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) T S ( N I AGA G N I T N U H L O O C Marco Pedroni ModaCult | UniversitĂ Cattolica di Milano about.me/marcopedroni


AGAIN The ÂŤeternal recurrenceÂť of coolhunting (also known as trendwatching, trendspotting, cult searching and so on)

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AGAINST Does it exist as a profession? Is it useful? Does it have dangerous consequences?

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Definition The term «coolhunting» indicates a research approach that reached its height during the 1990s.

Observations were marked with particular frequency in certain parts of the population (mostly youth) with techniques in line with anthropology and qualitative sociology, in which the quantitative approach of market studies leaves in place an ethnographic observation driven by the researcher’s ‘intuition’. CTWF 2013

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It broke traditional marketing schemes in its attempt to better understand the world of consumption through the researcher’s immersion in daily occurrences.

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Definition/2 The coolhunter’s professional activity - researching emerging trends through observation while out and about - was interpreted as signalling the changing rules of how style and fashion is diseminated. That is, a shift occurred from the trickle-down model (from the social Êlite to the consumer masses) towards the other end, trickle-up, where youth, subcultures, and effervescent areas would produce, from the basics, style innovation that spread through to the highest social classes.

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A critical approach

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cool/view/ CTWF 2013

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Stereotypes of coolhunters Hagiographic account

Coolhunter as young globetrotter with digital camera and «innate» curiosity

vs.

Apocalyptic account

Coolhunter as «legal stalker of youth culture» (N. Klein)

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Trends and coolness trends Aim of the research activity (ÂŤhuntÂť): finding

coolness

But are trends and coolness the same thing? CTWF 2013

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Trends

performance over time of a phenomenon (economics) BANK MORTGAGE

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direction of a curve (statistics)

trend general ÂŤfeelingÂť (common sense)

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Trends IN FASHION

Line/cut/design

trend

Colour Shape

ENDOGENOUS TRENDS

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Miranda Priestly. Where are the belts for this dre- Why is no one ready? Lucia. Here. It's a tough call. They're so different. Hmm. Miranda Priestly. Something funny? Andy Sachs. No. No, no. Nothing's- You know, it's just that both those belts look exactly the same to me. Miranda Priestly. You know, I'm still learning about this stuff and, uh- "This... stuff"? You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select. I don't know- that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue. It's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent wasn't it- who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact you're wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff. So then I said, "No, I couldn't see the difference between the two absolutely identical belts" and you should have seen the look she gave me!

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Trends: 3 main features

Forecast of something that is coming to light

Process of change

trend

Observable phenomenon CTWF 2013

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Intensity and duration of a trend Mega trends

Fads Superficial changes in tastes without effects on the whole society (nor relation with it). Quick, ephemeral E.g. dominant colour of the season

trend

Cultural, economical, political changes with effects on the whole society. Slow; lasting influence E.g. Increasing power of women; environmentalism

Cool mentalities Recognisable through an analysis of non-superficial social behaviours

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How fashion trends have changes over the XX century SIMPLICITY

DECORATION

Vejlgaard 2008 CTWF 2013

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How trends spread

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Coolness what does it mean?

http://www.gladwell.com/1997/1997_03_17_a_cool.htm CTWF 2013

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The three rules of coolness ÂŤThe quicker the chase, the quicker the flight. The act of discovering what's cool is what causes cool to move on, which explains the triumphant circularity of coolhuntingÂť

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The three rules of coolness ÂŤA company can intervene in the cool cycle. It can put its shoes on really cool celebrities and on fashion runways and on MTV. It can accelerate the transition from the innovator to the early adopter and on to the early majority. But it can't just manufacture cool out of thin airÂť.

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The three rules of coolness You have to be cool to know and recognize coolness. ÂŤCool can only be observed by those who are themselves coolÂť

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Coolness calm controlled fresh

(temperature)

o co

u m l

excellent superla3ve

coolness young

in the  know

( is c

)

z z a j

subcu

fun

ltures

> coolness  is  a  property  of  the   people  (not  a  feature  of  the   objects) CTWF 2013

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Coolness

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5z0Ia5jDt4

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http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=w70NOF5O3UQ&list=PLBFF9CD893BB8FB44

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Coolness

Cool: Attractive and inspiring with a future growth potential (C. Rohde - Science of the Time)

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Historical overview/1 •

The need of analyzing trends emerges in the 60s with the birth of the «prêt-àporter»; industrial production of apparel begins to develop his own products, giving up the imitation of haure couture

Paris loses his leadership in the fashion system: also Milan, London, New York, Tokyo etc. become relevant centres in the process of trends creation > MULTICENTERED FASHION SYSTEM

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Historical overview/2

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The baby-boom generation and the role of young people and subcultures as protagonists of the style change the rule of trends circulation: from top-down to bottomup

Higher competition in the fashion industry: more competitors, expert consumers > To be more competitive, fashion producers need to know in advance the emergent trends > FASHION FORECASTING

Diffusion of cahiers de tendances / trendbooks as source of inspiration for designers

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Historical overview/3 •

Coolhunting is an evolution of the fashion forecasting

The focus is on SOCIO-CULTURAL TRENDS (exogenous trends)

Keywords are not shape, cut, colours etc., but LIFESTYLE and MINDSTYLE > search for expressions of a cool mentality / cool way of life

Focus: all the production and consumpion fields, not only fashion

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The coolhunting process Professional activity of observation and analysis of any expressive signal (noticeable in consumers’ behaviour) with the purpose of creating reports for commercial buyers who are looking for new ideas (in order to develop new communication strategies or new products)

Observation Data collection

Brief

BUYER + RESEARCH AGENCY (OR COOLHUNTER FREE-LANCE)

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LOCAL OBSERVERS (COOLHUNTERS)

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Data analysis

TREND ANALYSTS (RESEARCH AGENCY)

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Report

BUYER

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Many examples of coolnees (picture+description+interpretation)

Mentality trend

Thousands pictures of bikes and cyclist in the urban environment

Urban tribes of cyclists

(empirically based tale about an emerging mindstyle)

Value

Which kind of products/stores better satisfy what these consumers need?

