Talmage McLaurin, AIFD, has established a career in identifying and understanding floral trends. His annual trend forecast informs every part of the industry, from production, marketing, and business sales to the newest designs and color palettes. McLaurin will bring his nearly three decades of experience to SAF Orlando 2022, the Society of American Florists’ 137th annual convention Sept. 6-8 in Orlando, Florida.
During an all-industry session, McLaurin will reveal six of the most compelling floral trends for 2023. In a follow-up session, “Flower Trends Forecast in Action: Profitable, Trend Forward Designs,” three designers will translate those six trends into profitable, everyday event, gifting, and sympathy designs.
Whether he likes them or not, McLaurin has successfully forecasted trends that influence business and marketing decisions and drive customers to purchase flowers. Below he shares a preview of what attendees can expect during his 2023 Flower Trends Forecast session at SAF Orlando.
Without giving your forecast away, can you hint at what the report will offer for 2023?
I’m going to offer some food for thought on how important it is to carefully examine what’s happening socially in the world when we look to create new color palettes and styles — because that is a way to get it right. If you just rely on your own sense of style, you might get it wrong. It’s important to look around.
Where do you look for inspiration and design?
Everywhere. If you really want to capture what people are interested in, you look at fashion, interior design, and graphics, and you also heavily consider the world at large. All the trends I talk about now, I say, they have to be viewed through COVID-colored glasses.
What sources do you regularly use?
I work heavily with Pantone to form the color stories we tell about flowers. So the stories we pull together, the palettes we pull together, are not only valid in our flower shops, but they do consider all of the colors of the world.
Are there any mass media sources you also rely on?
I’m addicted to Instagram. Just start following florists. By spending time there, you can see trends evolving not just in the U.S. but worldwide.
Can you share an example of something you’re noticing on Instagram?
One of the surprising things that I’m seeing a lot of on Instagram is flowers void of the color green. All the foliage color is gone, so they are coming up with a new palette, almost confectionary, almost candy-like.
How do you separate your likes and dislikes from your validation of a new trend?
From my years of working in publishing and with clients, I know you have to key into what they are attracted to. It would make for a super boring magazine and become very one-note if all I did was what I personally liked.
Can you describe your style?
It’s traditional to very contemporary. Hopefully, I’m a bit of a chameleon. Lately, I’ve been fascinated with a dystopian, moody feel that includes a combination of fresh and dry flowers. It’s not terribly uplifting.
Is that your COVID-colored lens?
There is certainly a reaction to the world. There is a dystopian view of the world. COVID has not been a fun party.
What’s your biggest tip for staying on trend and attracting buyers?
Imagine your message is time sensitive. What your customers want is something new and different, something that excites them, that they haven’t seen before. And to create that is sometimes a challenge. One thing about trends, they are not revolutionary — they are evolutionary.
Learn more and register for SAF Orlando 2022 here
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