Retailers large and small have too much at stake to leave their buying to chance. No wonder the business relies so heavily on trend forecasting, a phenomenon I’ve always been a little bit suspicious of. At least I used to be skeptical until I witnessed last month’s CGTA predictions come to life on the Crate&Barrel showroom floor (above) this past week.
CGTA is the Canadian Gift & Tableware Association and its fall show, held last month in Toronto, is a leading barometer of what’s next. The event included two sessions with Canadian decorating maven Debbie Travis (below right, photo courtesy of CGTA), who shared her observations in a Q&A with Retail News editor Erica Kirkland.
As the face and brand for a wide range of Canadian Tire products, Travis has a team of people working full-time to make sure her finger is on the right style hot buttons. She identified a trio of décor directions for spring and summer 2009: Blueprint, Utopia and Tropics. Follow the link to find out what the heck it all means.
Blueprint calls for a resurgence of French and Delft stylings, blue and white will be BIG! Travis suggests we’ll also be seeing lots of hand-painted ceramics, embossed dinnerware, white-washed woods and more clear glass accessories and natural linens. And wasn’t Crate&Barrel all about it last week? The beautiful plates and see-through lamp (above) are the essence of Travis’s forecast.
Utopia is about organic shapes and colours, woven patterns and eco-friendly materials like cork, bamboo and matte ceramics. Travis says we’ll be seeing yet more nickel finishes and translucent coloured glass. Again C&B’s current offerings (below) are right on trend.
And finally Tropics: Debbie says we’ll be heating things up next spring/summer with bright, saturated hues and patterns (below left), along with lots of white lacquered woods, coloured plastics, stainless steel, rubber and painted metal.
Trendspotter Bridget Fabi, a CGTA contributor and blogger (trends inc.), points to strong trends in metallics, which also happen to be everywhere at Crate&Barrel right now from the bronze, mercury glass lamps all the way to bedding fabrics (above right).
Erica Kirkland’s trendwatch in the latest issue of Retail News calls for continuing interest in global cultures, particularly items and patterns from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. She says we’ll be ready for “folksy, patchwork patterns” and warm reds, burnt oranges, browns, plums and olives, exactly the colours I was seeing over and over again at Crate&Barrel.