According to trend specialist Tom Palmaerts of Belgian trend and marketing agency Trendwolves, there is no crystal ball to tell us what will be cool and edgy in the years to come. There is no single vision of the future – anyone with an idea for the world-to-be has the potential to make it happen. But while speaking at PromaxBDA Africa 2015 Palmaerts pointed out that in order for creatives and TV marketers to hone in and capitalise on some possible future styles, they need to start with cultural perspectives and be fluid and open to what they might inspire. Here are some of his future forecasts…
As women become more empowered in contemporary society, they are drawn more to that which is untamed and tough. Palmaerts used the example of Disney’s Frozen which forwent the traditional format of ‘boy saves girl’ and instead featured two lead heroines. Rawness is power. Rawness also celebrates the idea of proud imperfection, as can be seen in the ‘Nobody is Perfect’ campaign run by German supermarket Edeka, geared at eliminating food waste by offering customers oddly shaped B grade fruits and veggies. This theme translates to architecture, design and colours too – with earthy colours and textures placed in juxtaposition to high tech modern environments and initiatives.
“It’s a bit weird but I love this idea: beauty is mainstream,” remarked Palmaerts, who said that websites in the future may not be laid out in the same neat and crisp format. There may not even be an ‘About us’ or ‘Contact’ tab amid a collage of mismatched colours and images. According to the trend guru, ugly is the new pretty. There is a new wave of rebellion towards traditional style emerging – from chocolatiers cashing in on kitsch-cool with madly coloured gourmet chocolates to graphic designers and fashionistas opting to distinguish themselves with eccentric trashy prints and patterns.
Palmaerts predicts that people increasingly have more ambitious bucket lists. They want to do a lot, see a lot and experience a lot. This binge-like behaviour results in a see-saw of intox/detox. Give it horns for a few days in a TV series marathon or extreme warrior race and then crash in recovery with voluntary Wi-Fi withdrawal. “This means we are going to do a lot of working hard and then doing nothing,” explained Palmaerts. “We are going to therefore need food and drinks to get us past these levels.” This translates to bars without alcohol (Seriously? Yes), power foods, breakfast raves and nourishing recovery juices and waters.