‘Instagram Backlash’ and ‘Vegan Luxury Fashion’ Among Trends to Watch in 2019

Looking in to their crystal ball for pivotal trends in the coming year, J. Walter Thompson Intelligence’s The Innovation Group has released its Future 100 offering a snapshot of what’s to come, what’s important, and its implications to marketers and brands in 2019.

The Future 100 predicts, among other things, an Instagram backlash, along with other trends including, ‘Sound empires’, ‘Tech’s hidden figures’, ‘Immersive public landmarks’, ‘Inclusive design’, ‘Freelancer-first services’, ‘Clean comfort food’, ‘Vegan luxury fashion’ ‘Empowering adolescence’, ‘Healing cafes’, ‘Tech enhanced shopping’, ‘The New Workanomics’ and the increasing importance of silence in our lives.

So, basically, there looks to be a lot going on in the coming year.


“The year ahead will see a tipping point for a number of consumer trends,” said Lucie Greene, Worldwide Director of Innovation Group. “Brand experiences, once novel and designed exclusively (or cynically) for Instagram are getting push back.”

Greene is referring to what the report dubbed “Insta backlash,” which is said of Instagram with its 1 billion monthly active users “is starting to look dated at a time when authenticity is increasingly important.”

Greene said there are changes coming in “Big Tech” which has “extended its tentacles into every aspect of our lives, not to mention politics, is also facing a reckoning.” This will lead to more questions about the ethics of these companies and the rising presence of China Tech in competition.


“In a fraught, unstable world, we’re also seeing consumers seeking escape, comfort, and stability — whether it’s embracing the outdoors (and disconnecting from technology), or using new techniques to manage wellbeing and anxiety, or exploring new fantasy landscapes in culture, beauty and beyond. It’s going to be an interesting year.”

Three Hot New Ingredients

The Future 100  predicts that the three hot new food ingredients for 2019 will be lichen, dulse seaweed (a favorite in Wales and Ireland), and the Philippine citrus fruit calamansi – also known as the Philippine lime – which is a cross between mandarin and kumquat.

A total of 18 of the global trends either originate in the Asia Pacific, or have a strong Asia component. These include: #18 Future Tech Cities; #30 Hot destinations; #39 Grassroots brands; #40 Hyper influencers; #59 C-Beauty; #69 – Tech enhanced shopping; #90 – China Health Tech; and #96 New Workanomics.

The global trends in 2019 include:

#04 Reframing masculinity: Toxic masculinity has led to the success of Trump, the #MeToo movement and arguably Brexit.  Now, it’s time to make amends and for masculinity to become more nuanced than the traditional stereotypes would have it – and for men to live their best lives, rather than via an outdated social construct of what masculinity is deemed to be.

As the report notes “Brands, marketers and newsmakers have intensively zeroed in on the female experience of late—and rightly so. But now, insights agencies, research groups and think tanks are starting to ask: what about men?”

#13 Sound empires: The rise of podcasts and audiobooks, on top of online streaming, is only set to grow, as people seek to inform and entertain and educate themselves in other ways than simply looking at their screens.

#17 Tech’s hidden figures: Influential women in tech, in particular, are emerging from the shadows and hitting back online, in print, on screen and beyond. As with every aspect of culture and popular discourse, the #MeToo movement, fourth-wave feminism and widespread vocal discourse about white male patriarchal power are starting to have wider ripple effects on all industries.

#35 Inclusive design: After gender equality and racial equality, the time is ripe for disabled people to be more included when it comes to design across all areas of life. it is essential that design, whether physical or online, be designed without insidious bias.

#36 Freelancer-first services: The number of self-employed workers has been rising in the United Kingdom since 2001 and they now account for around 15% of the working population, according to the Office for National Statistics. Shared workspaces have grown at a rate of 200% over the past five years. Freelancers are increasingly important, and their unique needs are going to have to be met.

#74 Vegan Luxury: Luxury brands have long been devoted purveyors of fur, exotic skins and leather. Now they are in the midst of a dramatic turnaround, abolishing fur and embracing cruelty-free and vegan practices for a new, ethically conscious luxury consumer.

You can download the massive undertaking of trend forecasting here. It’s a good read.

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