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The future of colour trend forecasting

By Simone Preuss

Apr. 6, 2021

Will it be possible in the future to determine colour trends not only by evaluating search engines and sales figures, but also on the basis of ‘Big Data’? This is exactly what an international team of programmers has been working on for a year. The goal is to recognise and map emerging trends through an algorithmic analysis of fashion.

The first result of the group, which calls itself Decoda, is the Fashion Color Extracta software. This evaluates the volume of colours in international designer collections as soon as they are presented on catwalks in Milan, New York, Paris and London.

Colour trends can now be captured in real time

“For the first time ever, the software enables the emergence of colour trends to be captured in real time. Not only does the collected colour data reveal which colours will be important in fashion, but also shows exactly how often and in which weightings these trend colours are being used. Even the rising and declining importance of the non-colours black and white can be tracked precisely,” elaborates the German Fashion Institute (DMI) in a blog post.

Once the season’s must-have colours have been determined in this way, specific colour trends can also be filtered out, for example the key colours for shoes, bags, blouses, knitwear, ready-to-wear or functional clothing.

For SS22, this means colours that promote naturalness and well-being, such as beige and earth tones; they form the basic tone of women’s fashion. In contrast, light-heartedness and playfulness are expressed by bright splashes of orange, purple, yellow and crimson.

Further inspiration can be found down south: “The light of the south bathes colours in a warmer light and Mediterranean cultures provide impulses for strong visuals and the power of craft,” reports the DMI. But “power dressing, textile performance and a redefined pop art signature” are also leaving their mark on fashion.

From now on, the DMI intends to publish this data digitally twice a year immediately after the show seasons in March and October. Evaluations of previous seasons can also be viewed via the DMI.

Image: Decoda 2021 via DMI