This week, my teammates and I drafted, cut, created and published 16 creative clothing categories for our platform, from the sorting of clothes to the copy and to the ads. When we create the categories, which is usually a week in advance, we look at some things for trend forecasting: for example, the sale period (if we're in one), the collective voice, colour trends and - most importantly - the weather. The weather, seasons, whatever you want to call it will dictate the entire marketing strategy for the year, from selection of brands to take on to the campaigns and discounts to the photoshoots. Anyway the weather is pretty important, and we religiously keep in line with the seasons. So, when we were planning in our end-of-winter categories last week, selecting gloves, scarves and rain boots for shoots, we were glad that the winter spell would soon, not instantly, but soon come to an end.
Then, today, we found out that there would be a TWENTY DEGREE difference between last week and the upcoming weekend. TWENTY. It is supposed to be 18 degrees this weekend. In February. Last week I was caught in a snowstorm.
How is any of this real?!
It all seems so silly when you think about capitalistic intentions in a literal anthropocene, where we have ridiculous temperature drops and jumps in the space of a week. Am I really trying to sell designer clothing while in Europe there's polar opposite temperatures, when in Texas it's frozen over, when there's bushfires in Australia? It makes everything seem so puny and small. But looking at it from a marketing view, it's also chaos. You can't promote winter brands when there is summer weather within two days of the clothing drop, or plan summer shoots when the rain will cancel the outdoor shooting location. If you rely on the winter season to get rid of your skiing equipment stock, you're screwed. Same for the summer season, where you're pushing bikinis when all people need are rain boots and beanies.
You just can't predict a trend when things change within 24 hours! While we laugh about it at work, I can see people getting concerned with the pear-shape it will result in. So, the question is, how do we keep up with climate change and selling seasonal clothing? Is this the most neoliberal question somebody can ask? Yes, probably - I think it will just teach us to buy less and less. Great for me not having to scale website visuals for 1 hour a day, but probably not great news for the company as a whole.