Color and trend forecasting is a big business. Most large apparel and accessories companies use some sort of outside service to help guide their product decisions, which are often made 9-12 months before the merchandise hits the stores.
The information is usually disseminated via suggested color palettes and trend reports, based on the forecaster’s interpretation of catwalk trends, textile shows and a gut reaction to what feels right for the future.
Interactive artist and software developer Pedro Miguel Cruz, has taken a more scientific approach to the process, for French retailer Pimkie.
Cruz has installed webcams in the most fashionable areas of Paris, Milan and Antwerp, and puts the imagery through a computer program, which isolates the colored pixels and logs the information.
The data can be viewed on their website, as live feed, colored graphs, or as color recommendations for items available for purchase at the Pimkie store.
The information is also available on Twitter.
While this may not directly impact those needing long-term color direction, this is a great tool for short term planning, and getting a handle on what is trending in real time.