Thursday, March 29, 2018

Trends We Noticed - March 2018

This is our monthly update to our extended Association for Creative Industries (AFCI); a more focused lens directed on what is topical and trending.
Each month I ask a group made up of designers, educators, authors and others to share their observations of trends that relate to our industry. I assemble the content and share it via my blog and through the AFCI membership email.  

Here are our latest observations:

“As I type this note, I have a song stuck in my head:

That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh 

I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh 
That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh

by KC and The Sunshine Band. 

Just like that, the 70’s are back.  Much as I hate to admit it, suddenly the looks from the psychedelic decade are back.  You can’t escape the hints of a hippie lifestyle.  Fringe heralded the arrival with the return of huge flowers in your hair, simple clothes, jeans with poems and hand painted designs, graffiti love symbols and more. 
Also, it goes without saying that the 70’s were tumultuous times with many major political battles fought with sit-ins and non-violent confrontations.  To say that North America is seeing a return to such major demonstrations is an understatement.  The words, PEACE, LOVE and UNDERSTANDING along with brand new statements will be prevalent as the younger generation picks up the trend to wear your politics on your t-shirt.  
In fact, it seems like all ages are wearing their beliefs.  
Expect to see more words and sentences on clothing and in jewelry.  Symbols take on new meanings.  Hidden-meaning symbols are being used too, as the tattoo loving generation continues to permanently showcase what they believe.   Symbols that support women are easy to spot.  Who would have imagined a pink pussy cap hat would become so iconic.
The spring fashion shows gave me a glimpse of fun clothing to come….I like to think we are saying goodbye to tight legged jeans and hello bellbottoms…or at least pants that have some give.  I am really enjoying watching the embroiderers and sewers hand stitch words for display that our grandmothers would have never used.  
Natural means different things to different people but I see a trend to wear something real, not manufactured.  Wood, stone, feathers.
Plus, somewhere along the way it turns out the millennials managed to make the top sheet obsolete.  How did I miss that? I learn something new from young people everyday.”
Carmi Cimicata
Marketing Manager for John Bead Corp. and

"I am seeing lots of 'bar' necklaces.    Simple metal necklaces, usually gold, attached to a delicate chain at both ends with either a name or inspirational word on it."
Katherine Swift
Owner, Resin Obsession, LLC

“Good times & tan lines! Anything ocean and beach continues to be on trend. Look for seahorses, waves, octopuses, soft pastel colors, whitewash, driftwood, weathered wood, sand dollars and quotes written in breezy brush strokes. Pinterest is awash with examples (yup, couldn't resist that wording!)”
Joe Rotella
Delphia Consulting  and Create N Craft

“Unicorns and llamas and sloths, oh my!
I’m seeing lots of hand-painted and/or hand-lettered ceramics (mugs and dishes). Very cute, clean contemporary designs.
I also just started following the “bullet journaling” hashtag in IG - the level of organizational detail and perfectionism is oddly satisfying. I hadn’t ever known it was even a thing!”
Lisa Fulmer and

“In the jewelry world, we're still seeing for the younger demographic tiny 4mm sized gemstones, with spiritual elements, symbolism, and stone meanings being a big part of it.
The other trends seems to be "if you like it, wear it." For example, while the younger crowd favors the understated looks in jewelry, others are still sporting bold colors and statement necklaces.
In addition, the 90s fashions are coming in hard, with floral prints and oversized jean jackets.”
Candie Cooper
Author and Designer

“I have noticed a trend lately! Punch Needle Embroidery - it’s like painting with yarn. DIYers are creating beautiful projects with a punch needle, monks cloth, yarn and a hoop. Small floor rugs, pillows, wall hangings and even purses are showing up on Instagram and going viral.”
Kelly Panacci
Art Licensor and Founder of Kelly Panacci Inc.

“Tassels are hotter than ever. Everyone I know is sporting tassel earrings, the longer the better! Tassel necklaces with lots of rhinestones. Right up my alley!”
Suze Weinberg

“Hudson Bay blanket stripes (not limited to blankets), llamas, unicorns, narwhals, tropical birds, donuts, tassels and pompoms, hand lettering and metallic foils...”
Eileen Hull
Author, Artist and Adventurer
Licensed Designer for Sizzix and Clearsnap

Would you like to submit a trend?  I am always looking for new members to add their observations to this list.  Just send me a message:

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