Renowned for its inspirational and insightful content, Autumn Fair has announced this year's focus will be on home & gifting trends and sustainability with dedicated days for each.
Visitors to the show, taking place from the 3rd – 6th September at NEC Birmingham, are invited to attend trend workshops with leading global futures agency TrendBible, sustainability sessions with Products of Change, as well as presentations offering trade show advice for new businesses, how to navigate through challenging economic times, and motivational masterclasses – all taking place on the Inspiring Retail Stage & Moda Catwalk in Hall 8 which will also host the high energy trend-led catwalk shows.
Monday 4th September Autumn Fair puts the spotlight on Trends. Kicking off the morning session, Naomi Pollard, Head of Publications at TrendBible will deliver 2024 Home & Interior Lifestyle Trends uncovering how householder behaviours and lifestyle choices are set to underpin product and design trends for the home over the next 12 months and beyond.
Pollard says, "How consumers choose to build and maintain their domestic worlds is becoming democratised, spurred on by a number of different shifts across society. The modern householder will need the home to do and be so much more. It's a place to heal, escape, deal with the realities of domestic life, and to help us shape our many fragmented moods and mindsets.
A sneak preview of one of the key trends, Space to Heal, highlights how the self-care movement has matured after years of burnout and exhaustion. Pollard says, "With new humanitarian crisis after crisis emerging around the world, rather than an indulgence or privilege of being your 'best self' and attaining 'wellness', Space to Heal is about stress reduction over self-optimisation. Simplicity and frugality set the pace for a gentle and slow sense of purpose. This is minimalism, but an expressive form of minimalism – reducing visual stress without losing personality or meaning."
Creating spaces that promote visual and aural stress reduction points us towards a meaningful form of minimalism – but one that is keen to keep some personality. Rooms benefit from ergonomic, adaptable, and modular arrangements for maximum flexibility. Soothing organic and biomorphic forms and pebble shapes inspire furniture, rounded and padded with noise-reducing qualities to quieten communal spaces. Deeply comforting textiles like terry cloth, tufted and needle punched textiles sit alongside uplifting simplistic floral prints. Character and messaging call for peace and comfort; soft and rounded human figures are depicted in unity with nature in urban green spaces, surrounded by simple flowers and doves.
This gentle minimalism is far from sterile; a soothing palette of pastels helps reduce visual disturbance and brings a sense of calm, while surfaces have a hand-rendered, matt finish to allow the focus to remain on form.
On Monday afternoon join Pollard as she presents the 2024 Gifting and Celebration Trends offering visitors vital insight into the key trends impacting consumers and the opportunities for celebration. From ideas for Valentine's Day through to Christmas, this trend presentation will elevate your gift and greetings ranges for seasonal retail occasions to new levels.
Against a backdrop of global unrest and financial crisis, celebration offers the respite so desperately needed in 2024. An escapist desire dominates but is coupled with a search for authenticity. This drives a fresh and honest take on who we are, what we want to celebrate, and how.
Pollard says, "A new generation of non-conformists are deliberately ditching tradition, pushing past a decade of homogeneity to celebrate however and whatever they want. This ignites a rebellious and unapologetically indulgent approach to celebration for 2024. As crisis becomes a steady state and the exhaustion of modern life takes its toll, a nihilist attitude comes to the fore. This acts as a survival technique for many individuals grappling with rising levels of compassion fatigue and feelings of apathy.
The 'pursuit of pleasure' defines this rebellious story for 2024; with celebration offering the perfect outlet to indulge in a hedonistic lifestyle without shame or inhibition. Lavish dinners and extravagant parties offer a source of indulgence and fun, with decadent décor and food. Design is inspired by a melting pot of anti-establishment movements, embracing goth and punk aesthetics. Gothic typefaces sit alongside neo-traditional tattoo-inspired illustrations and 'rock hand' motifs. Messaging and editorial are not for the faint of heart, with a heavy dose of dark humour and profanity. This clashes with sugary sweet and overtly feminine touches – bold red and pink stripes, and lip and heart repeat patterns.
Pollard adds, "Embrace the wild, hedonistic spirit of this trend which invites customers to let go of their emotional luggage for a moment. Celebration is found in freedom from social norms, indulging without guilt and embracing the basic human coping mechanism of humour in difficult times."
Autumn Fair continues its collaboration with Products of Change and Tuesday 5th September will be coined as A Day of Purpose. Join Helena Mansell-Stopher from Products of Change on the Inspiring Retail Stage & Moda Catwalk for two sessions focused on sustainability. Products of Change aims to bring actionable change to the ongoing Power of One Campaign, educating visitors by highlighting small daily actions and opening the conversation on systemic business transformation. Using the comprehensive Pathway to Sustainability white papers launched early this year, visitors will be able to access bite-size sections of the papers and scan a QR code to download the full papers at the show from the Products of Change Hub.
The Inspiring Retail Stage & Moda Catwalk also welcomes the return of Therese Oertenblad from Small Business Collaborative who will present a practical workshop on 'How to Approach your First Trade Show', and Ami Rabheru from The Retail Business Hub will be looking into 'Maximising Revenue During Tough Economic Times'.
With an exclusive edit of the most sought-after furniture, interior décor and accessories, gift, beauty and fashion brands, and the launch of the game-changing connections programme Connect @ Autumn Fair, Autumn Fair is the must-attend show for sourcing all of next season's bestsellers as it presents completely fresh and exclusive new looks, products, material innovations, and the latest trends.
To connect, collaborate, and shop the show in the most efficient way register at www.autumnfair.com.