Monday, April 22, 2013

91 Magazine - The making of a Trend

Our latest issue of 91 Magazine went online today, we hope you've had a flick through?! In this issue we took a look at crafting and styling trends and where these originate from. Make sure to pop over, have a read and check out own trend predictions for this year, like this crochet tape which we've used to adorn candles...

Photo: Gary Hamill / Styling: Sally Cullen
While we were putting this feature together, we spoke to Holly Becker of Decor8 about her views on where crafting trends come from and the influence of bloggers on the spread of these kinds of ideas. We couldn't fit all of Holly's comments into the magazine, so here she shares more on this topic with Patchwork Harmony. We'd love to hear your own views on this too. Where do you think your crafting inspiration comes from and how do you think things like washi tape have become such a huge success? Do you think it comes straight from the trend forecasters, or are we being influenced more and more by our online contemporaries in the blogging world? Is it the Pinterest phenomenon that has fuelled the spread of trends for crafting and styling, particularly for weddings and parties?  

We'd love to hear your thoughts so comment here to join the discussion or tweet us with #crafttrends or Instagram your photos to @91magazine of what you think are the big crafting and styling trends for 2013 and add #crafttrends

Holly Becker tells us: "A growing concern to trend forecasters, whether they be individuals, companies, magazines, etc. is to lose their "edge" to those online, like bloggers, who can quickly spot and write about trends and feed that information to thousands of people instantly. There are people who are hired to start and to predict trends and they do so by detecting patterns in thinking, spotting the beginning stages of a movement, noticing a shift in mindset or opinion. Noticing what people are valuing both more, and less. There are companies such as Pantone who dictate colour trends - and that influences entire markets, particular fashion and interiors. Their investigative research is valuable to companies who simply do not have the time to watch for these things. 

Tissue paper pom poms have been a huge trend for wedding and party styling. Who were the initiators of this idea?
Photos via The Balcony Gardener

Blogging itself can be called a trend, it's a movement started by some that spread and became "the" way to connect online. Few bloggers, however, have the ability to influence mainstream trends by themselves – maybe a handful of bloggers could, but very few. For instance, if I blog about plants being hot decorative accessories in the home, the entire world isn't going to run out and start buying plants and it won't automatically become a trend. Some top editors may read my opinion, a few large companies, and they may think that I am onto something… And later on, they see more and more bloggers talking about plants — but eventually unless a major magazine or trend setter says PLANTS ARE THE NEW BLACK, it's not going to hit the mainstream until someone massively popular says it's trending. 

This happens all the time in fashion. The moment a celebrity wears a certain designer bag, it's trending. Until then, bloggers may have been talking about it for 10 months, but that one celebrity had the power to turn it into a trend overnight. Of course, she may have been largely influenced by reading her favorite blogs to buy and carry that bag in the first place. This actually happens frequently. I've seen lots of things only on blogs and a year later, every magazine was talking about it. But until the magazine editor says It's A Trend, it may not become part of pop culture.

Could Holly have influenced a trend by blogging about house plants?!
Photo: Nicole Franzen
One thing to note to is that a trend isn't always a product or something tangible, like a color palette. It can be a trend in thinking, emotional trends, spiritual trends (I'd say in the western world, yoga is trending), food trends (everyone suddenly taking about green smoothies), etc.  Lots of these trends in thinking and in lifestyle ultimately dictate the products that are being sold. A trend in yoga means more companies manufacturing yoga mats, for instance. 

Bloggers have a lot of influence and as a result, those "on the outside" who recognize this influence pay attention and tap in to what we are doing. I want bloggers to really take their role seriously - so many bloggers down-play their blog posts like their opinion doesn't really matter because they're not part of the "big" blogs out there. Not true! There is strength in numbers. Sure, one blog may not be able to single-handedly start a trend just because they highlighted something they like one day in a blog post BUT when the entire blogging community starts to re–blog that post, talk about it on Twitter, Facebook, etc, share it on Pinterest, etc. then together we DO have influence and that can trickle down and cause real change to occur. 

Will Dymo labelling become more popular this year?
Photo via Love Peace Pionies
That's why I've long been a champion of sharing and not so much in support of this new idea that each blog needs to only blog custom content and their own photos, be a total individual, not share what another blogger already talked about or shared, etc. To me, this will lead to the death of blogs as influencers and early adopters. How can we influence something or adopt it if we fear writing about it because another blogger already covered it?  How can we discuss trends if no one has images to share supporting those discussions unless they take these images themselves? While it's important to get permission from photographer's and to link back, credit sources, etc. These discussions NEED to take place. MANY voices together can start a wave of change, launch a new idea, etc. To be innovators, you have to share your ideas with your tribe and your tribe, in turn, must share with their tribe, and so on.  This is how popular trends are kick–started. I hope bloggers really think about this more and value not only their contribution online, but value sharing what others are blogging about too – we have a pretty responsible position when you think about it.

Thanks Holly for your insight into this. Do tell us your thoughts either by commenting here on via social media with #crafttrends


  1. Love this post from Holly. Really good views!

  2. Brilliant thoughts! I totally agree with Holly on the fact that a trend can be become a trend if published by the right medium being an important platform such as Trend Tablet or through a celebrity. It all depends on how is talking about it/wearing it/spreading the word. A trend forecaster or maker needs to have a certain influence on the market already.

  3. Great thoughts! Starting a trend and inspiring are both are equally as important and what's big fun in blogging and sharing a voice.

  4. Great thoughts Holly!

    I'm interested about trend forecasting and this hits quite to the point. I just wish there would be more sustainable and ecological trends...I feel usually things are more interesting before they come a massive trend. But have to give a deeper thought to this!

  5. I think sharing and giving credit to the source is the right thing to do. But i also see the difficulty when it comes to trends and how to handle these... we all do not wanna be sheep to follow the crowd right? But still is supporting or beeing part of a trend also a way of beeing part of a movement with its energy and beeing part of something... and often when it gets commercialsed one feel kind of betrayed, as one was part of it before- even if we also are the ones pushing it forward and supported the growth!
    It's in any case an interesting discussion! (sorry if my thought may not be very clear...)


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