I didn´t spot completely game-changing innovation, however, for the trained design and trend-savvy eye, there were beautiful move-ons from previous themes and lovely touches of newness throughout the exhibitions. Most of the designs and colours shown I forecast two years ago.
Three major influences drive this slow-down:
– Brands have less money to spend due to the global impacts of the corona crisis or have shifted their budget more towards macro-trends rather than investing in design trend consultancy. However, really good design needs really good research – insight and inspiration are equally as important. The results are now vastly indistinguishable product lines.
– Brands are more risk-averse. Falling back to classics and cash cows is a common strategy in times of uncertainty. However, customers still expect a certain level of fresh input to be enticed to buy.
– Brands consciously stop pushing for newness for the sake of it as a response to heightened pressure for sustainable business practices. More informed than ever, customers reject greenwashing and expect real commitment and brands taking responsibility. We now see some brands showcasing the new collections alongside products of former seasons. This approach is more similar to the layering in most people´s homes. Reworking well-selling products to be ecological and creating fair working conditions for the people producing the goods and working within the delivery chains is a viable option. Moving forwards intersectional environmentalism is key for future-proofing businesses.
Overall, the fair and surrounding exhibitions were smaller and visited by a lot fewer international guests. The Maison & Objet fair team did well to drastically cut down on plastic waste and to make recycling easier than ever.
Reach out if you want constructive, straightforward feedback or my input on your design or trend projects.