Genue Inc.
January 10, 2019

The Business of Trend Forecasting and Lidewij Edelkoort

Trend forecasting is a fascinating subject to me. I don’t consider myself to be particularly trend-driven, but I am also aware that oftentimes trends are sneaky, and can influence you in ways you are more or less unaware of.


Trend forecasting – and specifically color forecasting, such as what Pantone does with their “Color of the Year”came to rise in the 1970s when marketing executives started to focus more on what their clients might want next, instead of being reactionary to the marketplace at the moment. As the business of advertising became a major economic force in the United States, the stakes for marketing campaigns rose exponentially. From cars, to appliances, to food, and to clothing, predicting what would be popular next became big business based in observational science.

portrait of Li Edlekoort trend forecasting

Portrait of Li Edlekoort from Dwell Magazine


This brings me to perhaps one of the better know trend forecasters of our current time – Lidewij Edelkoort – oftentimes referred to as Li Edlekoort. Li Edlekoort is a Dutch trend forecaster who focuses mainly on textiles, fashion, and design. She started her career working as a fashion coordinator for De Bijenkorf department store in Amsterdam.


Edlekoort started the consultancy firm, Trend Union, and began overseeing numerous projects for big name clients such as Coca-Cola, Nisson, Gucci, and Lancome. Eventually, her success lead her to relocate to New York City. She is also the creator and organizer of New York Textile Month. Just this year, Parsons School of Design launched their textile MA program with Edlekoort as the Dean of Hybrid Studies. Overall, she’s an incredibly accomplished woman with an impressive resume!


Throughout it all, Edlekoort is the art director and co-publisher of the industry publications View on Colour and Interior View, where she works with her studio team to predict what trends the public will be drawn to next. Recently, I went to New York Textile Month event, where she was the keynote speaker – I have to admit that I have seen her trend forecasting talk twice now, and I find the way she approaches trends to be informative, thoughtful, and of course, beautiful. For someone who is a self-proclaimed trend ignorer, Li Edlekoort manages to elevate the practice and discuss trends in a way that borders on archeological.


Did this history into the business of trend forecasting interest you? Are you inspired to be as influential as someone like Edlekoort? Let us know how you feel about being a trend-follower in a comment below!


If you’d like to continue reading Genue’s takes on the hottest trends, why not read up on our coverage of the advancement of tech textiles, the handmade trend of modern quilting, or the accepting the interior design concept of “wabi-sabi”?



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