Summer of Changes

Right now, as I write this, the blocks around 27th Street and 7th Ave in NYC are clogged with out-of-state cars and the sidewalks are piled with suitcases & storage bins, as families arrive to help their daughters and sons move in to the dormitories at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  Summer is over.  The students are back.

At the library, we have been getting ready for this day for quite a while.   This summer saw a lot of changes for us – a new website, (which just launched last week), the migration of our LibGuides to new platform (which was not without its hiccups), and big changes in the trend forecasting services to which we subscribe.

WGSN acquires StyleSight

The acquisition of New York City based StyleSight by WGSN, with its headquarters in London, happened almost a year ago.  The StyleSight platform continued to operate independently of WGSN until quite recently, but at we all knew that wouldn’t last.  As subscribers to both services, we at the FIT Library wanted to know what to expect. How much of StyleSight would survive as an independent service, if any of it? Should we drop our StyleSight subscription all together for the 2014/15 academic year? Even our representatives from both offices had a difficult time giving us a clear picture, so we ended up subscribing for another year.  

It was with mixed feelings, that we greeted the new “unified” WGSN site debuted on August 4th.  The good news was that under the umbrella of WGSN – with the S now in the signature StyleSight orange – many of the StyleSight features much loved by our faculty and students could still be accessed, as could an archive of existing trend forecasts and retail analysis. Now it would be our job to explain these changes to new and returning students, as well as faculty (many of whom have built assignments around certain components of the old StyleSight).  

Adjunct Librarian, Marion Weston, swung into action putting together a succinct how-to on our Fashion and Trend Forecasting LibGuide. Although the folks at WGSN have provided very handy Cheat Sheets, we knew that wasn’t going to be enough for the faculty and returning students.  We also all got together for a mini-training and discussion session. With many forecast workshops in the docket already, none of us wanted to look foolish in front of a classroom of impressionable new students.  Of course, we have not been alone in preparing for these changes.  Uptown from FIT, Nicole LaMoreaux of the LIM library, has also done a nice job of explaining the changes on her Product Development & Fashion Forecasting LibGuide.  

I would be interested to hear what other librarians and libraries have been doing to prepare students and faculty for the site merger of WGSN and StyleSight?  Is it no big deal or do you have concerns?  Was your institution a subscriber to StyleSight in the first place? Were your students and faculty heavy users of it? 

Oh . . . and what do you think of Doneger Creative Services’ new look for 2014? It took us surprise.

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5 thoughts on “Summer of Changes

  1. Sherri, We had some issues as well. This link should allow you to create accounts and have access to the workspace and color palette areas: wgsn.com/accounts/edu

    I have started to use both Doneger Creative Services and WGSN on a regular basis as school starts next week and I’m quite pleased with what they both have to offer. I think the updates are great, but it does take some time getting acclimated to the new interfaces.

  2. Do you have commercial subscription? Ours does not allow use of folders or workspace, has no individual logins. Are other academic subscriptions like this? I like the look of the New WGSN, though.

    We are going live with the new LGs tomorrow. It’s been a summer.

    Sherri

    • We (at Pima Community College) had been using WGSN for a few years and were very happy with it until last year when the interface update created some technical glitches with our proxy server. Because it was determined that the issue couldn’t be resolved, and we couldn’t be sure what the upcoming WGSN-Stylesight merger held in store, we decided to switch to Fashion Snoops.

      While our faculty and students had been very pleased with the content and interface on WGSN, so far, I’m equally pleased with the content and interface of Fashion Snoops. Their technical support department has been very helpful, too. I’ll post more feedback once our faculty and students have had time to interact more extensively with Fashion Snoops.

      One more thing…. For the academic fashion librarians who are holding off on purchasing trend forecasting services, I would highly encourage you to trial one with your faculty and students. The resources are well worth it, and can frequently be used by other departments – digital arts, graphic design, contemporary art, and travel & tourism. The quality of our fashion students’ work has improved significantly since they’ve had access to a trend forecasting resource.

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