What will be new in the New Year?

ST. PAUL -- Ho, hum -- another so-called "new" year. Other than a new page on your calendar, what's going to be new about it? How about fish that look like a Picasso, bell-bottomed pants, Bengal tiger house cats, migraine-curing piercings, fat-mo...

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ST. PAUL -- Ho, hum - another so-called “new” year. Other than a new page on your calendar, what’s going to be new about it?

How about fish that look like a Picasso, bell-bottomed pants, Bengal tiger house cats, migraine-curing piercings, fat-moving surgery for body shaping, facelift needles and - everywhere - the precise shade of blue called Serenity.

The Pioneer Press called local stores and businesses and asked for their predictions for 2016. Based on what they told us, it’s going to be a strange year.


Here, kitty, kitty

Your house might get a bit wilder this year.

Kittens crossbred with wild cats will be popular, said Lindsey Trosdahl, interim manager of Petland in St. Paul, where felines bred with Bengal tigers or African serval cats are sold.

Members of the first generation of the domestic Bengal mix sell for $30,000 apiece, said Trosdahl. “This is huge,” she said.

As subsequent generations are bred with house cats, the cats become more domesticated while maintaining the menacing markings of the tiger.

“They are very dog-like, very loyal to their owners,” Trosdahl said.

Another bizarre cross-breed will be swimming in tanks.


Clownfish have been custom-bred to develop such patterns resembling lightning storms, Picasso paintings or dominoes.

Petland employee Samuel Pierce said the most exotic is the Lightning Maroon clownfish. They can sell for $250 to $8,000 each. Clownfish with other exotic patterns sell for $50 to $300.

Goodbye, McMansions

Got a dining room? Be nice to it - it’s an endangered species.

Dining rooms, kitchen desk areas and third bathrooms are disappearing from new homes, said Katy Baar, spokeswoman for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities.

Overall, she said, homes will continue to get smaller.

White kitchen cabinets are a hot trend, she said, as are ceiling beams and other rustic elements.


The metals in kitchens and bathrooms are going to be mixed. “You used to have all stainless-steel knobs. Now you will have more golds and bronzes,” Baar said.

And bathtubs are going the way of land-line telephones. “There are now higher-end homes with amazing shower spaces,” said Baar. And some with no tubs at all, she said. “The tubs are not as important.”

Fat begone … or at least, relocated

In 2016, you will be able to move fat around your body, just as if you were rearranging your living-room furniture.

Dr. Jonathan Witzke, past president of the Minnesota Society of Plastic Surgeons, said new methods for fat-grafting will let you take fat where you don’t want it and put it where you do.

For example, a surgeon might remove fat from the stomach and implant it in the face. “It can add more volume to the face and give a more youthful look,” Witzke said.

He predicted more demand for cosmetic surgery - with the breasts and buttocks continuing to be popular surgery sites.

And for double chins, a new product called Kybella has been approved to dissolve fat cells. “More and more people want something that is minimally invasive,” Witzke said.

Another new procedure is called micro-needling. “It’s becoming more prominent in facial rejuvenation,” Witzke said.

It consists of 15 to 20 thin needles arranged in a pad and then pressed into the skin at varying depths. “It’s like a punch press,” Witzke said.

“It can be done at lunchtime, and you can get back to work.”

Like laser treatments or microderm abrasion, micro-needling creates a small amount of damage. But when the skin heals, it’s tighter.

Fun with science

What will be under the Christmas tree next year?

Science toys, said Roberta Bonoff, president of Creative Kidstuff, which has seven Twin Cities stores.

She said parents are buying the Be Amazing! Toys, which teach as they entertain. Some toys even introduce computer programming to children.

Also, look for Ollie - a wheeled gizmo as big as a coffee mug, which zips around floors and can be remote-controlled by a smartphone.

bell-bottoms are back … wait, What?

The ’70s will be re-emerging in women’s fashion - gradually.

Denise Alden, owner of Bombshell, a women’s clothing shop in St. Paul, said the midi dress of 1970s will return. The 2016 versions will go to the midcalf.

New versions of bell-bottoms will be flopping around women’s ankles. “They will not be as extreme, but they can be really charming,” Alden said.

You will notice an outbreak of pastels next year - thanks to the selection of blue Serenity and pink-toned Rose Quartz as the Pantone 2016 colors of the year.

Alden hasn’t liked all of the past colors. She said 2014’s Radiant Orchid and 2013’s Emerald were tough to pair with other clothing.

But the 2016 pastel tones will be easy to match with neutral-colored clothing, and that means you will see more of them.

Dancing lights

Mike Hilborn is already thinking about next Christmas.

