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Top 20 Trends in 2009 (MUST WATCH)

2009 Forecast by TREND HUNTER Research

— January 5, 2009 — About
One thing you’ll learn from our Trends in 2009 Forecast is that 2009 will be a year of dramatic change. To prepare you for that change, TREND HUNTER Research is breaking all norms by freely distributing this video and memo of our Top 20 predictions for 2009. 

The 2009 forecast summarizes the 20 trend clusters from our 2009 Trend Reports.  In total, the trend reports feature more than 300 clusters, each with half a dozen examples. 

Crowd Filtered Insight - We’ve created the 2009 trend forecast by crowd filtering our database of nearly 30,000 published micro-trends, collected by our global network of more than 20,000 Trend Hunters. For more info on the methodology and premium research, visit our 2009 Trend Reports section.

Feel free to share this video with your colleagues or contact us if you are a journalist looking to showcase the next big thing.



Jeremy Gutsche, CFA, MBA

Chief Trend Hunter

The Top 20 Trends in 2009

20. RETURN TO THE KITCHEN (Economy / Family / Food) - Fuelled by the credit crunch and food as a fashionable hobby, we’ll see a return to the kitchen, especially for the celebrated meals.

19. DIY & THE RISE OF THE COTTAGE INDUSTRY (Economy) – Internet communities like Etsy and Craftster were already sparking interest in DIY projects, fashion and crafts.  A troubled job market and the need for extra cash will spark many hobbiests to transition their love for craft into cottage industry.

18. UGLY BEAUTY (Advertising) – From Vivienne Westwood’s use real gypsies as models to Yohji Yamamoto seniors on the catwalk, expect to see an abolition of traditional beauty as people return to what seems real.

17. HOLLYWOOD VIRAL (Media) – 50 Cent’s multi-million member community, Will Ferrel’s success with Funny or Die and Paris Hilton’s fake presidential candidacy are all examples of Hollywood stars leveraging their brands for instant online success.  Expect the stars to rock the blogosphere and 2009 YouTube charts.

16. SHOCKVERTISING 2.0 (Internet Culture) – Shockvertising isn’t a new tool, but the blogosphere and youtube in combination have created the world’s first truly viral platform.  From Dead arms in butcher shops for a Dexter promotion to bathroom blood dispensers in Clue you can expect credit crunched ad teams to further push the limits in 2009 and beyond.

15. GEEK PRIDE (Tech) – RSS Nerd tattoos, Keyboard Jewelry, Nintendo Wall Decals and Pac Man Cufflinks are just a few examples of our techified culture opening the door to geek pride.  It’s not 1990 anymore.  The internet has become pervasive and geek culture is cool.

14. AGELESS INSPIRATION (Medical) – 60 today is not the same as 60 a generation ago.  From boomers in fashion to boomers on youtube, a youthful generation 60 year olds is approaching retirement.  As this generation proves its youth, we are seeing emphasis across all ‘older’ age groups.  From Daira Tores, the 41 year old Olympian, to 80 year old Buhbbe Scher on YouTube, pop culture is now fascinated with age.

13. URBAN GARDENING (Living / Eco) – Fake and real gardens are springing up outside traditional yards.  From indoor urban spice gardens to living furniture, our green obsessed society is finding eco outlets for city dwellers.

12. PHYSICAL CUSTOMIZATION (Product) – From designing your own shoes (Steve Madden) to custom dresses online (StyleShake), consumer personalization is entering the physical world.  New technologies and a desire to express personality are fueling this innovation.


11. VIRTUAL TOURISM (Travel) – In a credit crunched economy, families cut their travel budget.  At the same time, we continue to see an evolution in online 3D technology.  As these two factors combine, we get VT.

10. STYLE OVER TRADITION (Fashion) - Even the most conventional product categories, like watches, are changing shape. Luxury items used to be a static, with only a few brands and classic designs representing status. However, modern design and cutting-edge technology are evolving style far beyond the status quo.

9. HUMANIZATION OF PETS (Pets) - Wet suits for dogs, pet tanning beds, kitten rentals, doorbells for dogs, and pet spas are just a few examples of the rise in animal humanization.  Expect empty nest boomer to further accelerate this trend.

8. FAUX ROCKSTAR (Pop Culture) - Games like Guitar Hero and Rockband are spawning a new era of pop culture.  Band geek couture, guitars for girls and real bands with plastic guitars are just a few rockin’ examples.


7. PREFABULOUS (Architecture) - From recycled shipping containers to cardboard, instant homes are made from a diverse range of materials. Some are built as temporary post-disaster shelters, others as aesthetic masterpieces.

6. 1960 CULTURE (Fashion / Pop Culture) - From gadgetry to fashion, the world continues to have a fascination with retro. This year, everything 1960s is hot again. Cult shows like ‘Mad Men’ continue to fuel fascination for this decade.

5. BRAG MATERIALISM (Luxury) – From a $2 Billion home to $3 Million Bugattis, Brag Materialism takes luxury to a new level.  In short, simple luxuries like flat screen TVs can be ‘bought’ by just about anyone. Since opulence has been made available to the masses, truly affluent buyers are seeking extreme wealth exhibitionism.


4. POLITICAL REMIXING (Politics) – Obama and Sarah Palin brought politics into pop culture.  But post election boredom will drive the internet to create their own drama with ongoing political parody, including presidential beatboxing and viral videos.

3. SMALLCHITECTURE (Interior Design / Economy) - As people move into metropolitan cores, and architects are forced to build upward, people are needing to adapt to smaller living spaces. To ease the transition of shifting to more compact home environments, architects and designers are innovating interior layouts as well as creating adaptable furnishing.

2. REMAKING HISTORY BETTER (Media) – From recreating famous photoshoots to Horror Movies remade, the revival of retro is making its way into the media. Instead of creating from scratch, artists and designers are looking at successes of the past and adding a modern twist.

1. CREDIT CRUNCH COUTURE (Economy / Fashion) – From DIY jewelry to home-made shoes, the rediscovery of individual clothing is being fuelled by our troubled economy. Interest in DIY is even sparking top designers like Hermes, with their DIY status bags and Vivienne Westwood who showcased a collection of clothing made from towels, curtains and scrap material.


SUMMARY - With our credit crunched economy and our new President promising Change, 2009 will usher in a whole new way of living. Stay tuned to TREND HUNTER to be on the cutting edge of these emerging trends.