Interview with Milou Ket Trendwatcher for Interiors + Fashion | Part 1

Interview with Milou Ket
Trendwatcher for
Interiors + Fashion

part 1
Part 2 in english you can find here.

Prefer to read the interview in Dutch? you can find the first part here and the second part here.

Milou Ket is trendwatcher specialized in the field of fashion, colour, interiors and innovation. She works from her studio in Purmerend, close to Amsterdam, for large international customers. The trend agency publishes a few times a year trendbooks, Milou gives seminars and presentations and advises companies on trends. The agency has besides it’s general website since a short time also an inspiration website:

I have had the honour to interview Milou Ket about her work and the trends that she has spotted. It has become an extensive and inspiring story! I have made two parts of it. The first part you’ll read here, the second part will follow next week. I wish you a lot of joy and inspiration!
In between the interview you’ll see a number of exclusive trend presentations for interiors 2014/2015 by Milou Ket.
These pictures have copyright, but they may be shared by mentioning of “Milou Ket” and a link to this article.

Mother of Pearl | Trendcollage interieur 2013/2014 |  © Milou Ket
I originate myself from fashion and work now already for years in the field of interiors. It strikes me that a lot of people from fashion have a good sense for trends. Do you agree?
Yes, that’ s right, but not everybody can do it. You have to be able to make the switch, but if you have the talent, it does not make much of a difference anymore if you spot trends for fashion or interiors.
What does your trendagency actually precisely do?
I show and explain trends in the field of fashion, colour, interiors and innovation, mainly focussed on big companies, for product development and to advise on composing collections. I work therefor in a stage far before the products will be in the shops or offered on the internet.
Can you tell me a bit more about yourself and your company?
I am working already for years in this profession. Actually I am what you call a “natural born trendwatcher”. Already as a child I was fond of new things, I read fashion magazines from the USA and from elsewhere, and even won a price for fashion design! I could draw very well, wanted to be  different, and picked up new things vey quickly. For me, fashion is something to express yourself with, to show who you are, what you think and what you feel. For me it is not about the “it” bag.
I have had a scholarship to study a year in the United States, and afterwards I graduated with success from the Rietveld Art Academy in Amsterdam. After my graduation I got a job at the styling department of Hema, (a variety store with more than 400 outlets.) Hema and the Bijenkorf were the first companies in the Netherlands with their own styling department, after an American example. That was very special at that time.
Urban Green | Trendcollage interieur 2013/2014 |  © Milou Ket
We went to 9 European cities for orientation, we went shopping there, hunting for new ideas and inspiration. We discussed these ideas with the buyers, and in this way we could arrange future collections.
After about 6 years I was ready for a new experience and have started up my own company. One of my first projects was to compose a fabric collection, coordinating prints and solids, I made illustrations and started a consultancy on making collections for large companies and buying groups. For those companies I also had to work systematically far ahead of the season, and that worked out very well.
I also started making trend reports and did consultacy on accessories, prints, fabrics, designed the collection of the Belgian Olympic theam and the Antwerp Zoo for Superconfex and designed women-, childrenwear- and shoe collections for buying groups and other companies.
At a certain time I was asked to spot and translate trends for interiors, in the field of glass, earthenware and porcelain and also to present trends for women and childrenswear for the Dutch Fashion Institute. From 2000 till 2006 I advised Swarovski as consultant architecture on new interior and architectural items such as window decoration, furniture, bathrooms and lighting. 
Textures | Trendcollage interieur 2013/2014 |  © Milou Ket
Do you run your agency by yourself or with a team?
At this moment we are with just the two of us, and I work with several free-lancers.
How long do you make these trend books already?
For childrenswear I started about 28 years ago, after that for women en shortly after that for interiors. About 10 years ago it was followed by a book on Innovation, more design and architecture.
You do not only work for the Dutch market, but also international. In what countries are you working for instance?
My books are available in some 20 countries via my agent network. I give a lot of seminars myself abroad and have worked in many countries such as the United States, Turkye, China, Australia, Germany, Austria, Italy and Singapore. In China I am well know for my profession, but less in my own country.
Did your company change a lot since the start up?
I have started with fashion, after that I moved on with interiors. After my consultancy for the Business Unit Architecture, I have developed an interest in Innovation. I have published two books on that topic. At the moment I give a lot of lectures during trade fairs.
