As a keen academic and analyst, self-confessed “Trend geek”, teacher, speaker and brand consultant, Nicola Cooper is a formidable presence on Africa’s fashion and lifestyle landscapes. She is at once on the cutting-edge and anachronistic – her observations acutely tuned to the present moment, while she is also inextricably linked to past eras and movements, and her gaze is ever-set on a shifting future. As a trend analyst, she melds her observations of time and patterns with her expertise, and ever-expanding research, to chart trends and behaviour on the hyperlocal and international scale.
Nicola holds Bachelor of Arts and Honours degrees in Visual Arts, and a diploma in Outcome-Based Facilitation. She is currently completing the final year of her Masters degree in Fine Art, specialising in local youth and subcultural studies and short courses in Global Sociology and Data Analysis within internationally acclaimed Colombia and Wellesley Universities. Her reach in the academic sphere runs deep, also through her work with market-leader LISOF, for which she’s lectured in the areas of trend analysis, fashion media and historical fashion studies. She has also carved a niche as a corporate specialist. In an industry that so often attracts opportunists who are drawn to the illusion of glamour, Nicola stands firm in her personal convictions and academic roots – insisting that study, impeccable research, time and experience, and an instinctual knack for the field will set experts like herself away from the pack. For this reason, she is frequently sought out by large-scale corporate clients to consult on their brands, and has worked with the likes of MTV/MTV Base, Randa/Equator Accessories, Woolworths, Truval, The Foschini Group, The Busby Group, Multichoice Business and Intelligence Department, Procter & Gambles Pantene, Oil of Olay and Ariel washing powder products.
As a proud Africanist, certainly in terms of the fashion and cultural spheres, Nicola is at the fore of new thinking on the continent. She is strong-willed, analytical, logical and creative, and thrives on opportunities to push new boundaries of thought. She travels extensively for her consultations and research, which she conducts with individual-, group- and corporate-clients. A familiar face in South African media, she regularly appears on TV and radio lifestyle entertainment programmes, sharing her unique insights. She also works with documentarians on content around youth culture in Africa, and serves as a mentor to dynamic young groups like Khumbula.
On identifying and unpacking trends, designer Suzaan Heyns offers high praise for Nicola’s work: “She says what she feels, and takes the trend back to where it started – from a grass-roots level – where it becomes a small conscious movement, and then how it translates into mainstream media. She validates everything with music, subcultural and fashion references.”
Papama Ramogase, Creative Director of Luminance, and Fashion Director at Destiny magazine, similarly celebrates the revelation of Nicola’s consultations: “… Sublime, informative and engaging. It’s just incredible how everything is absolutely connected, nothing is insignificant, inspiration is everywhere…”
Nicola continues her work in the fashion, lifestyle and pop culture space as a preferred supplier to Flux Trends and Trendwatching.com, and she offers additional services through her newly launched organisation,, Nicola Cooper & Associates. Her expertise offer unique insights into the African market, particularly in the act of ‘glocalisation’, a form of analysis that includes interpreting international trends for a local market, local-for-local and local-for-international markets. She offers an innovative take on trend analysis and a knowledgeable and cutting-edge perspective on a multitude of trends, product, complexities, and creative conceptual problem solving for your business. Bringing distinctive value to your brand, company, or product.
Nicola Cooper is a highly sought- after speaker at conferences, seminars, schools, businesses and corporate events. Nicola explains, unpacks and disseminates trends in an informed and inspiring manner with a holistic approach at the intersection of trend, culture, lifestyle and business.
She provides a deep understanding of trends and delivers bespoke solutions to corporate brands/products which are in need of repositioning, a revitalised approach or a more desirable product and service offering.
Utilising strategic trend tools, theories, research and methodologies to increase performance and market differentiation, Nicola’s methodologies attract consumers in a more powerful way. With a highly-professional and far-reaching network, Nicola‘s invaluable input creates partnerships, products and services that gain traction and generate attraction.
Nicola Cooper & Associates
A critical gap expertly filled to increase your impact in the market.
Nicola Cooper & Associates developed from the recognition of firstly, a critical gap in the Lifestyle, Youth/Pop Culture trend forecasting industry of global diversity, and secondly the fragmentation of uptake and impact in trend adoption within ‘glocalised’ contexts: i.e. in environments which carry both strong local influences and global impacts.
With a focus on becoming one of the first African Lifestyle and popular Culture trend research centres, the organisation will function in two directions:
Firstly, with the facilitation of uptake of trend information into local fashion narratives, products and economies,
Secondly, with the collation, translation and dissemination of African youth/pop culture and lifestyle trends into original research outputs for local and global markets.
Empowerment, expansion and new knowledge to increase your business momentum.
Integral to the organisation’s vision is youth and industry empowerment through the production of new knowledge skill-sets via a spectrum of working partnerships, collaborations and sustained mentorships; thereby contributing to diverse and varied research products which feed back into the industry and global trend research networks.
Nicola Cooper & Associates will have far-reaching implications in terms of local, dedicated fashion, lifestyle, pop/youth culture analysis, research and new knowledge production. The organisation intends to further the pursuit of youth-centred transformation and greater sustainability in the creative industry economies.
Upholding the five pillars to lift your business potential to new heights.
Important indicators closely follow the five pillars of the Department of Trade and Industry and include the exchange and publication of local content, multiple skills training deliverables, industry upliftment opportunities, international exposure, and the promotion of partnerships and collaborations.
Nicola Cooper & Associates offers you decades of experience and resources
Through our partnerships, collaborations and a rich database of resources built over a career span of approximately 20 years, our Trend research, analysis and strategy is offered within our dedicated product offerings.
These products are achieved through the necessary comprehensive tried and tested research methods, a series of theoretical, analytical and practical methodologies such as:
The Trickle Theories, Beilings Flow Chart, Nystrom’s Theoretcial Framework, Trend Cartograms and the acronym coined by Trendwatching.com, S.T.E.E.P. namely Socioligical, Technological, Environmental and Economical & Political.