The Evolution of Trends

Designers discuss the factors that affect their collections each season at FN Platform.

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Coye Nokes

Photo By Jim Decker

How does the runway shape what's selling in stores?

That's what designers sat down to discuss Tuesday morning at FN Platform.

For designer Coye Nokes and Kelley Lehner, founder of Klub Nico, there is a spectrum of style inspiration from traditional sources like Fashion Week as well their respective social media communities.

"I take inspiration from traveling," explained Nokes, whose spring '15 collection references the old-meets-new architecture of London. "It starts there, then I go to Instagram. I follow a lot of people. I pay attention to street style."

Lehner said that these days, she sees fashion as a global village. "I'm in California, but it doesn't stop me from seeing what's out there. There are definitely trends, but people have their own aesthetic, and they take my design and make it work in their wardrobes."

The runway is often a jumping-off point for both Lehner and Nokes, the latter of whom pointed out that it's important to see where apparel is heading, but it's a fraction of her fashion eco-system.

"Think of it as [creating] your own trend feed. Everything plays a part," Nokes explained.

She adapted the current taste for athletic wear and comfort styles into her collection by adding thicker sole creepers, while Lehner introduced sneakers with feminine laser-cut details that matched her brand's aesthetic.

Both designers agreed trends should only be translated when they fit into the overall collection, and yet there's room to experiment.

"It's fundamental to push [for something new]," Nokes explained. "You might get customers who don't get it, but the more they see it [in stores], the more they will. Then the people who picked it up first are going to need the next thing."

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