As a denim trend forecaster, Samuel Trotman see an indigo world before anyone else experiences it.
Samuel Trotman is the frontier man of denim. He sees an indigo world before anyone else experiences it. As WGSN’s senior denim editor for eight years, Trotman served as a sounding board for the industry by delving into the lifestyles and ever-changing shopping habits of denim consumers around the world. His task: to identify the tiny sparks bound to become the stars and driving forces in the global denim sector.
“I think one of the key characteristics of WGSN trend forecasting is we have eyes that take in so many more visuals than the average person,” Trotman said. “You really have to be immersed in all aspects of culture to catch the next big thing. It’s really about pattern recognition and connecting different elements, whether it’s coming from art, film, music or on the high street.”
Trotman spends most of his days traveling around the world, attending music festivals, hitting up major fashion weeks and scrolling through Instagram to find emerging brands and inspirational denim imagery. “No week is ever the same,” he said. “Most people think of denim as just a pair of jeans, but there is a whole blue world out there with a huge cultural following around it.”
And there’s a host of big data that supports Trotman’s denim visions, too. New demands from the fashion industry and WGSN’s customers have lead the trend forecasting firm’s research to be more balanced with factual data. The company now embeds its trend research with resources like WGSN INstock, which takes advantage of big data to deliver actionable trend analytics and retail insights to enable smarter decision making. This, Trotman said, resonates with WGSN’s clients and helps further build their confidence in firm as a global trend leader.
That level of trust helps distinguish Trotman’s forecasts from the flurry of images shared by influencers on social media platforms like Instagram. “This platform has allowed people to access content directly from their mobiles on demand. This speed has been one of the biggest challenges for WGSN, but we still pride ourselves on our curated content with expert opinion, which gives our subscribers additional value that you can’t get from social media platforms,” he said.
In September, Trotman announced a new venture, joining Amy Leverton’s Denim Dudes as a contributing editor and where he’ll continue to pursue his passion for denim, which is threaded all throughout his day-to-day life.
“It wouldn’t be unusual for me to be hitting vintage markets and digging through denim when I’m on holiday either,” he said. “I’m lucky to say I have a job which I truly love and that makes it easy for me to balance work and life, as it feels like one and the same—apart from when my wife says I need to put down my phone.”
What is your first denim memory?
“My mother used to take me to car boot sales every weekend. [It’s where] I learned the knack of digging through piles of clothes to uncover vintage Levi’s, which I would wear for skating. She taught me how to haggle and develop my eye for picking out blue gold.”
What is your favorite pair of jeans?
“Right now, I’m wearing a pair of Levi’s 501 70s Redline Selvedge jeans which I picked up off eBay recently. I had a pair that I had found at the Rose Bowl about four years ago, but they have literally gone beyond the point of the repair with the amount of crotch blowouts. I think the jeans from this era are quite prone to ripping due to the early methods of bleaching back then, which make the cotton weaker and dry, but the fabric character and patina is something that’s impossible to recreate.”