Industry. Henrik Vejlgaard’s Anatomy of a Trend. It Style a Science? Second City Style Fashion Blog

October 30, 2007 • Fashion


In a former life I taught university courses in business ethics and visual culture and so I’m always interested in how people in the academic disciplines approach these topics. And while Henrik Vejlgaard’s book certainly provides useful tips and interesting socio-cultural observations, I’m still left wondering about the larger, more provocative questions that surround the consumption and production of goods and services.

To be fair, I believe that the author doesn’t necessarily aim to answer these questions but as an educated citizen one can almost guestimate his final 10 Trend-spotting main clues. This doesn’t make them any less valuable but it does make me want to ask bigger and better questions.

10 Trendspotting clues (all quoted directly from the text)
A trend is more likely to become mainstream if the following conditions are met:
1/The new trend has started as a reaction to the mainstream
2/Different kinds of trendsetters adopt the trend
3/ A high number of trendsetters adopt the trend
4/The trend first emerges in a major city that is known to have trendsetters
5/The trend quickly speads to other cities that are known to have many trendsetters
6/There is ongoing product and/or design development early in the trend process.
7/The products or style can be imitated or copied
8/Many of the trendsetters’ media focus on the trend
9/There is a connection between celebrities and the trend
10/There is a connection between Hollywood movies and the trend

What makes Vejlgaard an interesting read for for a larger public isn’t necessarily new insight but his selective overview of brands like Burberry, but his synopsis of the history of cultures that are diverse and necessarily complicated like queer culture and his history of hip-hop tend to leave the reader with the feeling she’s missing important details in these rich traditions.

Overall, it’s a quick read and certainly written for a public readership but I challenge Vejlgaard to follow up with a volume with a richer tapestry.256 pages, McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (August 27, 2007)English, $21.95 hard cover– Joanne Molina, Senior Editor

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