MSc Fashion and Lifestyle Marketing Module Focus: Trend and Design Decisions

By Dr Ruth Marciniak (MSc Fashion and Lifestyle Marketing Programme Leader)

Vital to the fashion and lifestyle sector is the ability to analyse social, technological, political and cultural trends, which in turn, enable those working in the industry to predict patterns of consumer behaviour and, in so doing, inform design decisions.

In an industry which was once dominated by seasons, Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter, consumers are now exposed to ‘drops’, or rather, a constant flow of new designs and the challenge of the industry is to be responsive to trends, which may emerge and expire rapidly within the turbulent fashion environment in which consumers make their purchase decisions.

Together with consumers, fashion and lifestyle brands, celebrities, magazines and bloggers on social media all hustle for influence in the marketplace.

Yet, whilst the industry is fast paced, the concept of a trend remains relevant. As the Business of Fashion points out:

Trends are tools that might help you convince your clients how you and your brand understand how the world changes”.

Those teaching the module Trend and Design Decisions on the MSc Fashion and Lifestyle Marketing programme understand the importance of the need for brand companies to process information in order to recognise which are the relevant trends, which are the relevant markets, and react to them.  The key concept underpinning this module is that it is all about responsiveness to the market – this is what drives design decisions.

What will a student cover in the module?

History and practice of design and fundamentals of trends, design decisions and design thinking; framing the design problem and identifying design opportunities; managing the design process; competitive advantage through design; trend analysis process and trend hunting; forecasting resources that help predict trends; the marketplace and consumer futures; designing experiences & spaces, customer emersion and empathy; product ideation; concept creation to prototype development.

What will a student learn from the module?

On completion of the module, students will have a good understanding of the design process and the importance of design to the commercial success of a fashion and lifestyle brand. In addition, students will be able to evaluate shifting trends taking place in the global fashion and lifestyle sector and identify opportunities for improving profitability within the sector.

What are the highlights of the module?

This module is led by a fashion practitioner and retail consultant with previous experience as a design and merchandise Director.  In addition, the course content is enhanced through two guest lecturers with extensive experience in trend and design decisions.

How will students be assessed on the module?

Students will produce an illustrated report in which they have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of trend analysis and apply this understanding to a design thinking approach to the lifestyle marketplace

How will this module help me get a job in the fashion industry?

In equal parts, the module develops both creative and analytical skills, both vital for working in the fashion and lifestyle sector wherein product demand is volatile and product life cycle is short.

Find out more about our MSc Fashion and Lifestyle Marketing programme here.

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