The colour forecasting process is one of great complexity and very much an intuitive one. As yet, little information exists about its methodology, even though the process is considered to be a major driving force of the fashion and textile industry.
Colour forecasting is a fundamental part of a collective process known as fashion forecasting or trend prediction,where individuals or teams attempt to accurately forecast the colours, fabrics and styles of fashionable garments and accessories that consumers will purchase in the near future,approximately two years ahead.
The process of colour forecasting is basically one of collecting, evaluating, analysing and interpreting data to anticipate a range of colours desirable by the consumer, using a strong element of intuition, inspiration and creativity.
A dichotomy exists around opinions as to whether or not the forecaster predicts trends or merely creates them. Either way, a process has evolved over a period of time which has, in more recent decades, become increasingly complex. So much so that the secondary resource material readily available to the fashion student rarely offers more than a brief outline of the concept, the tools and the basic methodology involved in the colour and fashion forecasting process.
The process of colour and fashion forecasting has become a more integral part of the roles of many within the industry.Designers, range developers, sourcing personnel, buyers and merchandisers and especially those who specialise in trend prediction for the purpose of selling their prediction packages to the industry all use the current forecasting system. It is becoming increasingly important to clarify this process, both for those currently using the system and for the newcomer to forecasting, in order to improve forecasting.
While fashion forecasting incorporates all aspects of the design of garments and accessories, colour is a significant factor for the consumer when making a purchasing decision.
It is therefore considered that the colour forecasting process is a worthwhile subject to be investigated and further understood in its own right.
Colour forecasting is a specialist sector activity. This specialist sector is a service that makes use of the colour forecasting process. The information is compiled into trend prediction packages and sold to the fashion and textile industry.
Originally published in New Cloth Market : November 2009