Ahead of B&LIS North America, Erin Rechner discusses her upcoming session, trends in the kidswear industry and more.

Anna Knight

October 5, 2022

3 Min Read
Erin Rechner.
Erin Rechner.WGSN

While the ability to keep up with trends is hard, it can be even harder to predict and forecast new and emerging insights coming down the pipeline. Especially within retail and fashion, consumers’ behavior patterns have a way of changing almost overnight, following new ideas and trends with social media helping them spread faster than ever before. 

But how can consumer-facing businesses keep up with the ever-changing demand of followers and implement these forecasts into their strategic planning? I had the pleasure of speaking with Erin Rechner, head, kidswear, WGSN, on how WGSN helps their clients track and understand the latest crazes in consumer products and how the licensing sector will be impacted. 

Rechner will be speaking on her experiences at Brand and Licensing Innovation Summit (B&LIS) at Convene New York during her session, “Trends: The Changing Consumer and Product Trends Set to Dominate in the Year Ahead.” 

Anna: Tell us about yourself. We’d love to hear about you and your company’s role in the licensing industry.   

Erin Rechner: I am the head, kidswear, WGSN, based in New York. WGSN provides global trend insights using in-house data and industry expertise, which helps our clients in the licensing industry understand consumer behaviors and how to create the most relevant products confidently. 

Related:Bringing New and Old Products to Life

Before this role, I was a kids’ and youth designer, so I understand what many of our clients face daily. I ensure our kids’ content is forward-thinking yet actionable, with commercially viable end-products in mind. 

What drew you to speak at B&LIS this year?  

One of my all-time favorite trade shows to attend is the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. What better extension to that than to speak at the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit in New York! It will be my first time at the event, and I am excited to share WGSN insights with the attendees. 

We are tracking the rise of homemaking, which in turn supports the uptick in local brand experiences, community-led designs and the influence of the home on fashion and licensing products.  

Multi-species thinking is another rising influence. This moves away from a human-centered view of the world to a nature-first approach and aligns with the urgent need to use more regenerative and ethical resources and production processes.  

Saying no to ‘normal’ will also impact licensing and see brands rethink their labeling and language as consumers embrace a wider spectrum of identity, whether that be around gender, sexuality, age or ability.  

Could you share a brief preview of your session?  

I am going to talk through a few of our big ideas for 2024, which will impact the licensing sector. I will cover the trends mentioned above in more depth, such as how to tackle themes of unity and diversity, how brands can encourage consumers to take better care of themselves, their belongings and the planet, as well as new phygital aesthetics where physical and digital products are blurred. 

What excites you about engaging and learning from your community in person at B&LIS this November?  

I am excited to hear how brands serve their consumers in a continued period of change and uncertainty. The making of the metaverse is always an interesting topic, with many different discussion points from a licensing point of view, so I look forward to hearing about the progress in that space. In-person interaction is so important these days, and I look forward to making new connections along the way. 


Registration for the Nov. 8-9 event is live and can be accessed here.

About the Author(s)

Anna Knight

Anna Knight is the Vice President of the Global Licensing Group. She has worked for Informa Markets (formerly UBM) for 10 years, most recently holding the position of event director for Brand Licensing Europe, the continent’s leading brand licensing event

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