Written by Kate Sullivan
Where does a trend come from? While many people just follow them, others wonder why all of the sudden everyone is wearing leg warmers. Aside from the hunch that everyone just happened to watch old episodes of Square Peg on the same day, it seems to come out of nowhere. But this is so not true, and to dive more into the world of fashion trend casting, I thought I would talk with trendcaster extraordinaire Jason Campbell, founder and head writer of JC Report (www.jcreport.com).
I met Jason at Emilio’s Ballato on Houston and Mott to indulge in some amazing Italian food and fashion secrets. We talked a bit about city living, world travel (more him than me) and the weather. I find him so fun and interesting and could have talked with him for hours about simple things like the beauty of waking up early and getting a good night sleep. After our introductory chit chat, I got right into it and asked him to tell me all there is to know about international fashion trends:
Kick’n Kate: So Jason, when was the JC Report started and why?
Jason: JC Report started in 2002 and came out of a column I did for Magic online. For those who may not know, MAGIC is the fashion industry’s leading trade show. Trend Cast was my column and it was targeted to vendors at the show to guide them and give them cues for their upcoming seasons. Eventually, Magic changed and I wanted to continue my voice so I decided to start JC Report. There was a need for this type of trend casting and I found that global information was the wave of the future and the internet was going to be a very useful tool for this type of reporting.
With the internet you are connecting cultures and there are no boundaries any longer. So I wanted to let people know what was going on in international regions such as Australia, Brazil, Berlin and so on and the internet has been a wonderful tool for this.
K: You must get to see so much great talent and design all over the world!
J: Yes so much! There’s talent abroad that is so amazing and fresh but people aren’t reaching for it; so not many people get exposed to such things.
K: In the newsletter and on the site, you report on the trends all over the globe which made me wonder are you doing all of this traveling or are their JC Report informants?
J: It was really important for me to go at first and get that initial information. I was able to go to those cities that I felt were emerging markets and I needed to go detect it myself. As the business grows it’s important to have a network worldwide to help. With all of my traveling, I developed this network by identifying people who can seek out that information and feed it back.
K: From all of your travels and research, can you tell us where trends start?
J: Trends are not scientific. You know, war can spawn particular trends in terms of how people want to dress. And the internet, that is like a behemoth of a thing that is going to spawn some trends. Then, there are more organic trends that are coming from the streets, and in that you have those individual trendsetters that really change things up and those kinds of people move trends forward. So, I say that trends really percolate from a variety of sources. Part of my work is that I try to detect very early on and forecast very early on when you see something what that may spawn.There are some formulas that you can use to detect, but also things just come out of nowhere.
K: I’m sure you have seen some fabulous trends and some hideous trends. And I can only imagine how many designers you come in contact with through your travels. Can you tell me about some of your favorite designers?
J: I have many favorites and there are many brands around the globe that I continue to champion. One of them is the designer of this scarf I am wearing (I had scarf envy the minute he walked in- check it out on the photo of Jason) called Material By-Product(www.materialbyproduct.com) which is a design team out of Melbourne who are all professors at a University. I have been trumpeting their work locally in Australia, speaking with editors and trying to bring attention to their work. There is also there is another line out of Australia called Basek who makes amazing tee shirts that are really well done, very cool and extremely approachable. And I’m like why aren’t these people blowing up all over the world? And Isabella Capetto(www.isabelacapeto.com), who I really love- it’s a brand like that is not exposed expect for in Brazil. Same with Francesca Giobbi (www.francescagiobbi.com.br )who makes the most AMAZING shoes (she used to work at Prada) but can’t seem to break out worldwide and we ask ourselves “why are these designers not getting the exposure they definitely deserve?”
K:I am so glad you brought this up, because I wonder why it’s so hard for such talented smaller designers to break through the barrier. Why do you think it’s so hard for new designs to get recognition in the US?
J: Fashion is a club. The gates are only opened to those very sanctioned people and they have criteria’s for that. A lot also has to do with relationships and less on talent. As well, I find that a lot of editors don’t want to work so hard and go off script to find new stories and they don’t want to dig. And they don’t have to, they stay with the usually suspects and can do that.
K: Right, because things are placed in front of them like fashion weeks and showrooms, it’s much easier to work with what’s in front of them. That’s not to say this is the way it is with every editor, but for the ones who seem to have influence…
K: Can we expect a JC Report magazine?
J:I would love to do this, but not a monthly and I think it would be more special issues and curate issues for other entities. You know, JC Report is such a trusted voice that we are in a position to market any to curate different things for other properties and that really interests me. We can customize different content for different channels.
K: Thanks Jason so much and I look forward to the JC Report newsletter every month, because I sure don’t have the time to follow trends, so I need someone like you to tell me!
[This post originally appeared as part of Kate Sullivan’s (Kick PR) Kick’n It fashion blog as part of Thrasher Funds. You can read the original entry on the Thrasher Funds site. Reposted with Permission]