Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin Spice Latte
 
So, what does the prevalence of pumpkin spice say about our culture?
 
1. Nostalgia pays off. In contrast to the retail backlash around marketing and decorating for the Christmas holiday, fall denotes warmth and nostalgia without any gift-giving pressure. And pumpkin-inspired, limited-time offers are up 234% from 2008 to 2012, according to Datassential Menu Trends.
 
2. Imitation is flattery. As if pumpkin spice candles weren't enough, there are a plethora of products to choose from to complete your personal pumpkinification, such as: M&M’s, Pringles, Hershey’s Kisses, Planters, Eggos, Jet-Puffed Marshmallows, Country Crock, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Bath and Body Works, and yes, even Glade Room Spray. The icing on the cake...er, pie...of proliferation came via a feminine care products spoof by Saturday Night Live.
 
Pumpkin Spice
 
3. Indulgences are in our nature. A slice of pumpkin pie has nearly as many calories as a 16oz. pumpkin spice latte with 2% milk, but who’s counting?
 
4.  The rules are tricky. It’s acceptable to launch some products early as long as there is customer demand and the item doesn’t have religious or date-dependent ties. Pre-promotion of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte in celebration of the popular drink’s 10-year anniversary had a domino effect within the industry starting in September.
 
 Pumpkin trends
 
5. Seasonality rules. Winter squash is harvested in autumn and is most likely native to Guatemala and Mexico and surrounding areas, dating back 10,000 years, according to author Kim O’Donnel.
 
6. Smell is a powerful sense. It’s not surprising that pumpkin spice tastes nothing like pumpkin. Hidden behind aromatic combination spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, you’d be hard pressed to pick a butternut squash out of a lineup.
 
7. Don’t jump to conclusions. Contrary to popular belief, pumpkin pie and definitely pumpkin spice do not contain your Halloween friend. Squash style pumpkins, which are sweeter, are best for pie filling. 
 
8. Brands Beware. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. In addition to the SNL skit, there's a plethora of disdain for the commercialization of pumpkin spice, but you shouldn't blame Starbucks. The relationship with the flavor combination has evolved over the past ten years, and companies have followed suit. It's definitely time for product development teams to consider new alternatives. 
 
 
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UPDATE: 11.21.13: More regarding #8... A writer for Slate spent a week on a Pumpkin Spice diet and lived to write about it. We love his commentary and would add that "special edition" has lost meaning altogether due to various marketing campaigns that don't really live up to expectations. 
 
Julia Child would have been 100 years old today.
 
 
In celebration of her birthday, John D. Boswell, aka melodysheep, has created this auto-tune "remix" of the culinary legend for PBS Digital Studios.
 
Valentino may have taken a last bow during his final couture show in February 2008, but the continues to push creative boundaries.
 
Based on the success of the 45th Anniversary exhibition in Rome, an award winning must-see film about his life, and Parisian temporary exhibit — Valentino Garavani and his partner, Giancarlo Giammetti, have announced plans for an one-of-a-kind fashion exhibit that does not require a passport to appreciate: the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum.
 
The digital exhibit is a desktop application that will be available for download on December 5th and will showcase 50 years of archives through 5,000 images — including illustrations, photographs, runway pieces, and 95 fashion show videos. The exhibit will, according to WWD, use 3D technology to fully render the exhibit as an immersive digital experience.
 
 
“It is an idea that I had many years ago,” Mr. Giammetti told WWD, “after going through a great museum site and being able to navigate through these rooms full of paintings…I asked myself if it would be possible to recreate a vast computer-generated museum. We started designing and nothing really appealed to me. I wanted to have the light of Rome without looking old. I wanted to show not only the dresses but the history behind them, from the drawing to the women who wore them.”
 
