What do experts see when they look into their crystal ball seasoned with data and fashion experience? Their predictions will surprise you.
Their names are Laiane Hara and Luana Lima Gomes, two of the top creative designers in Brazil. They design fitness wear for CajuBrasil, one of the most recognized fitness apparel brands with retail clients around the world.
In a rare interview, they reveal their creative process, from spotting trends to translating them into workable design concepts, that once approved, go into production.
Luana Lima Gomes and Laiane Hara
In their words.
It all starts with tracking and analyzing data provided by WGSN, a company recognized for forecasting fashion trends. It’s a premium service used by fashion designers around the world. They research and analyze consumption patterns. They also study consumer behavior as it relates to fashion. We then aggregate their trend projections with feedback we get from our clients and combine it with other data points we receive from the local market. The information we receive is then filtered through the lens of CajuBrasil’s DNA and client profile. So we end up balancing the latest trends with what we believe our clients also like based on years of working with them. We develop styles our customers enjoy wearing and don’t just produce items for the sake of them trending.
Once we have a pretty good idea of the colors, textures, and direction we’d like to pursue, we begin to visit fabric suppliers and source exclusive prints. This process can take place between 9 and 11 months prior to our collection’s launch date. Again, we focus on working around our customer’s preferences and not necessarily on a trending print that we know wouldn’t sell or be purchased by our reseller’s customers. For example, historically we know that our customers love solid colors. That’s why most of the colors we offer are on an exclusive basis, meaning nobody else in the market can offer the same Pantone color code we do. CajuBrasil isn’t known, by choice, for offering a wide selection of prints (geometric, floral, animal, etc..) only because demand for those prints by our clients aren’t as strong as the solid colors we offer.
Of course, quality is key. We offer the Ferrari of fabrics in term of quality. For starters, we source from credible suppliers who respect sustainable production processes that are certified by OEKO Tex, which among other things, means less water is consumed in the production process of fabrics. Our clients seek this too. CajuBrasil is obviously concerned with the impact it has on the environment and implements best practices that are sustainable in a way that minimizes its impact on nature. We’re currently preparing marketing material to outline our environmentally friendly and sustainable production processes.
But back to predicting trends.
First off, we’re bullish on the future of women’s fitness wear. The feedback we receive from the market is overwhelmingly positive. People are hopeful, optimistic, and beginning to travel a lot more. As everybody knows, the world has been in a prolonged crisis state due to the pandemic and geographic conflicts which have had a global impact on health and trade.
For quite some time, the general mood was somber and this was reflected in the darker choices of clothes people wore like grey, black, and brown. These colors transmit how people feel. That’s beginning to change. We’re sensing a shift in the overall mood of people and the market is beginning to open up to the degree that people are trending towards brighter colors. In Brazil, for instance, there’s a delightful explosion of colors being displayed on the streets of Sao Paulo and Rio that we haven’t witnessed in a long time. We’re seeing a lot of optimism being projected in color combinations such as orange and blue, or red and yellow. These are happy colors, expressing how people feel inside and projected outwardly in the clothes they wear.
In addition to brighter colors, one of the hottest trends we’re noticing in the segment of women’s fitness clothing is “versatility.” We’re noticing an interest in tops and bottoms being used for multiple purposes across different activities. Let’s use “Beach Tennis” as an example. It’s growing in popularity with prospects of becoming an Olympic sport. It’s extremely inclusive and has a broad appeal in every facet of life. In fact, there are start-up fitness brands that have specifically launched around Beach Tennis. But why mention this?
Because versatility means that the same fitness piece, whether it’s a crop top, a pair of shorts or leggings, can be used for different sports such as tennis, squash, and even volleyball. They share a similar look but can be creatively worn on the tennis court, at the gym or even casually out with friends. Likewise, crop tops can be used in conjunction with jeans to go out. We’re seeing that versatility is key. It doesn’t limit you to a single activity. It’s an incredible selling point and amazing to see clients combine their fitness wear for many occasions. We’re proud that CajuBrasil offers versatility across all our fitness categories – Yoga, Athleisure, Comfort Fit, Fashion Fit, Cross, and Running. Women have the ability and choice to beautifully match pieces for different purposes. This is true sustainability. It reduces waste, cuts down on material consumption, and translates into huge savings.