On Friday, October 8 I had the pleasure of attending the Afingo.com Behind the Seams Fashion Industry Forum at The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. For those of you who don't know, Afingo (which means "fashion" in Latin) is a social media platform and community for the fashion industry that connects designers, retailers, industry service providers, and fashion-conscious consumers. It is the equivalent of Facebook for fashion and if you're not already a member, join today!
The Behind the Seams event featured several panel discussions led by industry leaders. The highlight for me was the Trend Forecasting panel which featured Steven Alan (founder of Steven Alan), Sally Lohan (Head of Content and Forecasting at WGSN), Sharon Graubard (Senior V.P of Trend Analysis at Stylesight), Lesley M. M. Blume (Historical Fashion Writer/Contributing Style Editor at The Huffington Post), and Jennifer Mankins (Owner of Bird).
From left: Jennifer Mankins, Steven Alan, Sharon Graubard, Lesley M. M. Blume, Sally Lohan, and Syl Tang, CEO of HipGuide and the panel moderator.
As I mentioned in previous posts, being an aspiring fashion market editor consistently brings my passion for trend forecasting and analysis to the forefront, so I was extremely excited to participate in the Trend Forecasting discussion. The panel offered great insight into the intricacies behind the art and science of fashion forecasting. Each panelist offered valuable advice to aspiring forecasters, editors, and designers. Sharon Graubard insisted that interning and gaining hands on experience is paramount and that communication is vital; a breadth of knowledge including art history, film, fashion terminology, journalism, public speaking as well as a sensitivity towards politics will allow you to successfully identify emerging trends, but that "trusting your own eye" can be key in determining what trends may be successful and profitable in a fashion business.
Sally Lohan explained that global research, music, culture, and technology are all platforms in which forecasters will develop macrotrends. The idea is not solely to forecast, but to inspire.
A BlackBerry pic snapped of me by one of the ladies from Afingo at the event. Source: Afingo Facebook page
Former Vogue editor and fashion icon Diana Vreeland once declared "Give them what they never knew they wanted", which clearly embodies the complex profession of fashion forecasting and trend analysis. A truly exciting career that I soon hope to be apart of!
Other exciting panels included Marketing 2.0 which highlighted modern technology and social networking platforms heavily utilized in fashion marketing today. The Getting it Made: From Factory to Funding discussion was extremely valuable for all aspiring designers as the panelists discussed product development, sourcing, and cost as well as sustainability and the garment industry in America today.
Thank you so much for the team at Afingo.com for including me in this amazing event! If you are in L.A, Afingo is holding a Behind the Seams Forum on November 20 at Raleigh Theaters. You won't want to miss this! I'm looking forward to more inspiring and informative events from Afingo in the future!