My name is Bengt Jacobsson and I am originally from Sweden. I am lucky enough to work with Swarovski as a trend scout. I’ve held different roles in fashion (stylist, collection editor, design coach, fashion coordinator, artistic director, trend director, etc.) in many different countries.
What is trend scouting?
My role involves predicting coming trends. I immerse myself in what’s going on in the fashion, design, art, and lifestyle worlds, and analyze consumers’ behaviors and expectations. The aim is to create new collections which are creative and inspiring yet still commercial. The most important thing is to make sure our collections hit the stores just when a trend peaks on the market. Another key point is not to be too out-there with the color or look, but even more importantly, not to be outdated in the eyes of our clients.
How do you do it?
Trend scouting or forecasting is not an exact science. To be successful, you’ve got to be open to everything, be curious, and be able to be passionate about and learn to love things that aren’t necessarily to your own personal taste. You’ve got to use all your senses at the same time – sight, sound, smell, touch – and have the ability to analyze, question, revise, reconsider and revamp ideas. You need to be able to compare new fashion crazes and trends with those of the past, and to bring together and juxtapose influences from diverse backgrounds. Then, with all this information and different concepts that you’ve collected, you create combinations and fusions and give a new twist to tried and tested concepts. Gradually a style story or “design direction” takes shape.
When do you start working?
For the Spring/Summer 2014 collection, which will be in stores from next January, our Style Office team and I started working on our research in spring 2012, nearly two years before the products reach the stores. The color palette is always our starting point and we quickly identify our color schemes. We also work very closely on detailed research into jewelry and fashion trends with our Creative Director, Nathalie Colin, who really immerses us in her creative vision.