Creative trend spotting SS19: How to navigate between the fads and sure-fires

SS19 trend spotting

A new season brings with it a raft of new trends and inspiration across all creative sectors – from fashion through to furniture.

It’s an exciting time, with a sense of change and innovation in the air. But when presented with a tidal wave of forecasted themes, it can feel overwhelming trying to separate the ‘flash-in-the-pan’ fads from those with substance – the latter guaranteed to truly give projects a credible, contemporary edge.

With this in mind, we’ve taken inspiration from The State of Fashion 2019: A Year of Awakening report, by McKinsey and the Business of Fashion (BoF), to identify our top trends applicable to the commercial design sectors.


Customers want bespoke, and they want it now.

What started in the fashion industry has extended more widely, to include commercial design. In the ‘instant’ age of Instagram, customisation has never been more coveted. Every restaurant, hotel and co-working space needs to be a unique destination, ready to be snapped at any moment. And this is something that’s inspired us here at Roger Lewis.

In response, we’ve developed our soon-to-be-launched service, The Customiser. A digital personalisation tool being officially unveiled at Clerkenwell Design Week, designers can have their own graphics printed onto our popular Sintra chair, quickly – and with the expert skill we’ve long been renowned.

This leads us onto another important aspect of the trend – speed. As client and customer expectations regarding timescales change – McKinsey’s report highlights this emerging from startup culture – manufacturers must adapt their processes to cut down on turnaround.

Though, of course, this shouldn’t affect quality. Detail is now more highly regarded by clients than ever before. For designers and makers operating in a competitive market, this is what sets them apart. So, as customer demands increase, manufacturers and makers must, in turn, adapt.

Our design director, Nick Lewis, comments: “As a designer, the devil is in the detail. There’s no fun in designing – or specifying, for that matter – a product that is one-dimensional. Differences in shape or finish can truly set a piece of furniture apart. And now, thanks to customisation being increasingly popular, designers can arguably be more creative than ever before when developing these details.”


The ‘end of ownership’?

Hand crafted by experienced sewers, frame makers and upholsterers.

Already making waves in the consumer market – especially for high value items – hospitality and commercial businesses are looking to reduce their regular outgoings in terms of replacing interior accessories, fixtures and fittings, and are instead looking to lease.  

For clients in the hospitality and workplace sectors that require high-quality, trend-led products on a regular basis, setting up a leasing partnership with a furniture manufacturer, such as us, could prove cost-effective while ensuring minimal environmental impact. Instead of condemning chairs or sofas to waste, reupholstering them in the latest fabrics combats wear and tear, plus ensures that styles are always up-to-date.

By choosing a classic yet contemporary well-made frame and a timeless shape, regular transformation can be achieved through fabric choices and expert upholstery. At Roger Lewis, we work with textile partners such as Kvadrat and Camira to offer cutting-edge combinations.

With leasing already on our radar, we’re looking to liaise with designers on their wants and requirements – if this sounds of interest, then please let us know.


As a business with 30 years’ heritage, we understand as much as anyone the importance of self-disruption, and adopting agile ways of working.

In the McKinsey article: Self-disruption in the fashion industry, the team references “challenger brands” – “characterised by rapid growth, social-media fluency, and e-commerce-focused distribution” as forcing “legacy brands” such as Prada and Dior to innovate. And this has led to the likes of Burberry undergoing complete overhauls to both their look and approach.

Bringing this back to the commercial design industry, we’re seeing a similar pattern, with heritage brands evolving to respond to the market’s changing needs. With the emergence of new spaces in the workplace sector, to support co-working and collaboration, companies such as ours have expanded our offering to support designers in delivering on projects of this kind – with a wealth of skill in tow.

Read McKinsey’s The State of Fashion 2019: A Year of Awakening report in full here, and for more information on how we can help you apply these trends to your next hospitality or workplace project, please get in touch – our door is always open.