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When trend forecaster Jan Agelink shapes his vision for the upcoming seasons, he doesn't just look at what is shown during shows, exhibitions, and fairs. He also takes into consideration the influence of different generations' behaviors - from Baby Boomers to Generation Alpha. According to Agelink, generational attitudes form the catalyst for trends. In his presentation for the FW24 season, which FashionUnited attended digitally, he supports the three main trends he anticipates for FW2024 with a brief introduction about each of the generations.
Notably, each generation is rooted in a form of ethics that is expressed in different ways. For Baby Boomers, according to Agelink, knowledge about their products and a connection with trusted brands are particularly important. Generation X appreciates simple, conceptual designs and a pragmatic focus on circularity. Millennials grew up in a time of rapid media evolution (such as the emergence of more complex video games) and learned to think about problems and solutions in storylines. As a result, they are drawn to narrative brands and campaigns. Gen Z aligns with young Baby Boomers in terms of activism and protest. They experience relatively high levels of uncertainty and therefore focus on community and self-care. This is expressed in their pursuit of equality and an almost spiritual mindset, albeit within a digital context.
The impact of Generation Alpha, born between 2010 and 2025, on consumer trends is still relatively small (as they are not yet independent consumers), and their future behavior is difficult to predict. However, Agelink does reveal that Generation Alpha will reinforce the digital foundation and focus on diversity and inclusion that Generation Z currently represents. Additionally, regenerative production and artificial intelligence (AI) will play a central role for them.
In the first theme mentioned by Agelink in his presentation, it's all about the convergence of the old and the futuristic. It involves a blend of earthly and digital influences that lead to dreamlike and sensual outcomes with a touch of surrealism. Agelink describes it as "romantic futurism." He gives the example of Mntge, a company that creates digital versions of vintage jackets, and La Casita de Wendy, which designs using AI tools and then collaborates with craftsmen to produce them using local resources. Egonlab expresses this theme in a pop-art-inspired manner, while Miu Miu and Acne portray it through fairytale-like, surreal settings featuring moss and flowers. Embracing the infinite possibilities offered by AI, designers mix materials and textures in unexpected ways, as seen in Bottega Veneta's FW23 show. Agelink explains that this approach of boundless application of textures also carries over into their physical world designs.
Egonlab SS23 show in Parijs. Credits: Launchmetrics Spotlight
Acne FW23 show in Parijs. Credits: Launchmetrics Spotlight
Bottega Veneta FW23 show in Milaan. Credits: Launchmetrics Spotlight
The second trend identified by Agelink is more practical and revolves around experimenting with materials. The underlying question here is: How can existing designs, concepts, and materials be improved?
Written by: Marthe Stroom, FashionUnited
Want to hear more inspirational trends from Jan Agelink himself? Bring a vist to his talk about the biggest changes in the fashion industry; 'Welcome to the age of imagination and transformation' during the Talks & Masterclasses