Stefan Nilsson has been working professionally with trends since around the turn of the millennium, and in 2011 he decided to take his trend reports and make them as a more public event. This month, he took the stage and talked about where we are and where we are heading. Read more about the Big Swedish Trend Day 2021.
Stefan Nilsson is Sweden’s best known trend hunter and a regular contributor to TV, radio and magazines. Constantly on foot he scouts for new phenomena in interior, design, fashion, food and other things we dream of. His blog trendstefan.se was launched 2006.
Stora Trenddagen 2021 was presented in a pandemic setting. Despite lockdowns and obstacles it was a huge success. And here is the story of the Big Trend Day 2021.
2020 turned out to be a very different kind of year, especially from a trend hunter’s perspective; pandemic, lockdowns and no fairs. Normally Stefan’s trend-reports are based on statistics, interviews and a wholistic forecast put in a historical context – and finally his observations from the 20+ fairs and cities he visits every year. “So, I was basically missing one of the legs I stand on,” he says.
Despite lockdowns and obstacles, the Big Trend Day 2021 was a huge success. Stefan started working with color experts at NCS Colour. This company is also doing trend-reports, but as a color communication enterprise it’s more focused on, you guessed it, colors. Together, in August-September, they decided to arrange the Big Trend Day on 2 February.
During fall 2020, the partners were still planning a physical event. However, regulations were changing back and forth, so should they purely focus on a digital event or a combination?
Parallel to planning for the execution of the event, they worked with everything else. Photographer Emil Fagander helped with pictures. Stefan basically wanted to experiment with edible colors and afternoon shadows. Garlic, no garlic? Bread, no bread? Just crumbs? Colored vintage plates – but what color?
Eventually, they ended up with an official picture Stefan was pretty happy with. He loves color combinations, the relaxed feeling – and the presence of actual people. “I am so tired of perfect pictures without people. Still life can be very cold and boring. More people, please,» he said.
The same color combinations occurred in the short video stories Stefan made as a forerunner to the event. “There were discussions about how colors work and where we are. My partner in crime from NCS was Kennet Vrågård,” he says.
By the end of 2020, the parties realized that they couldn’t arrange a physical event. However, they wanted to make a digital event that was new, innovative and a little humorous. People who signed up to Stora Trenddagen got a color chart, stickers and a set of postcards with a summary of the trends and some inspiring graphic design done by Straight Design. Also, the letter and envelope were strictly complying with the graphical abstract – with colors of 2022 constantly present.
Since everything was done digitally, they decided to go internationally. Stefan started to collaborate with a handful of agencies that sold tickets and promoted the trend talk, for instance Italianbark.
750 tickets were booked for people from over 27 countries. The crowd was a mix of design companies, designers, media, ad agencies and just curious people. H&M, IKEA as well as many, many other companies were listening.
280 people attended a classical Q&A session, and the response was amazing:
“What an amazing seminar. I enjoyed it with wine and cheese.” – Anna E., journalist
“Damn what a nice tv production.” – Karin S., trend researcher
“I really enjoyed the presentation and I am going to quote you a lot…” – Malla T, editor
Trendstefan is listed as one of the most influential people in the design industry by Swedish magazine Rum. He is the owner and the curator of Designgalleriet in Stockholm.
The Big Swedish Trend Day 2021, edited by Tor Kjolberg based on the trendstefan blog
All images © Trendstefan