Think about what you’re wearing and, more importantly, the goods you’re selling. They didn’t suddenly appear out of thin air. Behind each garment is someone’s vision — a vision that begins months before the product ends up in your hands.
Branding, trend reports, and market research can only take a line so far. The rest of the journey must be taken by designers, the often under-recognized and overlooked members of our industry. Designers don’t have a crystal ball they consult three or four times a year. They must be tuned in to a number of cultural phenomena and social trends. They also depend on their instinct and personal taste.
For this issue’s Spring Product Preview, we spoke with a number of designers to get their predictions for Spring ’04 — and to find out what inspires them.
While each designer has a unique background and different people and places that motivate them, they’re all subject to the many overriding trends at large. There’s a bigger military influence across the board, with cargoes once again getting more play. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Spring ’04 is going to be wrapped in a swath of camo and khaki. Many designers — especially on the juniors’ side — are touting an explosion of color.
Designers also report they’ve looked back to the 80s for design inspiration. Mini skirts for girls and slimmer-cut guys’ bottoms seem to be on many radar screens. Boardshorts are big, as are graphics. Westerns are fading (are truckers, too?), and everyone is paying “attention to detail.