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Fashion Week: Researchers Trot The Globe To Find The Next Big Trends

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Hundreds of designers are showcasing their individual visions for fall 2013 at the latest Fashion Week, but how do fashion trends emerge. That is in part because many designers head into a season with a trend report in hand. NY1's Arts reporter Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

Fashion designers often talk about being inspired by the street, and it seems when it comes to forecasting fashion trends, it really does all start at the street level.

"We take, I would say, tens of thousands of photos each year of what people are wearing on the street, from New Zealand to Australia to Tokyo, Europe, Mexico and of course, New York is very inspirational," says Linda DeFranco, the head of Cotton Incorporated's Trend Forecast Team.

With thousands of pictures and other market analysis, Cotton Inc's team creates and present trends on seasonal colors, textures and silhouettes to more than 1,000 brands and retailers each season, so everyone from big-box stores to top designer can look into the fashion crystal ball. The information can influence what designers create and what winds up in the stores.

This season, expect a color and style trend called "Rebound."

"We saw an incredible amount of attention being drawn to the '90s, but the hip-hop element of the '90s," says DeFranco.

Another trend called "Raw" is also getting noticed.

"We're talking about very natural fabrics that have lots of texture to them, really chunky knits or voluminous knits," DeFranco says.

Besides going around the world taking pictures and buying pieces of clothes, researchers also track other important indicators like politics, film, art, architecture and the economy.

"People dress up more in a bad economy because you don't want to look like you just lost your job," says DeFranco.

Trend forecasting starts about two years ahead of each season. For Fall 2013, look for lots of plaid, fun prints and exaggerated silhouettes. The research doesn't just look at what's hot but also what's not.

"What are the colors, what are the styles, because that gives you an indication of what people are interested in," DeFranco says.

Just how far in advance does the forecast go? Some foresee 3-D digital denim emerging a few years down the line. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP