, retail, technology and marketing. Enjoy!!!

January 3, 2013

A World of Possibilities

Well hello there 2013! As we discussed in our last post of the year, 2012 was all about change! With a new year, comes new expectations so what do we have to look forward to?

As e-commerce continues to boom, forecasters expect a 20% rise in apparel and accessory sales this coming year. We will see more fashion related companies move into China and new talent emerge, from Beijing specifically, as we continue to understand far eastern cultures. India will be another hotspot as retailers like Sephora begin to open up shop. Overall, our entire retail experience will be revolutionized with new technology, fresh concepts and innovative products.

photo via Wanelo.com

Rather than shopping on individual online stores, new peer-to-peer sites (and apps) like Wanelo.com will emerge. These sites act as massive shopping search engines for an abundance of products from hundreds of e-commerce shops which offer new features that curate based on your preferences as well as the ability to save your favorite items for future purchases. Some like fashioningchange.com even go as far as directing shoppers strictly to eco-friendly and ethical brands versus more mainstream and recognizable labels.

photo via WWD

While, we're bored of all the designer collaborations, it's now being updated as high-low retailers pair up to share resources and offer exclusive collections that reaches double the market share. We've seen Neiman Marcus and Target as well as Nordstrom and Topshop, and now you can add Gap and Intermix to the list! Intermix is looking to connect with a strong retailer to increase its international presence and with Gap's recent turnaround, global know-how and merchandising expertise, they are the perfect contender.

photo via NY Times

We will be seeing more online shops go offline with both brick and mortar and pop-up style shops acting as showrooms and pushing branding. In 2012, Etsy, Piperlime and Refinery 29, all shifted from the digital arena to create a real life experience. While customers may be loyal to these online shops, some still prefer to see what they are buying in person. These type of online/offline stores create more than just a physical space but an entire social experience. So who can we expect next? We're crossing our fingers that ASOS will open up in the U.S. later this year, so keep an eye out!

photo via ft.com

Speaking of social experiences, brick and mortar retailers across the board are looking to bring you something unique, whether it be a dance party, avant garde displays, lunch, spa treatment or a private members only club. According to Dunhill's Global Marketing Director, Jason Beckley, "It's all about creating a space where people want to spend time. About staff knowing customers' names and how they take their coffee or whisky, in a place they can invite friends and stay the whole day."

video via Lacoste

With all of today's technology and urgency for convenience, we are very particular about how, when and where we spend our time and retailers are learning how to adapt to this like Lacoste's new interactive campaign or with digital sizing software like Virtusize, Fits.me, True Fit or Bloomingdale's denim seeker tool for instance. Even the theatre has transformed with the growth of more audience participation type plays like Sleep No More or Yvonne Meier's The Shining!

photo via psfk.com

However, with all this technology, added interactive components and plentitude of nonstop noise, there is a greater need for us to learn to balance it all. Therefore, some retailers are taking more of a silent approach. Selfridges who will be open "No Noise" areas where shoppers will leave shoes and phones at the door for a more calming experience. The space will be designed super minimal with meditation sessions and a collection of de-branded products from recognizable labels. More and more digital detox type parties, lounges and hangouts are beginning to emerge to encourage us to tune out constant distractions. This concept is a new trend sparked by our desire to be connected 24/7 and urges us to value our quiet time.

photo via NY Times

Not to mention, the widespread use of the internet does pose some concerns for retailers. Through social media, product review sites and even online stores actual sites, consumers can voice their opinion about any product imaginable. As consumers, we now have the ability to research, fact check and compare product specifications that much easier. For instance, the Kavanagh family started an online petition for PepsiCo to change one of the main ingredients used in their popular Gatorade drink after researching some of its harmful effects.

We’ve talked about the most exciting, up and coming things in the fashion industry, but how are we educating our future selves? Some schools are taking a technology fueled approach as iPads make way into the classroom and schools of the future like, Avenues: The World School, based in Chelsea spring up. With cutting edge technology like audio sensitive cameras and multimedia equipment to replace traditional textbooks (and eliminate heavy school bags), this school supplies iPads to all students nursery to 12th grade and in 5th grade students begin working with Macbook Airs as well. Not to mention, the school houses a 70,000 digital archive of books and magazines. The evolution of education provides students with new ways to experiment and expands the classroom walls beyond physicality to a global world of possibilities. As long as we learn to balance all this change, we can successfully move forward into a future of great potential.

photo via Business Insider

Finally, today we'd like to leave you with a sneak peek into what stores of the future may look like so click here to check it out!
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MBF Trend Talk by MBF Trend Consulting is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at mbf-trendtalk.blogspot.com.