The Fashion Forecasters: A Hidden History of Color and Trend Prediction

Bloomsbury Publishing
Free sample

The fashion business has been collecting and analyzing information about colors, fabrics, silhouettes, and styles since the 18th century - activities that have long been shrouded in mystery. The Fashion Forecasters is the first book to reveal the hidden history of color and trend forecasting and to explore its relevance to the fashion business of the past two centuries. It sheds light on trend forecasting in the industrial era, the profession's maturation during the modernist moment of the 20th century, and its continued importance in today's digital fast-fashion culture.

Based on in-depth archival research and oral history interviews, The Fashion Forecasters examines the entrepreneurs, service companies, and consultants that have worked behind the scenes to connect designers and retailers to emerging fashion trends in Europe, North America, and Asia. Here you will read about the trend studios, color experts, and international trade fairs that formalized the prediction process in the modern era, and hear the voices of leading contemporary practitioners at international forecasting companies such as the Doneger Group in New York and WGSN in London. Probing the inner workings of the global fashion system, The Fashion Forecasters blends history, biography, and ethnography into a highly readable cultural narrative.
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About the author

Regina Lee Blaszczyk is Leadership Chair in the History of Business and Society and Professor of Business History at the University of Leeds in the UK. She writes about design and innovation for the creative industries. Her books include Imagining Consumers: Design and Innovation from Wedgwood to Corning (2000); Producing Fashion: Commerce, Culture, and Consumers (2008); The Color Revolution (2012); Bright Modernity: Color, Commerce, and Consumers (with Uwe Spiekermann, 2017); Fashionability: Abraham Moon and the Creation of British Cloth for the Global Market(2017); and European Fashion: The Creation of a Global Industry (with Véronique Pouillard, 2018).

Ben Wubs is Professor of International Business History at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication in Rotterdam and an appointed Project Professor at the Graduate School of Economics at Kyoto University in Japan. In terms of research, he is engaged in projects on multinationals, business systems, transnational economic regions, Dutch-German economic relations, and the global fashion industry. His books include International Business and National War Interests: Unilever between Reich and Empire (2008) and (with Ralf Banken) The Rhine: A Transnational Economic History (2017).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing
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Published on
Mar 8, 2018
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Pages
296
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ISBN
9781350017153
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Forecasting
Business & Economics / Industries / Fashion & Textile Industry
Design / Fashion & Accessories
Design / Textile & Costume
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Want to become a fashionista—for real? Get this book! Fun and entertaining, Creative Careers in Fashion reveals how the fashion industry works—and explores the vast range of career opportunities in the field. Focusing on the most creative jobs, including accessory, costume, and fashion design, as well as make-up artists, wardrobe consultants, textile designers, and colorists, this book showcases the practical information that will help readers find the perfect job and get it. Included are details on salary ranges, educational and experience requirements, where jobs are located, and new trends. Cameo interviews with real-life fashion professionals offer insider tips. Comprehensive, practical, and inspiring, Creative Careers in Fashion is the complete guide to finding a new career in an exciting industry. • Start a new career with help from industry insiders • Dozens of creative careers for students, career changers, anyone looking for their new parachute • Resources include detailed school and college listings

Allworth Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, publishes a broad range of books on the visual and performing arts, with emphasis on the business of art. Our titles cover subjects such as graphic design, theater, branding, fine art, photography, interior design, writing, acting, film, how to start careers, business and legal forms, business practices, and more. While we don't aspire to publish a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are deeply committed to quality books that help creative professionals succeed and thrive. We often publish in areas overlooked by other publishers and welcome the author whose expertise can help our audience of readers.
Numerous tastemakers exist in and between fashion production and consumption, from designers and stylists to trend forecasters, buyers, and journalists. How and why are each of these players bound up in the creation and dispersion of trends? In what ways are consumers' relations to trends constructed by these individuals and organizations? This book explores the social significance of trends in the global fashion industry through interviews with these 'fashion intermediaries', offering new insights into their influential roles in the setting and shaping of trends.

The Trendmakers contains exclusive interviews with financial analysts, creative directors from high street stores like H&M to designer brands such as Erdem, trend forecasters at WGSN, buyers from Harvey Nichols, and major fashion names like The Telegraph fashion critic Hilary Alexander. In contrast to existing research, Lantz offers an international understanding of the trend landscape, engaging with industry professionals from fashion capitals like London, Paris, and New York, as well as BRIC countries and the new, emerging fashion nations. The fashion media may have declared that 'trends are dead' in the light of digital dissemination, but Lantz argues that trends still not only serve as a significant organizing principle for the fashion industry as a whole but also as a source for legitimacy.