(how to use this information for communication/product/retail strategies?)

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Who do the hunt? Marke3ng research   agencies Coolhunters Cult  searchers Trend  analysts

Fashion system

Bureau de  style,  Trendbook   editors,  Designers,  Stylists Buyers  etc.

Free-­‐lances

All the  professionals  whose  work  is   about  observing:  architects,   sociologists,  anthropologists,   journalists,  designers  etc. CTWF 2013

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Case histories Science of the Time is a virtual network of market and trend researchers worldwide. We distinguish ourselves in five ways: 1. We are more academic than the rest. We have solid links with several universities worldwide and therefore read all the relevant books. Or we let PHD students research them for us. 2. We are more empirical than the rest. Of course, we surf the Net as all trend watchers, cool hunters and researchers do – and we love it. But we cherish the REAL relationships we have with the best of our trend watchers and cool hunters. We speak with them, train and educate them in our trends and methodologies..Â

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Case histories Future Concept Lab Future Concept Lab is a research Institute that stands out on the international landscape as one of the most advanced research centres specialized in marketing issues and trends in consumption. With extensive research activities in Europe, North America, South America and Asia, Future Concept lab was born as a global project. It is headquartered in Milan, and in January 2011 opened a new office in São Paulo (Brazil). Future Concept Lab has correspondents in twenty-five countries around the world, a reality present on a virtual platform: the Genius Loci Lab. The goal of Future Concept Lab is to develop and share new concepts regarding products, communication and distribution in order to enable clients to effectively deal with both the advanced and emerging markets, working in terms of the key words of the future. The Institute carries out integrated research projects based on specific methodologies that lead to the definition of sector-related scenarios, offers consultancy and training services, publishes works that represent the Institute’s main activities, internationally and internally, like for instance the most recent book Consum-Authors.

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http://trendwatching.com/tips/

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Desk analysis Define your keywords and explore: Internet

Databases

Blogs

Social networks

Newspapers

Books and articles Magazines CTWF 2013

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Field analysis (Future Concept  Lab  2007)

People

Places

Social innovators Trendse0ers:  young  people,  designers, ar3sts,  riches,  homosexuals,  celebri3es,   style-­‐conscious  subcultures  (Vejlgaard   2008) Members  of  the  crea6ve  class  (Florida   2002)  with  high  level  of  cultural,  social   and  economic  capital

4P

Projects Cultural signals  in  art,  cinema,  books,  fashion,   design  etc. Cultural  products  and  their  field  of  diffusion  

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Where trendseRers  meet  each  other Events,  crea3ve  areas,  mul3ethnic   metropolis «Street» Bars,  restaurants,  pubs,  shops,  stores Museums,  concerts,  cultural  and  ar3s3c   events

Thoughts (pensieri) What happens  where  people  produce  ideas:   universi3es,  research  centres,  centres  of   crea3on  and  diffusion  of  art  and  culture Areas  or  ci3es  involved  in  projects  of  urban   regenera3on Again(st) Coolhunting

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Writing a report

image (Science of the Time)

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why it’s  interes3ng

descrip3on What it Is: The Adidas Exclusive store I spotted in Stockholm, sells gear they sell nowhere else in the world. Exclusive Adidas exclusive for you. Also on show here the collection they designed together with Diesel. Including 10 ways to waste your time. When you buy these exclusive shoes you’ll get an Adidas cd with it. And a hip lady will help you to get into your exclusive Adidas. Why it's cool: So many trends cleverly combined together. Exclusivity for you. Exclusivity in the here and now. Brands joining their strength to give you an extra intense experience. That’s how Adidas and Diesel do this. Science of the Time’s Interpretation: Here the cool mentality trend ‘We Want it more Special’ meets cool mentality trend ‘The inevitable Rise of Experience Economy’ (brand coalitions!) meets ‘Secrecy, please’ in that sense that only the Stockholm incrowd knows.

int

erp ret a3

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on


Reading list/1 Pedroni M. (2012), From Fashion Forecasting to Coolhunting: Prevision Models in Fashion and in Cultural Production, in Fashion Capital: Style Economies, Sites and Cultures, edited by J. Berry, IdNet, Oxford, pp. 112-129 (English) Pedroni M. (2010), Coolhunting. Genesi di una pratica professionale eretica, F. Angeli, Milano (Italian) http://marcopedroni.wordpress.com/coolhunting

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Reading list/2 Future Concept Lab (2007) (a cura di), Real Fashion Trends. Il manuale del cool hunter, Scheiwiller, Milano. Gibson W. (2004), L’accademia dei sogni, Milano, Mondadori; ed. orig. Pattern Recognition, Berkeley Publishing Group, New York 2003 Gladwell M. (1997), The Coolhunt, in «The New Yorker», March 17, www.gladwell.com/ 1997/1997_03_17_a_cool.htm Vejlgaard H. (2008), Trend. Capire oggi ciò che farà tendenza domani, Etas, Milano; ed. orig. Anatomy of a Trend, McGraw-Hill, New York 2008.

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THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION

marco.pedroni @ unicatt.it @marcopedroni marcopedroni.wordpress.com

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Marco Pedroni Against coolhunting  

CTWF2013 Relatori del Capri Trendwatching Festival 2013

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