Trends today, gone tomorrow: How Gen-Z is investing in their wardrobes
What is a trend other than what everyone else is doing?
For those into fashion, it’s what’s being worn by the majority of those who know about fashion. It’s also what is being bought in stores and online at rapid rates.
As the Generation Z and Millennial consumers become better-educated shoppers, learning through social media and the information they can easily obtain from the internet, they consume with intent to be thoughtful and conscientious.
“Nearly half (47%) of Gen Z-ers use their phones while in-store to price check and contact family and friends for advice.”
Media has been key to Gen Z as 90 percent of them are informed about the world they live in through social channels, especially on our smartphones.
Smartphones have broadened the outlook on fashion. Social media has changed the way it is marketed to the public. Thus, ultimately tailoring the content for any consumer in particular.
This is what influencers can be accredited for. In a way, they have made us more curious about the elitist fashion industry.
The Price Is Right, Right?!
Is it any coincidence that the price of Gen Z and Millenial’s favorite category of fashion is high? Price points of streetwear are at an all-time high, specifically the more popular, longer-lived brands. Brands that were conceived well before the thought of classes crossing paths.
The Simpson explored this idea of class in an episode focused on a Chanel dress. A dress constantly altered by Mrs. Marge Simpson into anything from a cocktail dress to activewear, as she was desperately seeking acceptance of a higher class of women.
It’s wise to encourage Marge’s creativity, but not her aspirations.
As informed shoppers, 72 percent of Gen Z consume with cost in mind when purchasing. From $25 to $40 for Stussy or Lamar & Dauley tees to $100 Bape or Billionaire Boys Club tees following that era. Our most desired brands are reaching $100 to $300 plus. That includes t-shirts from brands like Off-White or Vetements.
The rise in price convolutes this notion of streetwear.
None the less, Gen Zers are still concerned with price. Roughly 89 percent of them refer to themselves as price-conscious shoppers, according to MNI Targeted Media’s research report. Additionally, the research found that they make up almost half of all consumers at 40 percent.
Staring In The (Rearview) Mirror
As shoppers are putting their money toward socially driven, conscious fashion labels, fast-fashion has the vintage, thrift and resale markets have been encroaching on its coattails.
Consumers are opening up to a new idea of fashion that is essential to recycled, upcycled and circular processes. Making it a trend, 50 percent of Gen Z shoppers are attracted to socially conscious brands when deciding on a purchase.
Trends like this are ideal in the argument of climate change. The very thing Gen Z is most attentive to will be at the forefront of fashion for generations to come.
This mentality is stitched into the DNA of those who are at peak learning periods in their lives. Gen-Z seeks solutions to climate change and resolving the problems facing the second most carbon-emitting industry, fashion.
As fashion start-ups enter the fashion industry they usually have fewer resources to manifest ideas. What streetwear has provided is the common ground between the designer’s immediate resources and their aspirations for fashion grandeur.
The process, albeit autonomous, is creating fashion from availed material. For instance, Greg Lauren repurposes men and women’s clothing to create his line, and brands like Alyx Studios, uses 100 percent upcycled fabric to make their graphic tees.
The RealReal, Poshmark, Depop, thredUp, and Grailed, are some of the online fashion outlets that are receiving the benefits of these consumer trends. CNBC stated that by 2028 the used-fashion market will surpass the fast-fashion industry by $20 billion; $64 million to $44 million.
You can expect closets to be stacked with enough recycled, upcycled and circulated garments by then. In the same report, CNBC concluded, 13 percent of clothes in your girlfriend’s closet will likely be second-hand.
GlobalData analyzed with data from online startup thredUP, reports that the United States second-hand apparel market is estimated at $24 billion compared to the fast-fashion market which was valued at $35 billion. Trends happen overnight in theory, but in reality, can be seen just over the horizon.
Climate Change vs Cancel Culture
With climate change being more evident in different areas of the world, the only thing fashion can do is be less impactful to the environment. It’s becoming more evident that Gen Z and Millennials are responding to these changes with their attention and buying power.
A brand disconnected from the street culture of fashion, removed from the issues and ignorant to the sensitivities of “cancel-culture” isn’t going to be viable in the years to come. It’s best to make an effort as a fashion brand and follow the trend.
Look out for this article on PAGE magazine…