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Monday, January 21, 2008

Ann Hurley's Trend Insights - 2008

I greatly admire our Ann Hurley. She's truly a 'creative.' Everything she touches exudes that unexpected quality that leaves me breathless... from the Ultron color story she influences, the product development she guides, the photos she takes, the jewelry she designs, to what she notices...

I recently accompanied her on a visit through New York City. It was fascinating and endlessly educational to observe firsthand what sparked her interest and why. Where I was intrigued with the size of the large pumpkin arrangement drawing people inside a store, Ann gravitated toward the texture and harmony of harvest colors that came from the juxtaposition of items inside the store with those same pumpkins and the basket arrangement across from the pumpkins....

That said, Ann recently shared with us some of her Trend Insights. These come from her observations of the marketplace, visits to European trades shows [e.g., Heimtextil, Maison & Objet, Neocon...], her work with the Color Marketing Group and many other sources of inspiration.

Since I find trends really interesting, I thought I would share them here.

Have you noticed how HISTORY is a current TREND? She refers to this as Past Perfect. We see it in terms of a sense of the past relating to… Heritage, Personal Roots, Where we’ve been...

Historic color is seen in new combinations, finishes and applications. Texture adds interest and pearlized surfaces add an edge. Natural products like wood and bamboo serve as key materials when paired with the new synthetics. Together, these colors and finishes give a new edgy appeal.

This next trend truly affects all of us: A sense of Comfort. Have you noticed? I have increasingly... It is reflected in Retreat, the Retro movement [i.e. cars, fashion, interiors], and Objects marked by time... [Think about Starbucks' retro feel.]

Rural living re-explores the idea of traditional craftsmanship. By its very nature, it offers “eco” credentials and meshes with this consumer's desire for simplicity and authenticity.

Super Nature is a futuristic take on rural living. Products can emulate nature but don’t have to be natural—just in keeping with ecological criteria.

Then, there's a sense of Discovery relating to…. International scopes!

+ Euro style: interest in Eastern Europe and Russia

+ Bauhaus: clean line and German styling

+ Tuscan: simple styling with full bodied mid range colors

+ Marrakesh: folk wear influences- a fusion from Moroccan, Bohemian and African styling

This caught my attention:

Attendance figures for galleries, museums and cultural events continue to increase. This creates a more informed consumer who is looking for and recognizes both style and quality. Instant communication, increased cultural and artistic awareness combined with a more traveled consumer has created a demand for “good design” at home. The new and foreign were once seen as “exotic” but have lost some of their intrigue. Thus, we see a trend of new appreciation for objects lost through time. Rediscovery of the decorative arts and beauty found in imperfection is seen in polished concrete and exposed brickwork.

Everybody wants to show creative intelligence through the way each chooses to live.

And, increasingly, people are comfortable exploring and expressing that creativity.

Thank you, Ann!

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