Introducing WGSN Future Makers: Ciara Bell

WGSN Mentorship: The Future Makers

Kicking off in September with its first edition, WGSN Future Makers is WGSN’s mentorship program, pairing 26 individuals at different stages in their career with mentors from the WGSN team. Over the past few days you have met some of our mentees and, in the coming weeks, we will introduce you to the other Future Makers, sharing their journeys.  

Next, we meet Ciara Bell, an aspiring trend forecaster with a passion for women’s footwear and accessories. Drawing from art, music and people, Ciara describes her design style as a fusion of Parisian and LA streetwear with a dash of skater/hipster. We caught up on her current projects and inspiration, with some podcast recommendations thrown in. 

Introducing WGSN Future Makers: Ciara Bell

Why don’t we start at the beginning, when did you first realise you loved fashion?

I started becoming interested in fashion and design from around five years old. I used to read all of my mom’s fashion magazines growing up and would be in awe whenever I would see her plan her outfits for the work week. From there, I knew I wanted to be in the fashion industry. For a while I wanted to be a fashion designer, but as I learned more about different professions in the industry my perspective began to shift and I became more interested in the business side of fashion.

Is your Mum still your source of inspiration?

Most definitely, my mom drives me. She was the one that inspired me to go into the fashion industry. She helped me find my voice and also was my biggest cheerleader. Other than my mom, I would say music and art is my biggest inspiration when creating. I’m a huge art fanatic so looking at refined, aesthetically pleasing works of art really motivates me to create as well. I also cannot live without music so listening to some of my favourite songs or even new songs can spark some inspiration.

Do you have any recommended listening for us?

I love listening to the Small Doses with Amanda Seales podcast, as well as Bobo and Flex. Both podcasts give unique perspectives from Black women about so many topics, from dating to society, culture and everything in between. Music wise, I have a wide variety of genres I listen to like hip-hop, R&B, pop, electronic and jazz. Each day is usually something different, depending on how I’m feeling.

Are there any projects you’ve been working on recently?

I’m working on two projects right now. The first, I am painting two portraits of my mom, based off of photos we both took together. Using 18×24” canvases – these are the largest pieces I have ever painted, but I’ve gotten the hang of it. Another smaller project I’m working on is curating my Pinterest. I have had a Pinterest account for so long but it really wasn’t up to snuff aesthetically, so I decided to create a bunch of boards that represent who I am. It’s really fun!

Finally, what are you most looking forward to learning about during the Future Makers programme?

I’m looking forward to learning about the whole trend forecasting industry. There are so many aspects to trend forecasting and I really want to be fully encompassed with knowing the process from beginning to end, starting at how trends are created to how they are translated onto paper and then eventually brought to the consumer.

Ciara is mentored by Erin Rechner, our Head of Kidswear at WGSN based in New York, USA. Erin has over a decade of experience in brand strategy, design development and distilling market trends into actionable insights and forecasts. 

Keep your eyes peeled as we reveal more WGSN Future Makers over the coming weeks, here on WGSN Insider. Can’t wait? Get to know other Future Makers.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.

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