Design Tribe Podcast

Design Trends for 2022 - Surface Pattern Design, Textile Design, and Illustration

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Speaker 2 (00:06):

Hey, what's up. Y'all I'm here in beautiful Atlanta. And today I wanted to talk to you about trends. I'm currently in a deep dive of trend research for 2022 and wanted to let you know that I've got several pre-order discounts going on for my 2022 trend guide, plus a live workshop for those of you who sign up early, just head over to my [email protected] and click on trend. Leslie is spelled with an E Y and join my email list to get the next discount. All right, thanks for listening to the design drive. Let's start the episode.


Speaker 3 (00:44):

Okay. So why are trans important? I think this is the first question we should start out with because there are designers out there who really hate trends and they don't think trends are important. They have no interest in following them. They maybe see trends as being cheap and too commercial or, you know, kind of like it kind of like you lose yourself as a designer. If you're chasing trends all the time, you don't really have sort of this aesthetic that defines your own brand. But to me, I really see trends as art. Especially when you are looking at runway shows and some of the, you know, beginning stages of where these trends are developing. And I mean, it really is art. And I know that these things have a commercial use and that the trends are going to kind of push sales for a lot of products.


Speaker 3 (01:41):

Right. And, you know, I understand why people will see that as you know, oh, it's a gimmick or it's a sales tactic, but the thing is of that transit sell for a reason. And it's because they're inspiring. And I don't think that these two concepts are mutually exclusive, right? Like I don't think that just because something sells well, it's automatically not art or it's automatically cheap, right. Just because it's commercial, it doesn't mean that it's not a really amazing and deep and valuable. And so I think that, you know, when you really start to dive into the beginning stages of how these concepts come about from the designer's imagination, right. And the experimentation, and, you know, putting together kind of insane materials. And in ways that, you know, to the current mainstream would seem crazy. Like if you look at a lot of runway trends, they seem kind of nuts and it's because they are exaggerated it's because it is a place where, you know, clothes and apparel and design ideas can be whatever they want because they aren't actually going to be selling in this form.


Speaker 3 (02:52):

Right. The life cycle of a trend is that it starts out on something like their runway and it's really wild and really crazy. And then retailers kind of tend to the Trinity retailers tend to be the first ones to jump on that trend, but they water it down a bit. Right. It's not like you're going into a trendy store and seeing the exact same thing that you would have seen in runway fashion. So it's watered down a little bit and it's made more digestible for the average consumer. And then you have, you know, stores and retail brands that are, you know, kinda in the middle there, they're not super Trinity, but you know, they, they see these Trinity stores and they see that, oh you know, proof of concept, right. That people are actually buying these things. So, all right, maybe we'll dabble.


Speaker 3 (03:42):

Maybe we'll stick our toe in the water and we'll try this trend. It's a little scary, but we'll try it. And then, you know, those stores, they start selling and, you know, people love it and more and more people jump on the trend. And when more people see that other people are wearing X, Y, Z, or have this kind of trend in their home with its home decor, you know, whatever the category is, then they're like, oh, well, if these people can, can pull it off, then I can pull it off. I think I can pull it off now because I've seen it enough times. Right. And then the mass market stores are like, oh, everyone's behind this trend. So we need to sell it. And then that's when the Walmarts and the Sam's clubs and sort of middle America adopts the trend. And then the market gets really saturated, right?


Speaker 3 (04:30):

It, it gets kind of overwhelmed by this trend and then it's not special anymore. Once the market is oversaturated, then it's not special anymore. And that's when the trend, you know, it can coast for a few years. Sometimes it depends on the trend. Every trend will have its own life cycle. We can't say a trend lasts for exactly one season or it lasts for exactly three years. Like some trends last longer than others. But once we see the market gets saturated and sales start to dip, then we kind of know it's not special anymore. It's not fashion forward. It's not exciting. It's not holy crap. Like only, only something you would see people wearing in New York city. Right. And so that's when we see the trend to start to die off. And it kind of just becomes this, this mountain curve where it starts out slow.


