On Trend

The Business of Forecasting the Future
Author: Devon Powers
Prophets churning profits in the mysterious world of trend professionals
Cloth – $110
Paper – $19.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 10/28/2019
Cloth: 10/28/2019
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About the Book

Trends have become a commodity—an element of culture in their own right and the very currency of our cultural life. Consumer culture relies on a new class of professionals who explain trends, predict trends, and in profound ways even manufacture trends.

On Trend delves into one of the most powerful forces in global consumer culture. From forecasting to cool hunting to design thinking, the work done by trend professionals influences how we live, work, play, shop, and learn. Devon Powers's provocative insights open up how the business of the future kindles exciting opportunity even as its practices raise questions about an economy increasingly built on nonstop disruption and innovation. Merging industry history with vivid portraits of today's trend visionaries, Powers reveals how trends took over, what it means for cultural change, and the price all of us pay to see—and live—the future.

About the Author

Devon Powers is an associate professor of advertising at Temple University. She is the author of Writing the Record: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism and coeditor of Blowing Up the Brand: Critical Perspectives on Promotional Culture.


"On Trend is wide-ranging, yet it holds together through a fusion of scholarly reconstruction and engaged critique. Such a combination is often intended but seldom so well executed." --Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed

"Powers offers an insightful critique on the trends and forecasting industry. . . . Highly recommended." --Choice

"An energetic account of the social, historical, and cultural modes in which the future is constructed." --Public Books


"If you think hot trends just whirl up like dust storms, think again: This fascinating book pulls the curtain back on an entire industry devoted to shaping our perceptions of what matters--and with it, the future itself."--Fred Turner, author of The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties


•  Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2020