APPLYING TRENDS TO DESIGN: A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
When technology and functionality are not enough to differentiate a product from its competitors, the product’s visual appearance becomes a major driver of consumer preference. But how do designers identify what is and will be attractive to the consumer, and how do they apply this to the styling of their products? It is evident that physical products are increasingly becoming fashion based items. There is a substantial body of theory, built over the last 50 years, as applied to fashion. However, to date, little of this understanding has been applied to the design of physical consumer products. This paper seeks to address this gap, by synthesising seminal literature from fashion theory, taste, consumer behaviour, and product design.