Speaker 3 (05:22):

Only the trendiest stores are, are willing to put it in and try it out. And then when it really gets into the mass market stores and starts to saturate the market, that's the peak, right. And we don't know how long that peak is going to last. It can again, coast for awhile, but after that, it starts to decline and dipped out. And that's when you start to see it and like clearance stores and things like that. And so that's sort of the life cycle as a trend. But going back to the question are trends important. I think trends are so important. And I think that when people see trans as only being a means to sell or they own, they only see trends as, you know, cheap or commercial or not really worth paying attention to, I think they're kind of missing the point because trans really define our time.


Speaker 3 (06:13):

Right. I mean, imagine if you couldn't tell the difference between 70 1970s fashion and 1920s fashion, what if it all looked the same, which is kind of like the way things looked, you know, throughout the 17 hundreds or throughout the 18 hundreds, like trends happened, but very, very, very slowly. And once we hit the 20th century, that's when things get a lot more interesting and we're able to, you know, really separate the decades by fashion and by trend. And so trends are important because they define you. They define where you are in this life, in this decade. And we all get to decide that, and I want to share a little quote from Matthew Smith that says either embrace trends or define them, but never complain about them. And I think that's so true because trends are what they are. And they're kind of magical trends really are defining the present era that we're all living in.


Speaker 3 (07:16):

And that's what will kind of put us in the history. But so it's kind of what we'll be remembered for, you know, other than, you know, major historical events. But that's how, you know, our look, our fascia and that's how we'll be kind of looked on in an historic way. And they allow us to define ourselves and kind of to eternalize ourselves in this recognizable aesthetic. And what's really cool about that is that as designers, we get to be a part of that. So I would say we should all appreciate trends. Right? another thing that designers are sometimes concerned about is that they'll lose their individuality. If they focus on trans, you know, they're worried that this brand that they've built for themselves or, you know, the thing that they're known for is going to disappear if they chase every trend.


Speaker 3 (08:04):

And I think that that is true and also false. And so let me explain that for a second. I think that you have to know as a designer, when to be discerning and when a trend is not for you and not every trend is going to be for you and that's okay. However, some trends will fall into your brand. They will fall into the industry that you're targeting, right. If elephants are really trendy in baby decor this season that might not really apply to me if I'm designing rugs, especially if they are area rugs that are not for children, right. That's not going to help me very much. And so you obviously have to focus on the industry, make sure that it's relevant to the audience and the consumers that you're targeting with your designs. And with that being said, I think that if you've developed your own art style, then you don't have to deviate from that in order to follow a trend.


Speaker 3 (09:05):

Right? So back when I got my very first in-house job in textile design, I was the licensing coordinator and designer for our license or a Candace Olson. And if you're familiar with home decor, she was a big name, one of the first big, big shows on HDTV. And yeah, she was really big and she had a very established brand in a very established aesthetic. And this was back in 2012 when Chevron was all the rage, Chevron was starting to pick up, it was everywhere. It was selling really big. And she was a designer who was kind of like, eh, like Chevron's not really my look, you know, like she didn't do geometrics. She was very transitional, had various soft color palettes and this and that. However, she decided because it was selling so much and it was such a big trend to do her own version of Chevron.


Speaker 3 (09:59):

That was kind of this soft Chevron, right. It wasn't too, it wasn't a two color, hard-lined a pointy Chevron. It was a very kind of organic Chevron with multicolors and soft colors that kind of blended together and used sort of this blended yarn. And she just, she made it her own. And so if you do have a very established art style and an established brand, I'm not saying to deviate from that, I am saying that you can jump on a trend early and you can stand to make a lot of money if you're going to ride that wave. Right. Remember the mountain graphic we kind of talked about and how it starts out just at this small incline. And then it starts to really take off and sales just increase and increase and increase until you hit that peak. But if you wait until the trend hits the peak, then you're going to be kind of out of luck, you know, unless it's a trend that just goes on and on and on and on and on, and we can't get rid of it, which does happen with some trends, but it's better to get on the trend really, really early.


