The concept of trend is by definition:
1. a general direction in which something is developing or changing.
"an upward trend in sales and profit margins"
2. a fashion.
"the latest trends in modern dance"
Our world seems to be obsessed with trends and even more so with the overwhelming rate of social media and the popularity of image sharing. Especially within the creative world. There has been no other time where information has been so readily available and the "image" consumed at such a rate that the subject of that image is hardly even looked at.
You can give yourself thumb fatigue with the endless scrolling as you digest not only your breakfast on the go, but also the constant stream of pictorial vomit coming at you from every angle.
The subject of "trend" within this image soaked world, is that of speed. Everyone wants the latest thing now, and I can't hep but feel that no one is actually enjoying what they have or actually, really looking at what is in front of them.
The diffusion of Innovation theory, developed by E.M. Rogers in 1962, looks at how trend adoption is divided into five groups of innovation uptake.
The Innovator, the early adopters, early majority, late majority and the laggards.
starting with the people who create the concepts, trends, ideas and movements and going down through the spectrum until you get to the people who are so "late" on the uptake, they have only started doing it or using it because it seems like the normal thing to do and there are no other options. These are the people using a smartphone because the Nokia 3310 just doesn't exist anymore.
In 1962, a concept was created to analyse the way we adopt "trends". My main issue with this is that in 1962 the world was a very different place. Information was not as readily available as it is now, books were read, you had to actually remember things and you didn't have a digital sidekick in your pocket to answer your every question with the touch of a finger print scanning button.
we have been told how we consume, and how we process innovation. Which in its self is not very innovative. Everyone has the capacity to take on different aspects of E.M.Rogers personas, described within his theory. You could be a lagger that is so far behind the game that you are actually an innovator. Fashion is always saying, "It will come back round" or "that was in vogue when I was a kid". Laggers that hold on to their values will end up being innovators and it is only a matter of time until you are the next big thing and you didn't even know it.
Trend, is a concept in its self that I think needs to re-evaluated. What if you don't follow trends because you just don't care, you go left at every turn and you other yourself on purpose. does that instantly make you an innovator? No, it makes you a person with their own voice.
Yes, there are those that blindly follow, for many reasons. one is maybe that they do not have the confidence to go left at every turn, but then who's fault is that? Society in its self not teaching the importance of self-worth?
"The age of the hipster is over" the internet is crying out. It is saying no more, stop growing beards. But what if a beard just suits you, what if that beard has nothing to do with a trend. Okay, the trend may have given you the confidence to grow one, knowing that even if you gave it ago it is going to go one of two way. Look awful and you never do it again, or look great and make you feel confident and attractive, if not just for your own self-confidence. All of a sudden the world says "No, you are not cool anymore". You have to go back to doubting yourself and feeling lost and confused again about your own personal style. Someone out there has decided for you that you don't have a voice anymore and that you are no one. I went through that ongoing situation through many years at school, I don't need to carry on with that into my adult life.
Yes, there are popular themes, but instead of saying "you should be wearing this". It is our job to provide people with the items they can create their own personalities with, and help them find the right style for them. Not everything is for everyone, fashion should guide, not shove. Help, not point fingers and laugh.