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Shopping is over, so we will talk about other things than if a certain bag is the ”new black”, according to the trend expert
”We will look back at the years 2000-2020 as a strange period of time when we walked in malls, talked about shopping and got excited over a bag. That time is over now,” says Stefan Nilsson.
Nilsson has been working with trends in one way or another since the turn of the millennium.
— I started with radio where me and a handful of other trend hunters sat down and talked about what happened in Stockholm and why. That is basically my training, but I have a diverse background mainly in design. I have had my own design shop, worked as marketing manager at Svensk Form and in the same role with a handful of digital games companies, he says.
Today, he is one of Scandinavia’s leading trend experts.
— What drives me is trying to understand why we change and why we choose the things we choose.
What’s the difference being a trend expert now compared to five or ten years ago?
— Technology is constantly changing the way we consume information. Ten years ago, a magazine like Kinfolk was extremely important and people photographed the magazine in their living rooms. Wallpaper was on the decline, but still kind of important. So, 2010 we still read magazines. Five years ago we started talking about ”influencers”. And we rapidly moved from blogs to Instagram. Trends change so that is no difference. My methods are basically the same. I need to see things (for instance at fairs), talk to people (interviews), read reports (statistics) and work with my gut feeling. Today we will see a huge shift. Shopping is over so we will talk about other things than if a certain bag is the “new black”.
A new decade is approaching, what has been the key trend during the last ten years?
— Fashion has been extremely important as a trend driver. This is where we have seen the biggest trends. Just look at styles like ”preppy” or ”normcore” or how a brand like Supreme exploded.
— Food is also a big driver. We eat out, eat certain avocado sandwiches, pokebowls or drink alcohol free cocktails. Health should be a whole new chapter as well. Both eating (LCHF…) and working out.
— And shopping. We have been talking about stores we like, such as Collette, Corso Como or whatever.
— And travel. We have gotten cheaper flights, cheaper hotels and, of course, AirBnb. This whole attitude with change in behaviour is big. Netflix, HBO, Spotify, co working spaces…
And what trends do you see in 2020?
— Colour of the year by Pantone is blue and I see a slow shift from all the beige. We will add coral to beige or mint green just to break the constant monochrome look of beige. And second hand is a huge driver. Also, the look of second hand. When I look at the collections of the fast fashion brands, I see that everything looks like it is from a thrift shop or vintage store. Everything has an oversize look, a bit worn and out of shape. Same things with interior design, says Nilsson. He adds:
— And that is just a sign of the changing times. Consumerism is over. We don’t want to buy new things. We will do other things and the things we will talk about when we meet are ”experiences”, like: ”Have you tried the new wine and pottery class?”
Are trends more important than ever? Or less?
— Ten, fifteen years ago we talked about trends as fitting in. Or being cool. Today we talk about trends as understanding why we do the things we do. We talk less about colours and more about things like sustainability. So, yes, we talk about trends. The commercial trends you can see as in ”buy the look” are uninteresting but when Time magazine lists the 100 most influential people for the future and have Ryan O’Connell on it — then we are interested. Ryan is the creator behind the tv show on HBO about a guy with cerebral pares (CP) who tries to have a love and sex life, says Nilsson, continuing,
— We will look back at the years 2000-2020 as a strange period of time when we walked in malls, talked about shopping and got excited over a bag. That time is over now. It will be difficult for a lot of people to handle this but this will happen. Shops will close because we don’t shop. Brands will die because they don’t catch up. But this is as revolutionary as when we started streaming music or started reading blogs/Instagram instead of magazines. This movement has just started.
In Scandinavia, we tend to describe ourselves as early adopters. Are Scandinavians the world’s most trendy people? Or not?
— Tough question. I tend to talk about it from a different angle. Scandinavians, and Swedes in particular, have a culture of talking about what they do and specifically new things. ”Have you tried the new restaurant?” ”Did you see the new TV show?” That is how we communicate. That is a curious mind and a positive thing. We could talk about local things or things from other places ”Did you try the new perfume launched in New York?” But we are also very, very, very homogenous. So when we talk about a new feature, we all talk about the same feature. So when the new Stan Smith is launched — everyone stands in line for that shoe, even though there are similar white sneakers available. And when you walk at certain streets in Stockholm, everyone has the same uniform. A very trendy uniform — but everyone has the same ironic t-shirt. So, trends are very visually easy to spot in Sweden, and partly Scandinavia. But trends are born somewhere else. Especially in New York.Stefan NilssonStora Trenddagen 2020