With 25 plus years in fashion design and marketing, creative director Yvonne de Bruyn trusts her intuition and her team for guidance on predicting trends for big brands.
After finishing a “fluid and experimental” education in fashion design, de Bruyn worked as head-of-design for several affordable luxury brands like BCBG, MaxMara and Kenzo. With this experiential grasp on the industry’s growing fast fashion economy, de Bruyn decided to go back to school in order to keep up with the way business was evolving.
The talented designer got her degree in fashion management and felt confident to push her career forward with a thorough understanding of the business.
Presently, de Brun cultivates her talents as Consulting and Style Director within the walls of Peclers Paris, a trend consulting agency that assists in trend analysis, consumer reports and brand strategies.
Managing many people can be daunting for some, but de Bruyn breaks her strategy down into two parts.
“Never design something without the outcome in mind, the first thing you need to do is really think it through,” said de Bruyn. “Secondly, you need to create a climate of creativity where everybody can have good ideas. This means you need to be very clear about your concept.”
Peclers Paris has a reputation of being one of the most prestigious trend services within the fashion industry. Modestly, de Bruyn explained why this might be.
“Well it is true that 50 years is a very long time for an agency right. So how do you keep up since the market has changed so much, it is so different,” said de Bruyn. “I think that the first point is that from the very beginning Dominique (Peclers Paris founder) was driven by concept and also always insisted a lot on why it’s not just about the aesthetics themselves.”
De Bruyn insisted that the dedication Peclers Paris showed to every part of the business is what has allowed them to advance so far.
“From the very beginning, Dominique Peclers would really work in the industry. So she would go into the factories, spinners and the weavers. She would understand the technical challenges and what’s going on on the floor,” said de Bruyn.
The way Pecler’s develops their trend forecasting is not through data metrics or traditional research like some may think. Instead, it is through feeling any and all shifting emotional
changes within the lives of those who work for Peclers Paris, as well as those who make up the rest of society.
However, de Bruyn explained the importance of brand identity and the difference between encouraging the infusion of personal emotion and basing decisions solely off personal opinion.
“Everytime you enter the brand you leave your personal taste in the dressing room. Then you go into research because everything that you need to do, you need to do through the filter of the brands… That’s the fun part as well,” said de Bruyn.
Keeping this in mind, de Bruyn encourages having a strong sense of emotional connection to whatever you are creating. When doing so, the results speak for themselves.
“I always feel that when the designers and the merchandisers are very optimistic, because they really feel that they’re getting their heart into what they’re doing, it sells better…. So, this is where I bring the word personal to the table,” said de Bruyn.
So what makes someone a perfect fit for a trend consulting agency like Peclers Paris? The answer is simple: a deep sense of curiosity.
“I went into the art academy, not because I wanted to be a fashion designer. I wanted to be a filmmaker. Even before that I wanted to be an anthropologist and I said to my parents, I want to be an anthropologist… I wanted to discover about culture, humankind and things like that. So that’s the type of designer that works well I think, that’s super curious,” said de Bruyn.
A word of advice from the world class trend spotter: “Passion isn’t just encouraged… it’s required.”
“First of all, if you want to be in this business, you need to be passionate about it because otherwise you’re not going to survive. So if you’re in doubt, just don’t. You need to be in the fashion business because nobody can stop you from going… Because it will be your life. Your life, your hobby, your work, you don’t know. It will all be one thing and you need to understand that,” said de Bruyn.