It is now clear that 2020 was not a normal year, and it remains to be seen what the impact will be on the coming years. But there is no question that the pandemic will have an impact on social trends and lifestyle. Hilde Francq detected four sociological tendencies that drive lifestyle trends, not only in fashion but also, for example, in design: the Resident, the Essentialist, the Tinkerer and the Lunatic. She presents different color palettes and combination options for each movement – from safe to avant-garde. Each trend also comes with a specific preference for the materials and patterns used.
A first trend builds on the advance of everything that is local. During the lockdown, designers were forced to work with materials from their environment, but consumers also started to support the local economy more. This trend has become even more important in 2020 and will be mainstream by 2022. Consumers want typically local, authentic and distinct products, made with local materials and processes. The combination options that Francq proposes for each color card start from a subtle, safe option to a more avant-garde application. For example, the sand colors of the Resident can be subtly combined with brown – a stayer that will look even warmer by summer 2022. In terms of materials and production, everything can look handmade or brocante, including imperfections. Matching patterns are the country check, the wide beach chair stripe in warm tones or prints of flowers and plants. Raw materials come from nature: from paint to new materials to straw and grass.
The nostalgia for the 1990s does not immediately disappear, although it takes a different form: in the summer of ‘22, we long for the minimalist aspect of the nineties. This prediction follows the conclusion that after a crisis there will be a return to the core. In all its simplicity, this is the Resident’s anti-trend. Unlike in the 1990s, the shapes are softer, colors more subtle and sophisticated and materials more ecological. In terms of color, the trend shows itself in a duller palette. The Essentialist feels good with the basic, oversized silhouettes we already know from past seasons and the use of color blocking. They play with form contrasts and semi-transparent materials.
The most playful and colorful theme argues for a return to childlike creativity and shows a need for less rational thinking in favor of the emotional. The making itself is more important than the result: The Tinkerer does not go for perfect designs but for the spontaneous and childlike, it can be messy. Artificial intelligence is used to bring randomness and spontaneity into the design process. Wrong color combinations do not exist within the palettes of this creative trend. Raw materials such as transparent resin, clay or Jesmonite can be used for the accessories. In addition, growing your own materials will become mainstream by summer 22.
Lunatic at Francq stands for “someone who admires the moon”. The great return to nature allows people to rediscover the influence of the moon on the rhythm of the earth. Biodynamic agriculture – which harvests and sows to the rhythm of the moon phases – is already hype and will certainly become a trend. Research shows that even the stock markets – one of the most unpredictable businesses – is affected by it: the new moon is more speculation. Moon-inspired color palettes are complemented by many grainy, dusty textures. In addition to all kinds of treated metal, we also see a lot of bioplastics, with a dirty transparency – as if they were covered with a layer of moon dust.
The trend watcher insists that a brand must always maintain the 80-20 balance when purchasing or designing. That is the ratio within a collection of 20 percent trend colors versus 80 percent commercial colors. If a brand is more avant-garde, the percentage of shades that are more difficult to sell can be reduced to 40 percent. By the way, we are taking a lot of colors from fall ‘21 to spring ‘22, albeit in a slightly adjusted shade.
Francq also identified ten trends that we are taking from the pandemic, mindsets that will affect consumers.
1 Immunity is Key: products that strengthen or protect immunity know a tree.
2 Be Flexible: reacting quickly is key. Social life goes online, such as watching TV together via Netflix Teleparty or socializing on Airbnb’s lifestyle platform.
Digi-Tainment: artificial intelligence and virtual reality will play a major role in creating, promoting and offering products.
4 Tiktok is the new Instagram: the biggest influencers can now be found on the newest medium.
5 Dark & Vegan: dark kitchens are on the rise and we like to eat healthy, conscious and therefore plant-based.
6 Revenge Shopping: Wealthy shoppers will want to reward themselves after the quarantine.
7 Revenge Dressing: the comfy fashion of working from home is here to stay, but at the same time there is a counter movement – with high heels, tighter tailoring, luxurious finish – as a symbol of freedom.
8 Well-being at Home: technology makes our homes cleaner, more hygienic, more practical.
9 Office and Gym Deluxe: Working from home and exercising are two new aspects that interior brands will tap into.
10 Closing Architecture: we create boundaries between spaces to separate work and private life