Many people believe trends come and go with relative speed, but in reality major trends live for years. They are rarely based on passing fads, but rather on consumer behaviour in addition to ecological and sociological factors. Brands know this, and spend countless resources tracking what’s happening around the world – trying to discover patterns among the seemingly nonsensical noise.
On a stopover in Bangkok, head of trend intelligence at Swarovski Professional, Lee-Anne Carter, provides some insight and we get an exclusive preview of the new Swarovski Spring/Summer 2018 collection.
“Ageing isn’t the same. When people used to think about ageing, they’d think about gardening and retirement, but that’s not true anymore.”
“We were seeing that genders have changed, so it’s not male or female. It’s gender neutral.”
Fear of the Future
“We were also seeing a great fear of the future, particularly in the Western world, so we’re looking at people believing that governments and institutions were not doing the right thing anymore. So of course it’s going to change how people live their lives if they’re fearful of the future. It’ll change how they’re going to spend and what they’ll spend on.”
New Value Revolution
“We also noticed during the research time period that we were looking at a new value revolution. People’s ideals have not only changed about age, gender, corporations and institutions, but also about what is beautiful. What was normal was becoming upturned.”
An example she gave was of a fully-clothed Muslim woman being featured in Playboy‘s October 2016 issue.
Rise of Women
“What we were seeing were new perspectives on being female. For instance, the number of the single women in Saudia Arabia has increased. Women no longer needed to get married or be in a traditional environment, because they can sustain and support themselves. So this all changes the way you speak to the consumer. She’s no longer the housewife at home. This is not a new thing, but what she’s doing is becoming a lot more vocal and active about what she wants.”
This runs at the core of how companies like Swarovski map out future consumer wants. By understanding changing behaviour and beliefs, the company can better anticipate effective ways to speak to its demographic.
Although these mega trends are here to stay for the foreseeable future, how companies and designers interpret and execute these trends are what makes each season different and exciting.
Swarovski Spring/Summer 2018
Carter’s appearance at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit doubled as the unveiling of Swarovski’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection, which diverted from the brand’s usual themes of romance, class and glamour. In their place were the slightly more ambiguous themes of “Gang Star”, “No Normal”, “Hacked Nature” and “Spellbound”. Here’s a look:
Inspired by hip hop and sport culture, Gang Star symbolises the coming together of people. It’s all about individualism and belonging.
Key colours: Jet, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Sunflower, Crystal Royal Blue LacquerPro and Crystal Royal Red LacquerPro.
The theme focuses on fluidity between genders. It’s all about the way modern people are viewing themselves in this day and age.
Key colours: Rose Peach, Denim Blue, Crystal Royal Green LacquerPro, Crystal Dark Red LacquerPro, Crystal and White Opal.
Inspired by the discourse between the physical and digital world, the theme is all about sustainability and synthetics.
Key colours: Yellow Opal, Crystal Peony Pink LacquerPro, Crystal Mint Green LacquerPro, Crystal Light Coral LacquerPro, Crystal Summer Blue LacquerPro and Crystal Azul Blue LacquerPro.
It draws the focus from science and places it on the occult, specifically horoscopes, talismans and shamans. It embraces the fear and darkness now so prevalent across the world.
Key colours: Crystal Rose Gold, Scarabaeus Green, Crystal Iridescent Green, Crystal Dorado, Black Patina and Crystal Light Chrome.