Interview With Jayne Mountford

interview with Jayne Montford, trend forecasting

Meet Jayne Mountford

Jayne Mountford, trend forecasterThis interview is for all those fashionista’s out there who think they have their thumb on the pulse of everything trending. Jayne started out in trend forecasting and became the Vice President of Trend Reporting at Stylesight (now WGSN). She then built an exclusive membership site for global trend forecasters called Hall-Five.com. She later jumped over to the online publishing side where she now reigns as the President & Publisher of the online style publication of Fashion Times/BT Media.

Calling all trendsetters…

I took a circuitous route. It was serendipitous, starting with fashion styling, apparel buying and merchandising before I “discovered” the trend forecasting industry with a job in the New York office of Promostyl as a consultant. I answered an ad in WWD. I started as a consultant for women’s, men’s and children’s apparel and accessories and home. So I’ve covered all markets. Lately, I’ve focused on color forecasting.

Nowadays you can take college-level courses in trend forecasting which wasn’t available back in my day, so it’s easier now if you know that is what you want to do. Before, I would’ve said you need the skill of understanding how global macro trends trickle down to become seasonal fashion trends.

Starting my own tribe…

First the name: I realized that the only time I ever came into contact with other trend forecasters in masse was at the Premier Vision fabric fair held twice per year in Paris. All of the major companies have a stall in the trend section. It’s in Hall Five of the Parc des Exposition, hence the name. I created the site as a place to meet other trend forecasters and find out more about the industry.

Times are changing…

Again, it was serendipitous. Just over three years ago I was looking for a new challenge and again, answered an ad for a job, which turned out to be the one I have now, publisher for a group of websites under the name Fashion Times. The challenge for senior level trend forecasters in New York is that there are very few positions, so the more diverse your skill set, the better. My writing and editing abilities have always allowed me to diversify. Moving from B2B to the consumer is not so difficult – the product is the same – content.

Foreseeing the future…

I imagine the recent shifts in the fashion industry will dictate those changes (shift from print publications to online). With several major brands moving to the “wear now” model, the need to forecast years ahead loses its urgency for those companies whereas others, such as athletic footwear and automobiles still need extensive lead times. All in all, I can envision companies becoming more in need of customized information. Either they will bring more services in-house or they will ask for tailored information from the major trend forecasting companies.

(Social Media) affected everyone and everything. Any business needs to embrace the opportunities offered by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. You can build an audience via your website but engagement only grows through social media.

Finding joy…

My goal is always the same. To find joy in my work, every single day. If I lose that I know it’s time to move on. I am a huge fan of Grace Coddington. She’s a great example of a strong woman who has made the decision to keep working years beyond where others would have retired. She still seems to find joy in her work.

I’ve had several (mentors) and I’ve tried to pay it forward. I benefitted from a great internship experience early on and have always been committed to treating interns fairly. They shouldn’t be running errands for employees instead of learning new skills.

My advice is: Keep an open mind and accept that your first job or first two or three jobs won’t necessarily be a perfect fit. Keep learning new skills, at the job if you can, or in your own time if you can’t and always keep your resume up-to-date because you never know what is around the corner.

Also, don’t accept “no” as an answer. Always have the courage of your convictions, just be sure you have a plan of action.

To follow Jayne Mountford or find out more please check out www.FashionTimes.com

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