When we think of ‘a career in fashion’ it’s probably likely our minds will drift to the stereotypes of a budding young Newgen designer, a chiselled, cheek boned model-to-be or perhaps the infamous socialite it-girl springs to mind. But nobody seems to land on the brains behind the whole operation, the humble trend forecaster. As it’s my new duty to stalk down the most emerging of British talent, particularly within fashion, I thought it most appropriate to start at the top of the ladder with the ideas people, the forecasters.
On behalf of Gola’s Born in Britain, let me introduce you to a bright star in this rather gloomy city sky, Rachel Neath. A Fashion Management and Marketing student and WGSN intern by day and a trend absorber by night and pretty much every minute she has free. As a fellow FMM student, I can be honest in saying Rachel is that girl who’s work pops up and slaps you in the face just when you thought you were doing quite well, however she’s too sugary sweet to pretend to hate or envy; the best concoction for this industry. Her work is modern, simplistic and eloquently put together, each little detail agonised over until perfection, whilst solid, game-changing trends take centre stage with a range of research to back them up and prove why they are so relevant.
With such a skill of trend forecasting it could be argued she’s quite the superhero to some but when asked what superpower she would most prefer she answered; ‘Omnilinguism, the ability to understand any form of language. How perfect – I could travel without any language barrier issues!’
Here’s a little interview I did with the lady herself..
Where do you gain inspiration for your trend forecasting?
– Everywhere, literally. I look into everything from new technology, science advances, art and design, architecture.. everything! I also follow a lot of blogs; I use my facebook account as an easy way of keeping up-to-date with everything ‘new’ by liking interesting blog pages so that my feed is constantly feeding me new information. Some of my favourites include thisiscollosal.com , gizmodo.co.uk and dezeen.com.
Where do you find the inspiration for your modern and clean cut layouts?
– I am obsessed with layout! To the point where I will spend 3 hours looking for one perfect font. I gain inspiration for layout from looking at other publications. I tend to look at a lot of quirky magazines, websites, freebie mags from fashion stores and my university provides us with a yearbook which includes some snapshot images of previous student work which is a great source of inspiration.
How has working at WGSN influenced you?
– Working with WGSN has given me a tremendous insight into how forecasting companies are ran and what makes a successful forecasting company. I work with the ‘What’s in Store’ team, which is WGSNs most widely used directory and is an invaluable industry resource covering the latest retail trends from store windows across the globe including product trends and visual merchandising. I’ve learnt how to analyse trends more effectively and write short and sharp reports.
How long do you find it takes to pull together/establish a good trend?
– For the purpose of this particular project we had a couple of months at least however it would have been great to have had a couple more weeks of research. I think for me about a month per trend. So for a finished trend book I guess around 3 months.
What advice would you give to your past self?
– Stop worrying!
Puppies or kittens?
– Argh that’s the most difficult question you’ve asked! They’re both so great. I pick both.
And most importantly, Male pin-up?
– Johnny Depp.
If like us, you’ve been coaxed into a state of admiration towards the talented Miss Neath and you quite simply cannot get enough then don’t fret, why not send your peepers over to her issuu page for more trend forecasting deliciousness. Alternatively, you can attempt to employ her or at least stalk her a little before she gets snapped up for good by the likes of WGSN or Mudpie via her Linkedin.