talking trends


Diary of a trend forecaster

Guest columnist Victoria Redshaw, futurist at Scarlet Opus, opens up the pages of her journal for an inside look at the life of a trend forecaster

September I joined Phil out in Dubai early in September, where we pulled our plans together for INDEX during a week in A4 Space, a co-working community venue in Askeral Avenue - the region’s foremost arts hub in the city’s industrial quarter. We then relocated to the Dubai World Trade

Centre to oversee the building of a Design Hub space that included a seminar theatre, where UAE- based speakers shared their expertise in biophilic design, architecture, sustainability and renewables. Across the four days of the exhibition, we

showcased a diverse range of interiors products from local designers and overseas manufacturers, and shared design trend information with the international visitors. Having greatly admired their products at

Electrical), we were kept very busy during the early summer months, preparing and creating the trend features for the co-located London trade exhibitions in June. Then, within days of the Shows’ doors closing, the Scarlet Opus team began a non-stop period of trend forecasting and travel that took us around the world right through to December. First we headed to the US to deliver 2020 design


trend presentations to manufacturing clients on the East Coast.

July Then in July our core team - Phil Pond, Laura Greenwood and I - flew to Melbourne for Décor + Design, Australia’s number one interiors show. The Trend Hub we curated there incorporated large table displays of innovative material samples and a seminar lounge, where Laura hosted a series of female speakers who presented empowering talks. On the opening day of the four-day show, I

presented a ‘2019 Design Trends’ seminar to an audience of more than 200, followed by a lunch and panel discussion for members of the Australian press. Phil and I also co-presented Trend Tours twice

daily, to enable groups of interior designers and retailers to learn more about our selection of the best products at the show, and how they linked to future design and lifestyle trends.

August During August, Phil travelled to Dubai for organisation meetings ahead of INDEX, the region’s largest interior design event - whilst back in the UK, Laura and I arranged final material samples and finished writing scripts for the exhibition.

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s the trend forecasting partner to the Exclusively Shows (Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively

Exclusively Electrical in June, we invited Véritable to join us on the Design Hub in Dubai to showcase their innovative small-scale smart indoor gardens for growing herbs, salad greens, baby fruits, vegetables and edible flowers.[The gardens are self-sufficient in terms of irrigation, lighting and nutrients: you just plug in, insert the seed blocks, and fill the reservoir.] Visitors were fascinated by the product range and it was a great way to introduce Véritable to the UAE market, as well as to bring our ‘BioTech’ design trend forecast to life for visitors. And following the wonderful response to the Studio Blue collection by Denby at Exclusively Housewares, we asked Denby to ship a selection of products from that collection out to Dubai. These pieces were central to our ‘Clarity’ trend

display, which promoted calming colours that are quietly composed in order to create a sense of stillness and tranquillity in homes, which can help to improve wellbeing. Denby’s soothing, soft blue collection - inspired

by the colours and textures of stones and minerals - certainly resonated with visitors from the region, who were impressed by the British company’s ceramic crafting technique and appreciated the unique speckled glaze finishes and quality of the stoneware. We styled Denby’s Studio Blue pieces with blue and gold woven placemats from Ladelle and gold cutlery from Mepra. Meanwhile Laura was back in the UK creating a

Trend Hub at The Flooring Show in Harrogate, and Suzy Makin from Apricot Lime then created beautiful room sets that brought the design trends to life.

October In early October we were invited by Le Creuset to visit its recently completed offices and factory in Northern France. The impressive series of huge connected, minimalist cubes that make up the site dominated the landscape on the approach to

Fresnoy-Le-Grand. On the tour we saw the awe-inspiring sand

mould, casting, fettling and enamelling processes that together create the incredibly durable, high quality products that Le Creuset is world renowned for.

Once back from France, it was time to present one of our bi-annual bespoke trend forecasts to the buying, marketing and merchandising teams at Lakeland. This is a trip that we love making, because of the stunning drive to its HQ in Windermere, the friendliness of the team there and, of course, the opportunity to shop in its stunning flagship store. Soon afterwards, our team flew to Switzerland

and drove into Germany for a first-time visit to a new client. We toured its production facilities and then led a 2020 design trends workshop with its product development and sales teams. On our return we were invited to stage a one-day

takeover of INDEX’s Instagram Stories in order to share ‘A Day in the Life of Trend Forecasters’ with their thousands of followers.

November At the time of writing (mid-November) Phil is back in Dubai presenting a ‘2019/20 Design Trends’ seminar to the city’s design community at Mirage Project Point in Dubai Design District (d3). Laura and I have remained at The Waffle, the

co-working space at Beverley in Yorkshire that we use as our base when not travelling. Laura is currently organising material samples for the Trend Hub feature that she will create at The International Surface Event (TISE), which takes place in Las Vegas in January. I’m preparing a lecture on trend forecasting forfinal year design students at The University of Huddersfield, which I will deliver at the end of the month. As we look ahead to next year, we are already

beginning to make plans for the trend features at the Exclusively Shows in 2019. We look forward to seeing you there.

The Studio Blue collection by Denby on the Design Hub at interior design event INDEX in Dubai December 2018

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