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What are the trends for the upcoming Christmas season?

What are the trends for the upcoming Christmas season?

© bora.herke.palmisano
Interview with Claudia Herke, stilbüro (design studio) bora.herke.palmisano, Frankfurt

Cem Bora, Claudia Herke and Annetta Palmisano founded the bora.herke.palmisano design studio in 1990. The interdisciplinary team looks for and visualizes new trends in the areas of fashion, furniture, lifestyle and design. With its artistic productions, the design studio seeks to create extraordinary rooms that turn trends, style themes and brands into an experience. We spoke with Claudia Herke about Christmas trends – in terms of products as well as store decorations.

You are saying that trends are not “made” or designed. How do trends start?

Needs, preferences and fashions are subject to contemporary tastes that submit to a constant and rapid change in our modern times. It is our challenge to predict which fashion and which trend will have a greater influence on future consumer behavior. Ultimately, it is the sum of observation, analyzing the existing trends and a feel for future trends that make a difference in filtering out upcoming trends.

Who shapes the changes today that will eventually become a trend?

Since we generally have an open eye on very different markets with our trend research, influences from these different areas can gain significant importance. We closely observe changes in fashion, since the new collections of fashion designers oftentimes provide strong input on the use of new materials and designs. Furniture and product design provide revealing information on sense of style and materials usage. In addition, you can find inspiration from architecture. Through colors and material, examples can also be interpreted here. Yet, it is also topics covered in magazines and people and their style that can start a trend.

Which customers use your services as a trend scout?

We develop trendy topics and color trends for different fields – ranging from interior trends and home accessories, consumer goods trends and Christmas trends all the way to trends in the office supply and stationery industry. Our customers particularly include large trade fairs like Ambiente, Heimtextil, Christmasworld, Paperworld and Light + Building.

In addition, we advise industry clients and develop concepts on year-round decoration through visual merchandising. We also give trend lectures for all of these industry sectors at conventions and trade fairs.

The Christmas shopping season is essential for many retailers. What are the trends for the upcoming Christmas season?

We developed four main thematic designs with their corresponding color ambiance for the Christmasworld trade show in Frankfurt, Germany. These four themes coexist equally and complement one another in their key aspects: the trends of the upcoming 18 months range from subtle, restrained style, natural freshness and classy glamour all the way to bright-colored purism.

The ”soft cloud“ style is an expression of a sensitive nature. The look is soft and feminine as well as light and transparent. The colors show discreet restraint that adapt to the soft design.

A modern interpretation of folklore and tradition can be found in the ”fancy folk” theme. Handmade products and optics define this style. Flowers, crafts and a little bit of kitsch add to this emotional and humorous look.

”Late Night Glam“ styling shows disco vibe, 70s chic and glamour with its deep dark color palette and celebrates life not as a common, but as a special event. The styling is opulent, exclusive and sensuous – yet always casual. Decorative elements are interpreted in a sophisticated and modern way.

”Cool Vibrancy“ attests to optimism and a pioneering spirit. The look has a high quality, distinct and mature nature. Graphic patterns as well as playing with colored overlays, shadows and different transparencies provide highlights.


©  bora.herke.palmisano
Which trends do you expect for store design for the Christmas shopping season?

Our forecast for the new season is expressed in style themes. These style themes also describe space decorations and furnishings. Consequently, trends can also nicely be translated into store design. One key aspect for the new season could be the use of intense color, which we see as a strong trend for 2013.

Christmas 2012 is already a done deal for you. What will change in 2013 or 2014?

Different styles and color schemes are also once again well developed in the new season. Things will definitely be very decorative and at the same time playful; color continues to play an important role, but not in the same intensive and brilliant way as it does in the current year. We focus on a rich and very sophisticated handling of the topic of decoration: poetic, elegant, dreamy, natural, and also very individualized and made for a distinctive taste.

Green topics are becoming more and more important in shopfitting. How is this noticeable in the rather short-term store decorations?

We believe that this subject is no longer a trendy topic, but rather depicts a long-term development that has firmly established itself in our thinking and acting. To this end, ecological issues are not a trend, but rather a responsibility to our environment and our accountability. Recycling, repurposing and sensible use of materials – a realizable objective for long-term shopfitting, but also a subject that can ultimately be expressed in short-term decoration, for example through sensible use of materials and potential recycling.

What do you like and what annoys you if you are out and about in the Christmas hustle and bustle in German shopping districts?

Christmas decorations have become very unusual and very interesting over the past few years. Retail comes up with many different ideas and there are new and partially surprising decorations every Christmas. When December 24 finally approaches and all the lights and festive designs put people in the Christmas spirit, all of this work has achieved its objective. I am just against the extremely early Christmas rush and think it is very unfortunate that I am already confronted with it in November.

Interview by René Schellbach,