On Being Ahead of the Pack

On Being Ahead of the Pack

Eleanor Büsing
Sep 15, 2015

A of couple weeks ago, I sent a friend of mine a link with a frowny-face emoji accompanying it. I'd noticed that both her and my favorite baby names were on a list of the UK's fastest-rising names (no, neither of us is remotely close to having a baby, but having favorite names is totally normal, right?) and wanted to commiserate. After she expressed her frustration, I told her it was okay, because it just meant we were ahead of the pack and, therefore, super-cool.

While that's an obvious simplification, it got me thinking about trends, the zeitgeist, and the downside to being ahead of the curve. I'm willing to bet that Apartment Therapy readers understand and experience this phenomenon. As a group with our collective fingers on the pulse of what's new and next in design, we've probably all had that "Wait, but that's my thing!" feeling when our favored look or item suddenly becomes popular.

You've liked something for awhile, thinking you're unique in this particular inclination, without realizing that all the other early adopters are silently digging the same thing. Then suddenly, it's on the cover of a major shelter mag, the blogs are saturated with it, and you can buy a knockoff of it. You're part vindicated and part gutted, because while it feels great to be "right", you're not quite ready to let the look go. And, of course, you realize that as a trendsetter, you helped create the problem in the first place.

Whether we're talking about a color, a style of furniture, or a small decorative detail, people like to feel that their design choices truly reflect them and not just what's trendy. But with the power of online content and social media, it seems that trends move so much more quickly these days. Unless you opt out of the zeitgeist entirely (and who's going to do that?), it can be difficult to avoid the trend roller coaster.

Do you ever feel this way? What trend have you jumped on, only to be disappointed by its eventual saturation? Do you even care about whether "your" look is popular? Am I just being way too Gen Y here?! I plan to explore this topic more in some future posts, so chime in and share your thoughts!

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