Engaging with classic fashion thinkers like Veblen, Simmel, and Bourdieu, as well as contemporary scholars like Entwistle and Steele, this book considers trends from an economic and cultural perspective to add to our knowledge of the complexities of the business of fashion.
A history of color and commerce from haute couture to automobile showrooms to interior design.

When the fashion industry declares that lime green is the new black, or instructs us to “think pink!,” it is not the result of a backroom deal forged by a secretive cabal of fashion journalists, designers, manufacturers, and the editor of Vogue. It is the latest development of a color revolution that has been unfolding for more than a century. In this book, the award-winning historian Regina Lee Blaszczyk traces the relationship of color and commerce, from haute couture to automobile showrooms to interior design, describing the often unrecognized role of the color profession in consumer culture.

Blaszczyk examines the evolution of the color profession from 1850 to 1970, telling the stories of innovators who managed the color cornucopia that modern artificial dyes and pigments made possible. These “color stylists,” “color forecasters,” and “color engineers” helped corporations understand the art of illusion and the psychology of color. Blaszczyk describes the strategic burst of color that took place in the 1920s, when General Motors introduced a bright blue sedan to compete with Ford's all-black Model T and when housewares became available in a range of brilliant hues. She explains the process of color forecasting—not a conspiracy to manipulate hapless consumers but a careful reading of cultural trends and consumer taste. And she shows how color information flowed from the fashion houses of Paris to textile mills in New Jersey.

Today professional colorists are part of design management teams at such global corporations as Hilton, Disney, and Toyota. The Color Revolution tells the history of how colorists help industry capture the hearts and dollars of consumers.

"One of the more momentous books of the decade."—The New York Times Book Review

Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. He solidified his standing as the nation's foremost political forecaster with his near perfect prediction of the 2012 election. Silver is the founder and editor in chief of the website FiveThirtyEight. 
 
Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.

In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science.

Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise.

With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.
How has Paris, the world's fashion capital, influenced Milan, New York, and Tokyo? When did the Marlboro Man become a symbol of American masculinity? Why do Americans love to dress down in high-tech Lycra fabrics, while they wax nostalgic for quaint, old-fashioned Victorian cottages?

Fashion icons and failures have long captivated the general public, but few scholars have examined the historical role of business and commerce in creating the international market for style goods. Producing Fashion is a groundbreaking collection of original essays that shows how economic institutions in Europe and North America laid the foundation for the global fashion system and sustained it commercially through the mechanisms of advertising, licensing, marketing, publishing, and retailing.

The collection reveals how public and private institutions—from government censors in imperial Russia to large corporations in the United States—worked to shape fashion, style, and taste with varying degrees of success. Fourteen contributors draw on original research and fresh insight into the producers of fashion—advertising agents, architects, corporate executives, department stores, designers, editors, government officials, hairdressers, haute couturiers, and Web retailers—in their bid for influence, acclaim, and shoppers' dollars.

Producing Fashion looks to the past, revealing the rationale behind style choices, while explaining how the interplay of custom, invented traditions, and sales imperatives continue to drive innovation in the fashion industries.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ECONOMIST 

“The most important book on decision making since Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow.”—Jason Zweig, The Wall Street Journal
 
Everyone would benefit from seeing further into the future, whether buying stocks, crafting policy, launching a new product, or simply planning the week’s meals. Unfortunately, people tend to be terrible forecasters. As Wharton professor Philip Tetlock showed in a landmark 2005 study, even experts’ predictions are only slightly better than chance. However, an important and underreported conclusion of that study was that some experts do have real foresight, and Tetlock has spent the past decade trying to figure out why. What makes some people so good? And can this talent be taught?
 
In Superforecasting, Tetlock and coauthor Dan Gardner offer a masterwork on prediction, drawing on decades of research and the results of a massive, government-funded forecasting tournament. The Good Judgment Project involves tens of thousands of ordinary people—including a Brooklyn filmmaker, a retired pipe installer, and a former ballroom dancer—who set out to forecast global events. Some of the volunteers have turned out to be astonishingly good. They’ve beaten other benchmarks, competitors, and prediction markets. They’ve even beaten the collective judgment of intelligence analysts with access to classified information. They are "superforecasters."
 
In this groundbreaking and accessible book, Tetlock and Gardner show us how we can learn from this elite group. Weaving together stories of forecasting successes (the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound) and failures (the Bay of Pigs) and interviews with a range of high-level decision makers, from David Petraeus to Robert Rubin, they show that good forecasting doesn’t require powerful computers or arcane methods. It involves gathering evidence from a variety of sources, thinking probabilistically, working in teams, keeping score, and being willing to admit error and change course.

Superforecasting offers the first demonstrably effective way to improve our ability to predict the future—whether in business, finance, politics, international affairs, or daily life—and is destined to become a modern classic.
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