As the owner of Roof to Deck Decoration in St. Paul, he installs large-scale holiday light displays, such as those covering the 40-foot tree at the Governor’s Mansion on Summit Avenue.

He said to watch for RGB Lighting - a system of LED lights that changes colors and flashes in pre-set patterns.

“You can change what the lights do,” Hilborn said. “They can dance around the tree.”

He predicts fewer all-white installations and more colorful displays, a shift he attributes to an improved economy.

“People are more festive,” he said. “That’s why we are seeing a lot more color than last year.”

And don’t even think about figurines or inflatables.

The dripping icicles also have peaked, he said. “It’s too busy. I want something that is calming,” Hilborn said.

“No, not at all,” he said. “Anyone can put up one of those. Anyone can plug in and blow up those things.

“When I see bad lights, I just hate it. I know what they should look like.”

Roads less traveled

This year, Minnesotans won’t just want just a trip - they will want experiences, said Yvonne Vavreck, an agent with Travel Leaders in Blaine.

“I have people who have been to Mexico a dozen times, and they want something new,” Vavreck said. “I don’t just put someone on a four-hour plane ride to lie on the beach.”

They will want to create memories on cruises to the Galapagos Islands or in rainforest tours in Costa Rica. “Last week I sent a mom and daughter off on kayaking in Puerto Rico,” she said.

More of her customers are aging baby boomers. “They have a bucket list. They have more money and more time,” Vavreck said.

Winter is the peak season for travel. “Our state is different - people love the summer here,” she said. “If we do travel in the summer, it’s Europe or Alaska.”

Ear art

When people-watching in 2016, look out for holes punched in new places.

Daith piercing - in the innermost cartilage of the ear - will be increasingly popular, predicts Alex Endo, a tattoo artist at A1 Tattoo Co. and Body Piercing in St. Paul.

The piercings are reputed to relieve migraine headaches, she said.

Now serving …

Got any catered affairs on your calendar?

Look for surprises, said Kurt Adamson, owner of K and J Catering.

More unpredictably personalized affairs are on the way.

One groom ordered a full breakfast catered to his wedding guests at 7 p.m. “It was his favorite meal of the day,” Adamson said.

He is seeing blended marriages resulting in blended food styles. If an Indian man marries a Mexican woman, he said, the reception might have food from both countries.

Pricey veggies

Get ready for $8 bottles of cold-pressed vegetables.

“This is blowing my mind,” said Terri Bennis, vice president of fresh food operations for Kowalski’s Supermarkets.

That local chain sells juices processed with a technique called high-pressure pasteurization, under labels that include Juice So Good.

“It’s $7.99 a bottle, and they don’t bat an eye,” Bennis said.

What else is hot? Anything fresh or healthy.

“Our meat department is up double-digits,” Bennis said - thanks to meats raised with no hormones, antibiotics or anything else with a bad reputation.

You will also be seeing more food that is grown locally - indoors.

Kowalski’s gets most of its fresh herbs from local hydroponic grower Garden Fresh. In 2016, Bennis said, look for a new product: cherry tomatoes grown indoors by J and J Distributing of St. Paul.

Picky patients

In 2016, you are going to like your doctor’s visits more.

Dr. Brian Zelickson, a dermatologist and spokesman for the Minnesota Medical Association, cited the “Uber-ization” of medicine. That means medical providers, like the drivers in the grassroots-style driving service Uber, will care more about how the customer feels.

Patients now have more choices about medical care, and they are free to be more picky. This forces doctors to care more about the “patient experience.”

“Patients think, ‘Do I really want to do this? Last time I waited an hour and a half,’ ” said Zelickson.

Patients can freely choose their dentists, he said, which is why dentists must try harder to please patients.

“Dentists are very good at this - painless care, or the TV screen so you can see what’s going on,” Zelickson said.

Fancy pants

Coming to hips near you in 2016 - raw selvage denim.

Steve Kang, owner of BlackBlue, a clothing store for women and men, said the new fabric will be seen everywhere.

He predicts strong sales for European-style clothes, such as those made by the Our Legacy brand out of Sweden. Kang also said clothes by Left Field NYC would be hot.

“That is a brand we really love,” Kang said.

Sweet and small

In pastries, big is out. Little is in.

Rachel Rexford, manager of the Wuollet Bakery store in St. Paul, predicts fewer cakes for large parties and more cupcakes. She predicts fewer pies, but more “hand-pies,” or fruit tarts.

Rexford said she believes the small-is-beautiful trend in goodies gives people the option of finding the exact flavor they like, rather than sharing a single large pastry.

And her pick for the favorite small baked good for 2016? Almond pear tarts.

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