I see it as part of my legacy,” Mr. Valentino continued. “I am happy that thousands of students, young designers and fashion people will be able to see and study my work in every aspect of it, and in a manner easy and accessible for the younger generations. But it is also important to remember things of the past, to review the fashion that has shaped our lives. I would call it ‘Future Memory.”  Among the memories included in the vast archives will be the 1961 haute couture dress Elizabeth Taylor wore to the Roman premiere of Spartacus; Jacqueline Kennedy‘s 1968 couture wedding dress for her marriage to Aristotle Onassis; and the 1992 haute couture gown Julia Roberts wore to accept her Oscar in 2001.
 
It's easy to see why Garavani and Giammetti chose to make the experience virtual given the breadth of memories created during Valentino's expansive career. If the exhibit existed in an actual museum, it would need a venue with more than 107,500 square feet.
 
We think the designer wears "retirement" well.
 
{source: WWD}
photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox
 
 
We have a feeling that The Simpsons' episode The Food Wife has ruffled some food feathers.

Regardless of opinions, we would like to point out that the show hit on a variety of trends and influences — the intersection of various cuisines, popup food culture, and the ongoing conflicts between new media, traditional media, and chefs.

Writers captured the growing obsession with all things culinary in the song, Blogging a Food Blog, which was an homage to Empire State of Mind by Alicia Keys and Jay-Z. Grub Street interviewed Simpsons Executive Producer Matt Selman, who shared some of the lyrics:
 
I'm throwing down mad foodie game, knowing all the chefs' names
Rolling into K-Town for beepin' boppin' bulgogi
The hotties I chill with are sriracha and kimchee
Housemade terrines, my ducks are always confit
I braise with a billion more BTUs than I need
I cook a Thanksgiving turkey in a trash-bag, sous vide
Afumatoare in Brindisi Fed-Exes me salami
Don't scoop me gelato unless it's got umami
I'll be "Frank" like Bruni, "Ruthless" like Reichl "Wiley" like Dufresne, and when I take the mike, I'll Rhyme about radicchio, criticize Colicchio
Every pub is gastro, and all my beef carpaccio
 
We love all of the Korean food references.
 
Watch the video of the song here or download the full The Food Wife episode.
 
 
{source: Grub Street}
 
Boxpark, a temporary use installation created out of 60 shipping containers will open August 2011 in Shoreditch, east London. Marketed as a "pop-up", the mini-mall will be open for a minimum of five years and use 60 300sq ft freight containers to house brand shops.

The concept aims to offer brands retail rents significantly lower than traditional store rents in what is an up-and-coming area for fashion brands and is almost 90% rented with nearly 40 brands including Superdry, Calvin Klein and Diesel. The full list of tenants has not been released but potential targets include streetwear labels Carhartt and Stussy, premium casualwear brands Fred Perry, APC, Nigel Cabourn and Heritage Research, and young fashion brands Nudie and Religion.

 

Boxpark The Future Of Retail from Roger Wade on Vimeo.

As a company that works with brands on pop-up installations, we're scratching our heads.

Has the term pop-up become a default marketing buzzword?
&
Are corporate affiliations threatening to destroy what initially made pop-ups interesting?

 

While Honeysuckle was seen in S/S 2011 collections from Christopher Kane, Peter Som, Marc Jacobs and Dior, we could not ignore its absence at the Golden Globes.


Does anyone care about color predictions aside from Claire Danes?

Adding 18-2120 Honeysuckle to your palette can be a strong start to 2011, but we warn our readers and clients to not put a color before design or concept.

Remember that blanket statements and predictions do not serve as silver bullets for every trend or industry. Today's market demands versatility, strategy and style savvy.

{source: Pantone}

Once an afterthought in retailing, male customers now make up a $51 billion shopping industry. According to market research firm NPD Group, 75% of men shop for their own clothing compared with just 52% in 1995.

