Trend Forecast vs. Reality: Evaluating Our 2023 Predictions

Trend Forecast vs. Reality: Evaluating Our 2023 Predictions

At the start of the year, Telegraph presented a robust Trend Forecast for 2023. We recently checked in to see where we were on target and where we missed the mark. In addition, we took a shot at predicting what’s next. Here’s a snapshot of our cross-departmental conversation and predictions.


Our Strategy team, led by Emma Spear, nailed it at the start of the year. Consumer focus on value, romanticizing one’s life, and hair care as the new skin care are all trends we see in effect every day.

The predictions from ACDs Nolen Strals and Kyle DeMarco were on point when we said 2023 would be defined by a “fugue” for brands (and consumers). There’s still too much of everything, everywhere, all at once. Microtrends are the only trends—and they have the lifecycle and cultural impact of a fruit fly.

While we have seen a few aesthetics gain a foothold for a month or two at most, there are no new big ideas or looks. The reigning concepts, color palettes, type styles, visual motifs, photography styles, and brand voices we are seeing and hearing this year are part of the long tail of the previous two years.

We’re in a trend holding pattern. But the plane has to land at some point, and so we started thinking about what the landscape will look like when we finally put our feet down somewhere new.

What we see cresting the horizon is a quieter, slower approach to everything. There may even be a new take on naturalism. Below is a grab bag of what we’re seeing and feeling that led to these predictions:

Will this calming of the culture and brands come to pass? As the rest of the year unfolds, we’re excited to continue evaluating our predictions, analyzing which trends stick, and exploring the reasons why.