Coming back from Europe and a few trade shows, I wanted to share some insight as to upcoming trends. While by no means scientific, the trends are based on a number of conversations with different people in different industries who attended the show.
Blue is white hot. Williams-Sonoma Home is featuring shades of blue in solids and patterns all over their website.
Pantone, the color company has identified Blue Iris as the color of the year (especially as it relates to fashion). However, the hot color at the show was a deeper version of turquoise. Pantone calls it Caribbean Sea and you can see both colors two of their fall color report.
For more on color, visit Pantone.com.
Stripes continue to make an impression. From bedding to textiles to furniture accessories and more, stripes are hotter than ever and will continue to be this year.
Fire as art and architecture. I was surprised at the number of companies selling fire. Torches, fire pits, and tons of indoor architectural stone and fire pieces of art of furniture were all part of the mix. Most of them ran on a supercharged sterno.
Melted silicone. Forget about silicone spatulas, muffin pans and potholders. Silicone is melted, then twisted, pulled, stretched and shaped into beautiful pieces of art, vases and more. It’s also being melted and drizzled on ceramic, glass and other materials for a striking effect.
Transformation. Regular items such as bookcases, vases and chairs are stretched, compacted and bent to create unique pieces of furniture and accessories that are functional and artistic. A vase that looked like it was stretched two feet taller and a rectangular bookcase where the bottom half was buckled as if a weight was dropped on it were just a couple of examples.
Bizarre Bazaar. Nelly Rodi, a hot trend company from Paris presented an installation that featured a number of unique items, many of which offered modern twists on classic items. A fruit bowl made by melting toy green army men into the shape of the bowl and wall hooks that looked like knives and darts that were thrust into the wall are just two examples. Playful objects that are conversation pieces. For more on Nelly Rodi including thoughts about trend and upcoming events and shows, read their most recent newsletter.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
As I wrote last year, fashion drives retail.
The trends that are set on the runways of Paris, Milan and New York influence every design aspect of retail – from colors to shapes to styles and overall trends.
Open up the catalogs you receive and take a look – you’ll see the trends as clear as day – just look at the home page of the Williams Sonoma Home store for the influence blue has this year.
Attending trade shows, shopping unique stores in your city, studying your competition – this is the fun part of retailing. Get out there and study, take it in, then react by impacting your store experience and merchandise mix. Your customers know the trends — you should too.