This is the year Cape Town becomes World Design Capital in a worldwide programme that uses design as a tool to improve social, cultural and economic life. Cape Town is the fourth city after Turin, Seoul and Helsinki to win this accolade, and the city is getting ready to host numerous projects and events aimed at creating a lasting legacy for South Africa and beyond. ELLE DECORATION will be reporting on these events on our website and in the magazine. This month, Lianne Burton (@LiBurt) writes about World Design Capital (page 58), setting the tone for an issue on trends.

Trend forecaster, trendsetter, trend spotter, trend leader, trend scout. These are the words that are trending right now, and fuelling a lot of trend talk in our trend-driven industry.  Trends interest us because they deal with the unknown, the future, anticipating change in our everyday lives. In this issue we focus on the world of trends, and the dynamic people who contribute to and benefit from it. On the front line are the trend forecasters who study socio-economic climate and make predictions based on changes they perceive in the marketplace- retailers rely heavily on their advice.

Trendsetters  are the risk takers who respond to the trends first, such as fashion designers for the catwalk or product designers for Milan Furniture Fair. We introduce online trendsetters, seven entrepreneurs who were ahead of the curve (page 35). Trend spotters, trend leaders and trend scouts are the people who bring the trends to the consumers. This is where we come in, and it is our pleasure  to bring these to you in this issue.

Another highlight of this time of year is that Pantone names the colour of the year. As we go to print, it has just been announced as Radiant Orchid. Although it clashes with the yellow of the World Design Capital 2014, we like its association with ‘expanded creativity and originality’, and ‘great joy, love and wealth.’

This is exactly what we wish for you. Happy 2014. Enjoy!