Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cool Hunting. Teens Decide Today's Trends

Trends "trickle-up" from the street.
Teens play a very big role in developing what will appear on next season's runways. "You really shouldn't talk down to teenagers. You should first educate yourself on what they like." This advice from Sharon Lee, professional  "Cool Hunter".  Field correspondents for the company she started with her partner Dee Dee Gordon communicate through the website and Facebook page with pictures, observations and opinions on what they are seeing every day. Teens also participate in surveys conducted by company and are at the forefront of developing new fashion trends each season as well as in the development of the new products for other companies.  "We look for kids who are ahead of the pack, because they'll influence what all the other kids do. We look for the 20 percent, the trendsetters, who are going to influence the other 80 percent." The apparel design companies who use their services are in a never-ending race to be the first to launch the next new craze in fashion.  On PBS Frontline: Hunting for Cool, Lee continues, explaining how trends spread:,  "...it's a triangle. At the top of the triangle there's the innovator, which is like two to three percent of the population. Underneath them is the trend-setter, which we would say is about 17 percent. What they do is they pick up on ideas that the innovators are doing and they kind of claim them as their own. Underneath them is an early adopter, which is questionable exactly what their percentage is, but they kind of are the layer above mainstream, which is about 80 percent. And what they do is they take what the trend-setter is doing and they make it palatable for mass consumption. They take it, they tweak it, they make it more acceptable, and that's when the mass consumer picks up on it and runs with it and then it actually kills it."  These days, by the time you get around to buying the "latest style", it's already on it's way out!
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