“For steampunk, the next two years will witness the shift from low production, high cost “craft” manufacturing to mass production. Mainstream fashion labels, accessories and jewelry will all begin adopting a steampunk aesthetic. For retailers, this is the moment to start laying the groundwork to capitalize on this emerging trend.”
Sentiment Analysis is the application of analytics and natural language processing technologies to gain a better understanding of consumer preferences, market trends and brand awareness. It’s the science of us, and how we consume. It’s what our social media patterns mean. He cites a number of indicators predicting that steampunk aesthetic is moving into the mainstream:
- From 2009 to 2012 the social media chatter about steampunk rose 1100%
- Popular artists and musicians have started to adopt neo-victorian themes in their work and appearances.
- Prada’s Fall/Winter collection featured steampunk fashion modeled by famous actors
The Shape of Our Neo-Victorian Future
Steampunk has been rising in the cultural consciousness with a slow boil for over a decade now, but as Dr. Davis predicts, it’s set to move from craft to mass produced consumer goods. What does this mean? More widely available but cheaper products. The shoe-horning in of steampunk by product designers wherever they think they can capitalize on the trend. Goods that are more decorative than utilitarian.
It’s a double edged sword, to be true, as if retailers are too eager to exploit the public’s interest we can easily see over-saturation. I anticipate negative reactions from a significant portion of the present and past steampunk community, who may feel disenfranchised by what was once “theirs” going mainstream, being sanitized and smoothed out for mass consumption. Get over it, get over yourselves. If we can avoid the traps of hipsterdom, those of us who produce quality steampunk work — art, fashion, fiction — will be posed to offer superior product to a public suddenly hungry for what we’ve been dealing with all these years.
So be cool, steampunkers. Be patient.