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Fashion Forecaster 

Like trees dropping their leaves, racks in apparel shops recently began casting off their vibrant summery-hued garments of pink melon, canary yellow and grassy green. It's time to transition to the cooler seasons. Clothiers are endeavoring to replace their stock with the newest fall fashion trends--mixtures of bold colors and soft neutrals. And if you had asked Fran Yoshioka, she could have told you a year ago which patterns and colors would hang from mannequins and sit in neat soldier rows upon shelves and tables today.

click to enlarge Fran Yoshioka travels around the world to fashion shows studying the trends. - COURTESY OF PATTERN
  • Courtesy of Pattern
  • Fran Yoshioka travels around the world to fashion shows studying the trends.

For Yoshioka, it's all in a days' work. The global trend-tracker and fashion analyst boasts more than 30 years of experience tracking the latest and greatest of color and style to be popularized for the apparel, home furnishing and retail industries. She does this by researching what trends come into favor in the United States and in Europe for each season, traveling the world, reading trend publications and studying designer collections.

"What I love about trend forecasting is the constant forward motion: the thinking, projecting and developing of ideas that keep us looking ahead," Yoshioka says.

Her knowledge and experience make her an ideal speaker at the third annual Pattern Trend Report, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 16, at the Indiana Design Center in Carmel. The event, hosted by Pattern, offers Indy-based designers and other industry professionals a leg up on next year's styles.

Predicting  the colors, patterns and general trends in fashion from one year to the next is vital for designers They need to know what their customers will want to wear in a year's time, as well as which looks they'll be glad to say "good riddance" to.

"They need to know what the customer will respond to," Yoshioka says. "What will make her want to buy, own and wear this item? What will make even a basic item be compelling to her next year? A change in fabric, a new level of color, and a new proportion or sleeve?" 

Yoshioka helps designers answer these questions through her research. She has previously worked and consulted for many well-known companies and clients such as Wal-Mart, Fossil, Crate & Barrel and Sears, making hers a trusted name in the industry.

click to enlarge By analyzing fashion designs, Fran Yoshioka predicts next year's styles. - COURTESY OF PATTERN
  • Courtesy of Pattern
  • By analyzing fashion designs, Fran Yoshioka predicts next year's styles.

"To have a person of her experience and credentials present in Indy is big savings!" says Truen Jaimes, the creative director of Indianapolis-based clothing manufacturer House of 5th. "I am constantly searching for trend reports, and they cost from the hundreds to thousands if they're from a legitimate industry source."

Others involved in the fashion industry who attended the event for the last two years praise Yoshioka's knowledge and passion for what she does.

"Her delivery sweeps you up into market week, as if you are traveling with her, discovering the best of the upcoming season," says Susan Branco, former Develop Indy fashion liaison.

For the fall 2014 season, Yoshioka says that she is surprised that cultural influences from Russia and Asia have lingered for so long, especially the continuing interest with Eastern European peasant crafts.  

"I like the expression of it and the wealth of inspirations that can be had, but it often gets to be too specific and costume-y," she says.

Various shades of orange will continue to play an important color role in the fall 2014 season, both in women's apparel and in home furnishings, according to Yoshioka. She also says that the color palettes are softening for apparel and home, which will make for   a more quiet and  easier way  to live (dress and decorate with)  this season.

Thrilled to speak at the Trend Report for the third year in a row, she says, "I love the energy I feel and see in the audience who are so involved and dedicated to their field."  

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About The Author

Rachael Goniu  /  Butler

Rachael Goniu / Butler

Rachael Goniu is a student at Butler University where she is a Journalism and Strategic Communications double major with a Marketing minor. She is originally from Mequon, WI, but has grown to call Indianapolis her home.

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