Speaker 3 (11:04):

Because if you catch the trend early, then you can really ride that wave and your designs are going to be already done. They're going to be done and ready to sell by the time the wave really crests right and hits its peak. And so my point in saying all of this is that you don't have to lose your individuality by focusing on trends. Oftentimes I like to think of trends as a particular subject matter. So if let's say butterflies are trending in print and pattern design, then how am I going to draw butterflies in a way that's in my style in a way that's different from other artists or from what I've seen already, how can I interpret this butterfly trend? Maybe I look at the pattern that's in the wing of the butterfly and I recreate that pattern and I'm actually drawing individual butterflies, or maybe I'm drawing butterflies in pen and ink in a way that's, you know, stylistically relevant to me or relevant to my industry. And so there isn't any need to be afraid of trends in terms of losing your individuality. I think it's a way to express your individuality through a certain subject matter.


Speaker 3 (12:20):

Yeah. I just wanted to take a quick break to let you know that I'm currently taking pre-orders for the 2022 trend guide. If that sounds like something you'd be interested in head over to Lauren Remember Leslie is spelled with an E Y and click on trend to sign up for my email list and get the next discount. All right. That's it. Let's dive back in. I know some of you are probably wondering, well, what are the transfer 2022. So let's talk about some of them. Okay. So one of the first things I'm really noticing is that we're moving away from cool neutrals, especially grays and, and especially in home decor. So in apparel, you know, it's not really so predominant, but in home decor, people love their neutrals because you're making a bigger investment. It's going to be something you're going to have around for a long time.


Speaker 3 (13:14):

Generally speaking, if you're investing in a sofa or an area rug or wall color, you know, it's not something you necessarily want to change out every year. And so trends in home decor tend to last a little bit longer, especially the neutrals. And back in 2012, when I got my first in-house job as a textile designer, it's like the Browns were out right. And gray was all the rage. It was fresh. It was cool. It was, it was just hot, you know, it was trendy. And then the market got saturated with grays and it's coasted for a while because it is a neutral, it's not too upsetting. It's not anything that's going to rock the boat too much. Right. But I'm starting to see now a shift back to warmer neutrals. And I don't think we're quite at the chocolates yet, but I think the tans, the beiges the sort of the sort of white desert type of looks are coming in.


Speaker 3 (14:12):

And I love it. I'm I'm ready for it. Right. Because we've had a gray for a while now, we've had a lot of gray. And so I don't know that home decor is quite there yet. Again, home decor tends to follow fashion and apparel. So we're going to see brand new trends come out and fashion and apparel first, and then home decor generally follows that. And so I'm seeing a lot of warmer neutrals and I'm personally really excited about it. Back in 2020 when I was buying sweatpants, I was like, Hmm, I think I'm going to go for these beige sweatpants. That looks kind of fresh. Haven't seen that in a while. And so, you know, it's starting to happen. I'm also seeing a lot of pastels and pastels are not something that's brand new to this trend season. However, I do want to discuss how trends kind of evolve and the evolution of trends.


Speaker 3 (15:06):

And so I remember several years ago when millennial pink kind of first made its appearance and especially working in home decor, my, my managers, my bosses were like, no, we're not doing millennial pink. Right? Like they just, they remembered when pink was really big in the eighties and then it was out for so, so, so long that they were like, I don't trust this. This is a fad instead of a trend it's gonna, it's gonna sell quick and short and no, one's, it's not going to catch on. And holy crap, a few years later, my art director was like, you know, I really thought millennial pink was going to be short-lived and it's still here. And that was a few years ago. And I make that point because pink is still, it's still relevant, you know, and, and certain industries are going to have different interpretations of millennial pink home decor is going to be more muted and more dulled down, especially if it's, you know, a wall color, you know, a throw pillow can get away with being a little more exciting, but in home decor things have to be livable, right?


