Welcome to the future.

Fashion’s Mythos: Trend Forecasting and the Art of Storytelling

charlottesweb

Everyone loves a good story.

In Jonathan Gottschall’s book, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human, Gottschall writes: Tens of thousands of years ago, when the human mind was young and our numbers were few, we were telling one another stories. And now, tens of thousands of years later, when our species teem across the globe, most of us still hew strongly to myths about the origins of things, we still thrill to an astonishing multitude of fictions on pages, on stages, and on screens […] We are as a species, addicted to stories. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories. (xiv)

I like to think of trend forecasting as the art of storytelling. As trend forecasters, we are in conversation with the past and the present in order to predict the future. We are in dialogue with history, politics, the environment, and all matter of social phenomenon. We make aesthetic observations; record memories; interpret music – all in search of mythos. Trends are born from mythos. They are born from the rich tapestries of our lives and the lives of our ancestors. They mark patterns of consciousness; illuminate historical moments; and transcend the individual in honor of the collective.

When a trend story is told well, I believe it is because it has touched upon something archetypal; some memory or ancestral story that we all know, if only in the dream world. Something inside us wakes up a bit more when we come across a good story. We feel more alive, more human, more fully ourselves. Something in the telling reaches out and grabs us. A good story helps you remember who you are, where you’ve come from and where you’re going. Stories are the puzzle pieces that unite a life journey of unexpected twists and turns.

To tell a meaningful story is no easy feat. I believe that it begins with the Self; with self-observation and reflection. Before you can twist the yarns of time, you must look within to understand how your life fits into the fabric of the world’s great story. You must consciously choose to be awake; to be vulnerable; to listen more than you speak; to embrace the bittersweet beauty of a life well-lived and a life well-loved.

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