It strikes me that a lot of Dutch designers are often more well-know abroad than in the Netherland. What do you think is the reason?
That has been different in the past! At first the Netherlands was known for “Double Dutch” or a “Dutch Treat”, but fortunately now more in the field of Design etc. That has developped in that way. Furthermore, the Netherlands are very small: we have a lot of countries around us. We are also more flexible and less formal than the us surrounding countries. Dutch people are active abroad.
How does a trend book or presentation work?
By collecting information at the 15 fairs and events that I visit on a yearly base and where I give my presentations. In these cities I also take some days to see the shops. Furthermore I read a lot of magazines and books, look on the internet, and collect on intuition sample materials such as fabrics, paper, colours, etc. etc. for instance from  Istanbul and New York. In some cases I also purchase information from third parties for my customers. I keep collecting a few months, in September I make a round trip through Europe and visit then for instance Maison & Objet in Paris and in New York the International Contemporary Furniture fair. (ICFF) Also I participate in september at the MOOD fair in Belgium and give a preview presentation to my customers. At the end of october I will speak during the Dutch Design Week and the Evolution Fair in Eindhoven. 
Natural History | Trendcollage interieur 2014/2015 |  © Milou Ket
After collection of all kinds of information I compose my colour cards, and coordinate them with my style directions. My materials are sorted on colour and style, cut, sawn and mounted. In the end I compose my moodboards to visualize my vision on the future. These moodboards are then photographed and prepared for the printer. The made-to- measure materials are glued in the right place on the moodboards. With the books as starting point I prepare the presentations and lectures.
It is an ongoing process of research, reading, asking questions, orientation, collecting, composing colour cards, to put together ideas and stuff, or to keep it separate when it it really new or too forward. Allways your antenna has to be switched-on.
How often do you publish such a trend book?
I publish twice a year, per season, a colour book, for the winter or summer season. I also make twice a year a women trend book. And once every year an Interior styling book. I only make a new Innovation Lab book, when I feel there is a need for new ideas, but it does not have a fixed rythm.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
To make moodboards is my creative expression and I really love that. I finish the more than 70 moodboards in a whole week. It is a tiring and challenging, but inspiring process. To visualize the information and the expertise that I have collected in the most relevant and esthetic way in my moodboards: working wiht colour, form and material. That is what I love most. Besides that, I also enjoy to photograph and to collect pictures for my website.
Rainbow Effects | Trendcollage interieur 2013/2014 |  © Milou Ket
What else do you like besides your life as a trendwatcher?
I really have a passion for my work, I am curious. Often my free time has to do with my work, so reading, looking, to get impressions and shopping. Besides that I enjoy making my own clothes and jewelry. I love music, enjoy visiting ballets and concerts.
Are there any artists, painters or countries that you have a preference for?
I am fond of Japan, I love the stillness, the quietness, the design and aesthetics. But I also love the beautiful food, the refined attention for everyday products and their environment, the gardens, the sobriety, etc. etc.
What has been your favorite assignment so far?
My work for Swarovski as consultant for their Business Unit Architecture and to be part of their Thinktank for their I-Centre for Ideas, Innovations and Inventions.
What is the most striking of hilarious thing that you’ve ever discovered as a trend?
Once in a while I find something I think I am truly unique and different with. I will have this illusion only for a short time. Like a few years ago, when I was in Paris, I saw this very special black velvet hat, with two upright ears, and an irregular edge. But I was not that unique, because I discovered from that time on in the media all kinds of images of products with upright ears. 
Copper & Orange  | Trendcollage interieur 2013/2014 |  © Milou Ket
What has been your greatest success so far?
Full houses for my presentations and 165 dream customers form y Interior Book in one season, like Volvo, Sony Ericson, Ikea, Royal Kopenhagen, Walt Disney etc.
That is impressing. Did you ever win any awards?
No. But I have been in jury’s for design awards many times, and I am one of the iniators of the Hema Design Award.

In Part 2 a continuation with a sneak preview on coming trends for interiors. you can find it here!
Next time I’ll continue with a glimpse of the upcoming trends in interior design.
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Copyright images trend moodboards Milou Ket
All Photos By Milou Ket and C-more.
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