It’s the time of the year when the fashion community debuts its fall/winter couture collections, and you can bet today’s guest in The Chaise Lounge has been watching the runways closely. As the VP of the home and interior design space for Fashion Snoops, Jaye Anna Mize is a trend watcher extraordinaire. She makes it her business to observe consumer behavior and how that translates into buying trends for home consumers and the interior designers who serve them.
Nick tracked down the nomadic trend forecaster at Maison et Objet (scenes, above)—the twice-a-year home and design trade show held in the massive Paris Nord Villepinte, France’s largest exhibition center—and asked her to give us the scoop on the latest cultural shifts and why understanding them is essential to your interior design business.
Here’s a summary of just some of what Jaye shared.
What Exactly Does a Trend Forecaster Do?
“At fashionsnoops.com, we look at what’s happening on a cultural level and then predict product development two years out. We also capture the pulse of what’s happening one year out, three months out, and then present time to gauge validation—very similar to a financial forecaster,” Jaye explains. “More than just selling stuff, it’s all about understanding people.”
The Pros & Cons of “D to C”
Is brick-and-mortar dead? Not so fast, says Jaye. Digital-only “direct to consumer” (aka D to C) companies are experts at marketing to the online consumer: They look great in your promo feeds, with beautiful ads, photography, and graphic design. They know how to use analytics to target you. But on the back end, it’s not always a great product.
“We’re finding—especially in the interior design space—that a lot of these products don’t hold the shelf life that a lot of traditional manufacturers and makers do,” says Jaye. “But now we’re seeing a lot of our traditional manufacturers and makers go D to C, or at least take that first step, like La-Z-Boy buying Joybird. We’ve seen people really get invested into this game. It’s exciting.”
The takeaway for interior designers: Before you buy product for your clients from a D to C company, you need to do your homework. That might mean visiting the factory or actually buying the products and testing them out yourself to see how they feel and stand up to the wear and tear of everyday life. Your interior design business’s reputation could depend on it.
Five Hot Trends in Interior Design
We don’t talk much about design trends here in the Lounge, but Nick always makes a little exception when his friend Jaye Mize comes to visit. By anticipating what your clients want, you can help them get what they need.
1.) No, We’re Not Past Pink.
In the world of color, pink is the new neutral, says Jaye. Consumers have adapted the full spectrum of pinks. It’s a calming color and, as an alternative to cream or beige, it sets a nice tone. Case in point: The Chaise Lounge podcast sponsor Benjamin Moore’s 2020 Color of the Year, “First Light”–a soft pink that gives a room a subtle, rosy glow.
2.) More Color. More Texture. More Fun.
Trend watchers are seeing a lot more texture, prints, and color coming back into the home space. Color is key and fun—all the emerald greens and yellow golds. We’re seeing colors that resonate toward different cultures, like Scandinavian blues, Chinese reds.
People are feeling traditional and saturated primary colors make people feel happy. Home consumers are feeling free to have a little fun at home, and paint color—which can be easily changed—is a great place to start. Wallpaper and printed fabrics are back in a big way, too.
3.) Sensual Textures and “Sex-Positive” Motifs
Culturally, we’re gravitating toward what we call playfulfulness and what trend forecasters call “sex-positive motifs” focused on health, wellness, fitness, and fun, says Jaye. The interpretations can be provocative or subtle—like just lips or a celebration of the body. In the Currey & Co. trade showroom at High Point Market last fall, for example, just about everybody fell in love with interior designer Sasha Bikoff’s dramatic Venus mural and chairs covered in shaggy textured upholstery.
4.) Sustainability as a Selling Point
Home design manufacturers are responding to consumers’ aversion to wasteful packaging and looking for better ways to bring their products to market. Bedding, for example, is increasingly sold–not in plastic–but in reusable fabric sacks.
Interior design consumers want to know that the products they are buying are produced, transported, and merchandised in ways that do the least harm to the environment.
The team at fashionsnoops.com urges interior designers to get that positive story from your vendors and share it with your clients. “It should be a selling point,” Jaye says.
5.) Talking Politics (We’ll Keep This Brief)
On the one hand, during election years like this one, there tends to be a resurgence in traditional design. So trend forecasters expect to see that happening.
But there’s also a rise in what Jaye calls artivism—a mashup of art and politics—in pieces that make an overt political statement.
See You at the Trade Shows?
Absolutely, says Jaye, a self-professed near-constant traveler. “The best part about trade shows for us is the networking—the mingling, the drinking, the hanging out.” It’s all about making connections and increasing understanding. That’s a trend we can get behind.
Thanks for hanging out in the Lounge with us today, everyone! We’ll look forward to seeing you at market!
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