Byline: FASHION JASMINE GARDNER
THIS winter you may have picked out a jacket or dress with padded shoulders. You are proudly following in the footsteps of celebs such as Rihanna and Victoria Beckham and wearing a look that you know is hot because it was all over the autumn-winter catwalks.
But for one Londoner, your exaggerated shoulders are old news. Jaana Jatyri is the 35-year-old CEO of fashion trend forecasting company Trendstop. It's the resource that top British, French and Italian fashion houses, mainstream brands such as Asos.com, Next and The Arcadia Group as well as technology companies such as HP and Sony Ericsson and advertising agencies turn to when they want to know what the invogue colours, fabrics, styles and themes will be a good 18 months before anyone has got wind of the trend. Jatyri first predicted that we'd all be wearing shoulder pads more than three years ago.
"We first mentioned 'extreme shoulders' as an emerging trend in October 2006," says Jatyri, who still has them sewn into the fuchsia pink jacket she is wearing. "For me it's not news any more. When I see someone walking down the catwalk I might think 'oh, it's that look' but by then, we've moved on."
Shoulder pads originally turned up in the collections from French designers Thierry Mugler and Claude Montana that season before making it to a Martin Margiela a-w '07 show and to a Gareth Pugh shoot that featured huge American football pads under knit tops. By the time Pugh stuck them on the runway in early 2008, the trend was a dead cert.
"Trend forecasting follows the classic marketing model," says Jatyri. "You have the innovators at the start -- the east London trendies or visionary designers such as Galliano, Westwood and McQueen -- then the early adopters, and then when something filters down it becomes a mass trend and then you have the laggers at the end." One look at Jatyri and it's obvious she falls somewhere at the top of the chain. "We look at what the innovators are doing and think: 'How would that translate into something that a normal person can wear?'" Any Devil Wears Prada fans will remember this translation being spelled out to the naive Andy Sachs by fashion magazine boss Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Streep, in the film's legendary "cerulean sweater" scene. Andy's "lumpy blue sweater", it turns out, "is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean" -- and it was first touted by Oscar de la Renta before it "trickled down into some tragic casual corner where you no doubt fished it out of some clearance bin." Like Priestly, Jatyri has seen inside the future wardrobes of unfashionable "laggers" among us -- and as a former "St Martins girl" she probably quivered in horror.
Originally from Finland, Jatyri moved to London aged 19 in order to attend Central St Martins and study fashion design. After graduating she set up her Continued on Page 28
Continued from Page 27 first business, creating clothing shape templates to help designers for companies such as Marks and Spencer and River Island draw their collections. Soon her clients didn't just want current style templates, they wanted predictions for future shapes, and that led her to trend prediction. In 2002 it became her main business, Trendstop. "When the trend forecasting industry started in the Seventies the cycles of products were so slow that you could just look at magazines and say, 'This page has green, this page has green: that's mostly green. Green is a trend.' Now we have the net and an overload of data. Forecasting is partly a gut instinct but it's also crunching through billions of bites of data to find out what colours people are searching for online. Of course you still need the antenna to spot the trend among it all."
She also has a workforce of "spotters" who scour the streets of major fashion cities such as London, Tokyo and Paris taking pictures of the "fashion geeks" who might be leading the way for something new. …