Speaker 3 (16:11):

In fashion, we can be wild and in a throw pillow or something small, that's easy to change out. We can be a little bit more fun and wild, but millennial pink, this is a good example of how a trend has evolved, because now I'm starting to see more lavender come out and more combinations of sort of this millennial pink that shifted into sort of these pinkish purples. And I love seeing that. And, and we've also seen it kind of become its own neutral in terms of it's dulled down enough, it's a little bit orangy. It's almost this bisque pink or a pink that you would see in an actual blush in makeup or paired in kind of some of these desert types of looks. And so we've seen the millennial pink evolve and shift, and it's really exciting to see it change. I'm also noticing in terms of color, some sort of ice cream colors that are again, kind of in that same, you know, playground of pastels, but they're a little bit darker and they're a little bit duller and that's really fun to see as well.


Speaker 3 (17:16):

It's again, just something you would kind of see in an ice cream or in, in the outside of buildings that are maybe interpreted as a little bit out ish. It's sort of this powdered or chalky pastel color. Again, that's a little bit darker, a little bit less Eastery, if you will. I'm also seeing a lot of plaids and I've created one mood board in my trend guide called a picnic party. And so you'll have to actually buy the trend guide to be able to see what I'm talking about, but picnic plaids are another trend that I'm seeing quite a lot. Mushrooms is another one, and I'm seeing mushrooms everywhere. I'm seeing mushrooms, not just in fashion, but also in like health articles, like just the topic of mushrooms and how they benefit your health. And, you know, whether some cultures are kind of pro mushroom cultures or pro fungus fungi cultures, I guess, and you know, how kind of the us and some of the Western countries are sort of anti mushroom or antifungal guy cultures.


Speaker 3 (18:22):

And it's true. I mean, growing up, I hated my shoes. I hated the texture. I still don't really love the texture to be honest. I like the flavor, but you know, some, some cultures are just more more inclined to be a mushroom culture, I guess, in their foods. And so fashion has sort of latched on to that as well. And I'm seeing, you know, types of mushroom prints. I'm seeing mushrooms being illustrated. I'm seeing sort of the textures and mushrooms being replicated as well. So mushrooms is another really big trend for 2022 and that's one to pay attention to. So another trend that I've seen evolve quite a bit has been this tropical trend, or sometimes sort of also a jungle type of trend. And we've seen this trend kind of expand and explode and evolve into sort of different branches off of coming off of this trend, if you will.


Speaker 3 (19:18):

And so in the past, we've seen a lot of big cats. I think big cats are going to continue to sell, but you know, it's not a brand new trend anymore. So I think that this trend is continuing to evolve. And I think that we're going to see the focus shift onto some other kind of jungle safari type of animals. And I'm not going to say which ones, because I want you to buy the trend guide. I've done a ton of work and I've put a ton of hours into doing all this research for you so that you can save time. And so that you don't have to. And of course you can do your own trend research if you like. There's no pressure, but if you're interested in trends, I hope that you will at least take a look and join my email list to get a good discount.


Speaker 3 (20:05):

Hey, I hope you learned so much from this discussion on trans today. Be sure to follow me over on Instagram at Lauren Leslie studio. And don't forget to check out the show notes to get the link to my 2022 trend guide. If for some reason you can't find it, just shoot me an email [email protected] Make sure to leave a rating and review. And if you're willing to give this episode just a little extra love, take a screenshot on your phone and share the episode over on your Instagram stories. It would literally mean the world to me. And you can tag me at Lauren Leslie studio. I love you so much. And I hope this episode gave you a tons of insights for how to use trends to maximize your profits in 2020. You too.


Speaker 1 (20:47):

All right guys. See you next time. Bye.






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