Trend Forecasting

What is it?

A trend forecaster is someone who predicts upcoming trends in the fashion industry, whether that is a colour palette, print, style, design technique, or new business opportunity. Trend forecasting isn’t just a guessing game. Forecasters consider a range of factors — everything from pop culture and what people are wearing on the street to the wider social, political, and environmental landscape — in order to make educated assessments about what will be relevant to the fashion industry in the future.

Fashion brands, textile manufacturers, retailers and advertising agencies are among those that work with trend forecasters to make short-term decisions and long-term strategies so that their businesses can remain relevant and profitable for years to come.

The career ladder

Because trend forecasting is a niche and relatively new sector of fashion, there’s no single path to get

there. You may consider doing a marketing, fashion, merchandising, or media internship to learn more about the industry and develop a wide range of skills that are also relevant in forecasting.

Daily tasks

On any given day, a trend forecaster can be found visiting trade shows, travelling to different cities, interviewing interesting people, reading the news, and analysing reports. Depending on what their client is interested in learning, forecasters use this research to create their own reports that inform and instruct their clients about trends.


Trend forecasters have to keep on top of world events to be able to accurately advise their clients, so this is a fast-paced and dynamic job.

What should you study? What skill do you need?

There are lots of courses that could set you up for a career in trend forecasting, including marketing or fashion branding and merchandising. If you consider yourself to be creative but also analytical, interested in a wide range of topics from music to politics, enjoy research, are observant and a good communicator, then maybe trend forecasting is the career for you.


Think of a trend forecaster like a fashion clairvoyant — they’re predicting trends as far in the future as 5 years!


Want to learn more?

Research leading trend forecasting agencies include WGSN, Eclectic Trends, TrendStop, Pantone, and Trendcouncil. Read publications like the Business of Fashion, Drapers and Vogue Business. Have a go at spotting and creating your own trend report by observing what’s happening on social media and in the news, as well as what your friends and family are talking about. Discover trends on Google Trends.

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