Maghan McDowell:

Key takeaways:

Department stores are increasingly using data to help predict the rise and decline of future trends.

Fashion houses like Marni and Miu Miu use data analytics to identify opportunities and weaknesses in their collections.

While data-driven tools have improved trend forecasting, human interpretation remains essential.

When Detroit-based luxury goods brand Shinola began working on its new Vinton watch, the team designed with a woman in mind, but testing the product through analytics platform MakerSights, which correlates consumer feedback with historical sales data, revealed the style appealed to all genders. As a result, the brand deepened its buy-in on those by about 70 per cent. “You never design by data, but the data, but the data provides a compass as you’re navigating a hunch,” says Shinola CEO Tom Lewand.

In other words, Shinola already had a great vision — and the data enhanced it.