Careers at the Primary Level

Trend Forecasters

  • Who decides what the latest themes, colors, or fabrics will be?
  • From where do these concepts come?
  • How far ahead of the retail season are these trends determined?
  • What will next year’s fashion trends be?

The person responsible for making these predictions is the trend forecaster or fashion forecaster. Trend forecasters combine their knowledge of fashion design and history with consumer research and business information.

Designers, retailers and manufacturers working in the fashion industry subscribe to the forecaster’s ideas because they

  • Give them an edge.
  • Introduce products that are on the mark for their specific target market.
  • Will have lower purchasing risks and greater opportunities to increase their sales volume.

As researchers, trend forecasters

  • Provide new knowledge to designers, buyers and product developers.
  • Assist in the development of new products.
  • Look for ways to improve old products.

Forecasters search for facts and then analyze the findings to predict trends that will positively affect the amount and types of fashion products consumers will buy.

Job Qualifications


  • At least a bachelor’s degree, usually in fashion design, fashion merchandising, visual arts, marketing or consumer behavior.


  • Begin in entry-level positions in retail, product development, design, merchandising or fashion coordination.
  • Have several positions in several sectors of the industry.

Personal Characteristics

  • Tremendous amount of intelligence, skill and exposure
  • Observational skills
  • Excellent understanding of people and human behavior, global population, industry shifts and fashion trends
  • Effective visual, written, oral communication and presentation skills
  • Curious and creative with superior networking skills
  • Exceptional capability to analyze, synthesize and organize observations into categories that are clearly communicated to clients
  • Have the ability to find the common threads, and classify and describe these trends for designers, manufacturers and retailers who use trend services
  • A “sixth sense”

Page last updated 2:05 PM, June 2, 2017