Trendspot­ting: how it’s done

South Waikato News - - Property -

‘‘Peo­ple used to buy fur­ni­ture and home­wares out of ne­ces­sity.’’

Each sea­son, de­part­ment stores and bou­tiques are filled with a range of new prod­ucts, a fresh pal­ette of colours and tex­tures, and we’re in­spired to change up the look of our home - even if it’s just with a few se­lected ac­ces­sories.

We asked a few trend spot­ting ex­perts for in­sight on how they trans­port de­sign di­rec­tions from around the world into their stores and then into our homes.

Mark Prusher, group mer­chan­dise man­ager for Farm­ers says the job has changed sig­nif­i­cantly in the past fif­teen years, and be­ing on-trend has be­come much more im­por­tant.

‘‘Peo­ple used to buy fur­ni­ture and home­wares out of ne­ces­sity. Ac­tively following the lat­est trend was some­thing that just ap­plied to cloth­ing,’’ he says. ‘‘But all that has changed. More of­ten than not, our cus­tomers are chang­ing the look of their home, rather than fur­nish­ing it from scratch,’’ he says. ‘‘Re­tail­ers need to stay ahead of the trend in or­der to meet that demand.’’

For Dennis and Dayle By­grave of Seneca Tex­tiles, trendspot­ting be­gins in Paris at Mai­son et Ob­jet; and Am­bi­ente, the fur­ni­ture and home­wares ex­hi­bi­tion in Frank­furt, Ger­many. Both in­dus­try events take place at the start of the new year.

Dayle By­grave says, ‘‘At the fairs, we dis­cuss the colour and de­sign pro­jec­tions with our sup­pli­ers, and we also get a sense of the over­all trends in decor from walk­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion halls.’’

Each event at­tracts hun­dreds of de­sign­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers, and thou­sands of at­ten­dees. She says, ‘‘Af­ter a few days, you get a sense of the di­rec­tion things are mov­ing. It all comes to­gether into a fairly clear im­pres­sion.’’

But trend-spot­ting doesn’t just take place in trade shows. Both Prusher and the By­graves say that walk­ing around the streets of Paris, Frank­furt and Lon­don and tak­ing in the lat­est fash­ion plays a role, too.

‘‘The line be­tween ap­parel and home­wares is blur­ring,’’ says Prusher. ‘‘In many ways, our homes have be­come a fash­ion state­ment in their own right. They’re part of the way we ex­press our taste, and our in­di­vid­u­al­ity.’’

SENECA TEX­TILES

A neu­tral sofa is an ideal base for adding ac­cents of pat­tern and colour. Mark Prusher

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