Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Future Speak

Most people have never heard of Li Edelkoort or her firm Trend Union. But among those in the know the Dutch-born Edlelkoort is widely regarded as one of the leading forecasters of the coming trends in a host of industries, including fashion, retail, beauty and interior design. A well-placed friend told me about her several years back, saying her presentations were fascinating for her ability to seemingly pull all kinds of disparate and percolating ideas, concepts, etc., together.

Edelkoort’s forecasting abilities are on display in the October 2008 edition of Fast Company, where, in a Q&A, she comes off as a slightly quirky, slightly abstract (and a little bit eccentric) one-woman think tank. The article (“Fashion Sorceress”) also contains some of her insights as to what’s coming down the pike. Here are a few gems:

On the “Hot” list, Edelkoort believes that rural will rule, androgyny will be hot and that covering up (with layers and veils and such) wil be cool. She also believes that eccentricity will be cultivated.

On the “What’s Not” list, she contends that the pumped-up look for guys is passé, and that gaudy logos and labels are out (“Incognito is the new luxury.”). And while excessive bling is over, sparkle will remain part of the picture.

For more on Edelkoort, including what she thinks Americans could learn from the Dutch, pick up Fast Company.

By Marianne Wilson

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