Industry Look: Fashion Research Resources You Need To Know

When I was a little kid I use to change several times a day so I could wow everyone around me with my fabulous outfits. While I realized around 5 or 6 this was slightly psychotic, from an early age my joy of wearing my headband with my hairline visible, clashing and cutting necklaces apart to make new jewelry knew no bounds. I hoped to be a fashion designer, a zoologist, artist or a professional athlete that could compete at the Olympics... A rather odd combination of dreams on reflection. 

Although I quickly realized that I lacked scientific inclinations aside from specimen collection and dreamy field note taking, had no profound athletic talent or art skills, I still always liked fashion although I was forbad from studying such an entirely useless topic for college... so I settled on advertising. But in 2009 on my third job following an economic crash I managed to get my foot in the door for fashion. Having written about the industry for 8 years now I sometimes forget how much I know and am sometimes semi shocked people don't "get" it. 

So with that in mind I thought I'd share a few resources that provide links to various events, companies, shops and brands that you can check out if you are a non fashion professional who is interested in learning more about fashion. I would say the number one thing to remember is it is a subjective industry that reflects both the potential possibility and superficial vanity that is humanity so while there is a certain logic to the business side of things, don't expect the trends side to be so cut and dry. People are irrational and this is directly reflected in the clothing they wear which is a projection of both the environment around them as well as the self they would like society to see. 

If you go to We Connect Fashion there's a pretty exhaustive directory of companies under sourcing that's a good jumping point.

You can also check out Modem which caters to the fashion and design industries. Just toggle through the site by topic. I almost cried when I found the exhaustive global multi-brand store list. I can't read Korean or Japanese so literally for work this was amazing! 

Last but not least Not Just A Label is a designer platform that is great for exploring designers in countries you are curious about but may not know well. 

Industry Look: Futures

I'm still not really sure which industry I should focus on for continuing education. Should I focus on foresight, market research, market intelligence or management consulting? Refining my current skills and adding new ones or just broadening and focusing on one area?

I've found a lot of options but right now I'm wondering if I should look more into foresight (futures)? So, although technically it's not legit I was reading the future studies Wikipedia page. If you scroll all the way down it links to a lot more resources from public figures to books, journals and associations. 

Industry Look: Associations To Check Out

Since I've begun to explore murky waters of future career tracks by reading, taking some online classes and meeting lovely people who are willing to share their knowledge, I've found a few more associations that are worth checking out.

While I already knew about the AMA, American Marketing Association and AAF, American Advertising Federation, the ones below are relatively new to me. Please note though, these are skewed towards the US ones since I'm American. If you are from another country and have any associations or training programs to recommend for further developing knowledge in foresight, market research, market intelligence or management consulting please leave a comment!

Here's what I've found so far:

EPIC

"EPIC promotes the use of ethnographic principles to create business value." 

What's cool here is you can sign up for free to receive access to some of the content, which I think is pretty amazing. 

QRCA

"QRCA is a global association of the world's most innovative, collaborative and passionate market research professionals dedicated to maximizing the power of qualitative."

ESOMAR

"ESOMAR is a diverse community. Insights professionals, data analysts, leading brands, researchers, marketing professionals, consultants and academics are just a few of the people that make up our global network."

RIVA

Also came up in a LinkedIn Learning market research course, it looks like they have some interesting training programs.

IMC USA

"IMC USA is the certifying body and professional association for management consultants and firms in the USA. The IMC USA mission is to promote excellence and ethics in management consulting through certification, education, and professional resources."