Professor Heng Xu Uses Science To Predict Fashion Trends, So You Can Be Better Informed About What To Buy

BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 20: A shopper browses clothes on display in Rag Trade Boutique, a quality designer second-hand women's clothes shop on February 20 2009 in Bristol, England. The shop offers the opportunity for women to sell their designer and vintage clothing on a 50 percent commission basis and any unsold items after seven weeks can either be collected or are sent onto charities. It opened in September and has been an instant hit with bargain-hungry shoppers, with hundreds of women sign up to become account holders. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Source: Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In The Devil Wears Prada, Meryl Streep played the role of cold-hearted editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly who made a thought-provoking claim about how the trends tend to arise within the fashion industry when there are similarities amongst the arbitrary choices of fashion designers. In other words, this scene was claiming that when two or more designers accidentally end up using the same shade of a color for the same seasonal collection, wearing that color slowly becomes a trend. That scene in The Devil Wears Prada is what inspired researcher and fashionista, Heng Xu to use science to predict fashion trends.

Let's say Michael Kors, Kate Spade, and Moschino all end up using black and gold stripes in their fall collections. What Xu wants to find out is whether wearing black and gold stripes will become a fall trend amongst their consumers. As Penn State's associate professor of information sciences and technology, Xu binds together her two passions — fashion and statistics — to dive into the phenomenon of trends.

Xu told Phys.org that she and her team, "were interested in discovering if this type of phenomenon could happen with more than just colors. We wanted to know if the same type of trending could also happen with designs, fabrics, shapes, and patterns." Ultimately, based off her research, Xu envisions to bring these trend predictions to an online platform where, "the site will include an in-depth breakdown of each season's trends, such as specific designers and fabrics that are most popular during that time." 

If her fashion trend predicting website comes to fruition, then everyone will always be styling in the latest and hottest trends.

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Image: @packfutur/Twitter

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