This afternoon we were joined in the GFW live space by Kate Crossey, Design Director for Debenhams Womenswear, Accessories and Homeware, plus her “dream team” of three: style lab partners Angela Baidoo, Laura Yiamka and Nikki Gorrie.  Together, they delivered “an insight into some key ingredients for how we create trends”.

The inspirational and in-depth talk educated the audience about ‘decoding’, the process of fashion forecasting. Within the Debenhams ‘style lab’ it is the design team's responsibility to take global trends and commercialise these concepts through leading designer collections. The team members travel all around the world from Paris to Los Angeles to scout the newest retail and fashion trends and get “ahead of the curve”.

Nikki Gorrie took the stage to discuss what it takes to work within the industry, emphasising “expert research skills, the ability to connect the dots and the instinct to drive you into the future”.

We know that consumers are influenced by their environment, but so are designers, and they want to reflect their own opinions about current matters in their work, get their message out there and inspire us. “What’s important to note here is that brands are also looking to support causes that are close to their hearts”. Nikki gave the example of Missoni, who models walked the runway in Pussyhats, the hot pink symbols of female solidarity that were created in honour of the Women’s March.

Thank you to Debenhams for providing us with such an inspiring discussion!

Words by Isabel Woodrow-Young