Woodbury University Trend Scientist, Fashion Marketer and Author Wendy Bendoni to Lead ‘Innovation ThinkTank’ Course

Highly-Regarded Fashion Forecaster/Visionary Introduces Fall Semester Curriculum Dedicated to Cutting-Edge Tools and Technologies Supporting the Art of Trend Science

Consider it an anatomy class in the art (and science) of identifying shifts in popular culture, where students dissect today’s trends and gauge tomorrow’s – all in real time. That’s the new Woodbury University School of Business course, “Innovation Think Tank,” to be led by noted trend scientist, author and Fashion Marketing Chair Wendy Bendoni this fall semester, the university announced today.

Students who enroll in “Innovation Think Tank” will track consumer interests and emerging behaviors in five different areas: eating, travel, shopping, homes and cars. As the course proceeds, students will hear from industry experts before undertaking a comprehensive capstone project that enlists the creativity of the entire class, which will function much like a social media marketing firm. The experience is intended to result in industry collaborations and internships for students who demonstrate scholarship in social media and related online disciplines.

“Thanks to an industry-driven curriculum, we can offer students courses that introduce new data insight through social media and online tools that prepare them for a career in everything from buying to trend forecasting,” Bendoni said. “The pace of change in popular culture is often breathtaking, but that dynamism can be understood and managed – that’s the mandate of this new course.”

Bendoni, a prominent fashion industry forecaster who has produced some 300 trend and consumer reports for dozens of client brands, previewed the curriculum during her keynote lecture on “Trend Science: How to Predict and Embrace the Future,” at WWDMAGIC, the seminal international fashion technology exposition held in Las Vegas earlier this month. Her research as a professor of fashion marketing focuses on contextualizing big data for more actionable insight to the fashion industry.

In her presentation, Bendoni explored how fashion is using big data, innovative technology and the new tools and rules of the digital landscape to influence consumer interest and shift trends in buying behaviors in the years to come – all topics that will be covered in the “Innovation Think Tank” course.

Bendoni, who serves as chair of Fashion Marketing and Marketing, both of which reside in Woodbury’s School of Business, authored the Amazon bestseller Social Media for Fashion Marketing: Storytelling in a Visual World (Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2017), which was designed to accompany Woodbury students enrolled in a first-of-its-kind class titled “Social Media for Fashion Marketing.”

The text explores how social media platforms have disrupted the fashion industry, the rise of hyper-connected consumers, the emergence of digital storytelling, strategic marketing in the digital age, and measuring the impact of social media. The book also features digital marketing case studies and chapter exercises that focus on critical thinking and practical applications. Sprinkled throughout are interviews with industry leaders, including the digital teams from Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Nike and Kenneth Cole.
Alex Badia, WWD Style Director, said this about Bendoni’s book: “[As conveyed in Wendy’s] Social Media for Fashion Marketing textbook, social media has become the biggest transformation that we have seen in the fashion industry, since I can remember. The direction of fashion is now in the power of the consumer.”
“Social media has allowed everyone to become a fashion critic,” said Booth Moore, Senior Editor, Fashion, Hollywood Reporter / Pret-a-Reporter, in commentary about Social Media for Fashion Marketing. “I think the ramifications of that have been both good and bad… this text book will be invaluable for the next generation to learn not only where we are going, but where we came from.”