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Forecaster on how to respond to new market conditions

"They question the whole idea of putting in store new items every month and ask how they should react when people are not spending as much," he said.

Speaking at the recent Fashion Exposed in Sydney, Bannister highlighted a trend towards the 'SlowLife', a slowing of our culture and a reaction against fast fashion.

"People are taking the lead by, for example, going to farmers' markets and holding onto things," he said.

He noted a trend towards craft-based product with people making things themselves that could be unique to their identity and where they live.

"They are embracing craft and nature and making a fashion statement out of it," he said.

Bannister also highlighted a minimalist trend as a modern stylish expression.

He pointed to 'remakers' as an international movement that was active in recycling, re-using and remaking.

Also a trend here to stay were the 'authentic' brands, according to Bannister.

"The authentic brand can be beautiful designer jeans or furniture that has a history, a story to tell," he said.

"Authentic won't go out of fashion, it's here to stay."

Meanwhile, the lead times for trend forecasting were becoming shorter as the market changed.

"For buying at wholesale, trend forecasters are working 12 months in advance," he said.

"For retail, forecasting is six months ahead because they like to know the benchmarks but they are also aware things change so they work with their team every week to analyse details.

"Accessories are working three to six months ahead."

While products that there were not so trend-based were less impacted by those cycles, he said they still needed to ask key questions for their businesses.

"You still need to ask questions like what is your customer demographic, what would they like and what pieces would be good for them," he said.

- Dawn Adams


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