The influx of blogs and magazines delivering styling expertise expand brand awareness and aesthetic detail. Taking a note from the Sartorialist, J.Crew’s Jack Knows Best offers advice on dry cleaning, three piece suits, and how to wear pants properly. Net-A-Porter’s Menswear site Mr. Porter, set to launch in 2011, will carry over 60 brands with editorial content, advice and same-day deliveries in London and New York City.


The new male consumer responds to many of the same emotional triggers, such as heritage and authenticity, as their female counterparts. And retail shops with rotating miscellanea, art and differentiated offerings provide a place for discovery.

Successful retailers are building constructed masculine experiences in multi-purpose environments. Examples include:

  • Classic fashion stalwart, Ralph Lauren, transformed its Rhinelander Mansion location into a men's store.
 
{image via thedapperdude.com}

  • J.Crew's first ever men’s store took over an old neighborhood watering hole in 2009, and the brand as since opened three additional dedicated men shops in New York and Boston.
 
Photobucket

  • Jack Spade offers an interior that mimics a gentleman’s study with copies of vintage books next to finely woven shirts and an old library card catalog containing always changing bric-a-brac.
 
{Image via selectism.com}
 
  • Niche menswear boutiques like Tres Bien Shop in Sweden, Scotch & Soda in Amsterdam, BlackBlue in Minneapolis, Jackstraw in Seattle, and Duncan Quinn (with locations in NYC, LA and Miami) provide not only for clothes, but for objects to connect to such as rugged collectibles, antique shaving kits and sturdy furniture.
 
{Image of Tres Bien Shop via The Malcolm.com}
 
 
Men connect on a narrative level and want to know how a garment came to be and where it came from. In an ever more unsettling world, men respond to clothes that articulate meaning and stand for something.

Bottom line, male consumers want items that tell a story.

 
Branded videos are the latest new media strategy for brands/designers like Chanel and Tom Ford. Today, we caught word from WWD that one of our favorite designers from F/W 2010 Fashion Week collaborated with photographer Craig McDean, stylist Karl Templer and creative director Fabien Baron.


“This is our way to sum up the season in a different light other than the show,” said Wang to WWD.

We agree.

The abstract feeling with wind and newspapers flying all over the place is a moody and seductive opposition to the Wall Street vibe that inspired Wang’s fall collection. We love that he choose to highlight the Alexander Wang global brand instead of a singular seasonal theme.

About a year ago, we wrote about the Urban PacMan taking the streets of Lyon, France. It's not surprising that that video made the rounds and new groups are popping up.

Back in April of 2009, we hypothesized that a technology company might want to use this as a promotional tactic. A year later, we're clarifying our projection: it's a perfect fit for mobile or smart phone launch.

Do you know of any BIG launches in the mobile industry? Tell them you got the idea from Trendscaping.

 
Intriguing trends & hand-selected stories...

FOOD

  • Coca-Cola Freestyle’s new self-serve soda fountain that allows customers select drinks based on brand, calorie content or caffeine levels, all through the system's touchscreen interface that can dispense up to 100 different drink flavored teas, waters, juices and soft drinks (via Springwise)

 
  • We love these hilariously absurd Superego podcasts featuring improvised “character studies” like California Cooking with Claymore Cleveland (via Flavorwire).
  • Double pop: A pop-up popsicle concept that might give the ice cream man a run for his money.
  • A visual exploration of 11 crazy potato chip flavors from around the world.

 
+
FASHION
  • Five lifestyle-enhancing future of shopping applications that augment the online and traditional retail experience.
  • Standard hotels & Quiksilver collaborate on a swimsuit vending machine that distributes '70s-style trunks for the guys, and a black bikini for the ladies. First there was the (remember the flat shoe vending machine).
  • Le Bon Marché in Paris to sell Balenciaga Edition- a selection of clothes carefully chosen from couturier Cristobal Balenciaga’s original designs (via WWD).
  • Claw Money pops at Fred Segal with all new creative products and never-before-seen pieces (unlike some of those other pop-up stores that are just clearing out old inventory).