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Waiting to be proved right or wrong on trends

Jan Shutt owns womenswear store Sunday Best in Rawtenstall, Lancashire.

Forecasting trends six to 12 months ahead is challenging. You can read every prediction indicator available and visit numerous shows, but in the depths of winter can you really feel sure that yellow and citrus tones will be the colours of choice for spring 14?Therefore it was gratifying to see that H&M had dedicated its first new season windows to yellow being the new black.

We try to do as much research as possible, follow WGSN predictions and pick up on key trends at Scoop, Pure, London Fashion Week and the Copenhagen shows.

Luckily our shoe buyer predicted that the skater shoe would be a footwear fashion game changer and she was so right. We bought both the rounded and pointy toe versions from Ash in a variety of printed leathers and sequins.

I fought with my team to reintroduce the Birkenstock, a sandal that can be somewhat challenging to push, and I note with interest that Net-A-Porter currently feature the brand on its home page.

Trends also break during the season, as we have currently found with the new reworked full skirt, influenced by Raf Simons for Dior. Great Plains has always done a full little skirt and it’s something I’ve resisted in the past, but I’m glad that I picked up a few styles for high summer this season.

However, we do not always get it right, as our Sale room shows. I remember our first season with Ugg when we sold all the boots at half price. The following winter buyers were mortgaging their houses to release funds to buy as much of the product as possible.

I also didn’t like the trend this Christmas for graphic knitted jumpers and we probably missed a trick by not having them in stock.

We have to forward order stock for our big brands like Vivienne Westwood, but we’re leaving more and more budget for buying in season to allow us to pick up on the trends.

Needless to say, we hope we are correct with our navy worn with black prediction, huge pom-poms on hats as seen in Copenhagen, Ugg boots and faux fur for autumn 14.

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