It's our 25th anniversary.
This year we are turning 25, and as our forecasts predicted, this year is also when 90s nostalgia is hitting consumers, so to celebrate, we're taking a trip back to 1998 to reflect on how our history shaped where we are today, and how it will shape what's coming next.
Being digital-first in the 90s
In the 90s, the creative world, particularly the fashion industry, was used to trend books. Beautifully crafted, these books required months of work, but the result, although correct, was static information that wasn’t evolving at the pace that trends were. And even as an industry that prides itself on being in with what's new, it was also slow to react. This was what we were set to disrupt. As a digital-first platform that revolutionised trend forecasting as we were born, we brought velocity and change.
In those early days, to transform fast what was too rooted in the past we needed to make big moves. At the beginning, WGSN supplied each of our clients with a computer so their team could access the trends at their workspace. Today, with the digital revolution, that is no longer needed but the revolution we started in 1998 remains in the creative industry to this day.
“It's an extremely amazing feat how it drove work behaviour differently and became part of everyone's everyday work life. ”
The original trend forecaster
Today our name is synonymous with trend forecasting, with companies all over the world using our products to understand the forces that will shape their future. Many of the innovations we brought to the industry since 1998 remain, offering a trustworthy constant in a world of rapid change.
Along with a new computer, we also gave our customers a new concept for the 90s: content curation. It was the first time designers had access to compiled and structured information so they could make more confident decisions. And with WGSN trend experts spread across the world from day one, it was also the first time they could not only see what was happening around the world, but also understand how to respond to it.
From 1998 to 2023 … to 2048
A front-row seat at the catwalks
One of the first and most revolutionary feats WGSN pioneered was bringing global catwalks to the masses. Shows from New York to Paris were no longer privy to the lucky few; clients everywhere could access them with a click. To this day, no other service offers such comprehensive catwalk coverage, and in another revolution, WGSN now pairs this coverage with behavioural machine-learning models so we can translate trends into viable commercial impact.
A peek inside the minds of consumers
To get things right, WGSN has always known that analysing product trends is not enough; we also have to analyse behavioural trends. This focus on consumer behaviour has allowed us to expand our assertive trend direction to other industries. We started with WGSN Fashion, and have since launched WGSN Interiors, Insight, Beauty, Food & Drink, and most recently Consumer Tech. Our clients today are apparel brands, car manufacturers, food makers, hospitality groups, tech innovators and many more, who all rely on us to create winning products, services and experiences for the future.
An extra hand or five
Alongside curated content and catwalks coverage, WGSN brought game-changing and time-saving tools to our customers, including editable original artworks and downloadable prints and graphics. This enabled clients to create designs more efficiently without extra costs and waiting, so they could spend more time on their strategies. Today, WGSN clients have free access to these tools and more, including thousands of prints and graphics as well as innovative 3D CADs.
A golden ticket to the world
Our trend experts have always been spread around the globe so we can bring the world to customers’ desks. In the 90s, this access to cultures and subcultures near and far was new. Today, we are still at the cutting edge of bringing the world to our customers, which is distilled through our STEPIC methodology: a process that analyses changes in society, technology, the environment, politics, industry and creativity to provide forecasts with an unparalleled 360-degree view.
We came prepared for the future
WGSN pioneered the industry in 1998, and we continue to pioneer it today, at a time when change-resistant strategies are more critical than ever. Our forecasts not only help businesses build better products today, but also help them answer big questions to safeguard their legacy for the future. It’s why we have been growing and evolving for the past 25 years, and why we will continue to grow and evolve for the next 25, harnessing the power of data science, analytics and human insight and expertise to help you create tomorrow.
25 years of being a constant in a world of change.
Are you looking for a strategic direction that will guide your company in the years ahead? Talk to our team to find out how to subscribe to WGSN.