Kickstarter Fashion: Lessons in What Consumers Are Craving

In the short four years it has been in existence, Kickstarter has gained a reputation for launching new tech crazes, empowering fans’ influence in the movie industry and online entertainment, and proving that consumers are looking for innovation in video gaming, games, and publishing. The crowdfunding site may have its share of flaws, but it is an amazing gauge from which to measure what young, empowered, and passionate consumers are looking to spend their money on. But fashion is often left out of the spotlight when it comes to discussions of Kickstarter success stories. It deserves our attention: in 2012 alone, over $6 million was pledged to 1,659 fashion projects, and the top-funded fashion start-ups on Kickstarter showcase untapped markets, consumer needs, and design innovations that could be huge successes. Here are some of the most recent successful Kickstarter fashion stories, and what each tells us about what fashion today might be missing:

 

Light Wing Trainers

$141,620 pledged; Passed goal by 944% with 2,116 backers (still 7 days to go!)

The Unbelievable Testing Laboratory lives up to its name, having taken 200,000 steps, 200+ comfort fit tests, 17 rounds of anti-slip, flexibility, and harmful substance tests, and 57 sole strengths tests following three international standards to make the Light Wing Trainers, shoes made from a paper material called Tyvek. The material was invented in the ‘60s, is virtually indestructible and used today for home insulation. Because of Tyvek, the shoes are “impossibly light.” Weighing less than half a pound, they sell the prospect of walking on air while being completely waterproof and durable, a wow factor for the Millennials who are constantly after the latest tech and styles in kicks. The UT Lab plays up the science angle of their…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I won’t buy an already-made costume to dress up in for Halloween because most of the ready-made options for women are overly sexualized.” –Female, 19, TX

She's a Barbie girl, but it's not exactly a Barbie world. It’s been a hard year for the blondest toy, as we’ve detailed before, and sales of the doll have continued to fall, dropping another 21% in the third quarter of this year. American Girl doll sales also dropped during that time period, and the struggles highlight how the “affections of the target audience—little girls—can be fleeting.” But there are plenty of other potential reasons for Barbie’s tough times: Girls today want edgier dolls, and spend more on tech toys. (Huffington PostBusiness Insider

If done right, young consumers have proven they will continue to buy tickets to see superheroes on screen, and there are a lot more of these movies in the works. This week, Warner Brothers announced plans for 10 new DC comics superhero movies over the next five years, including Wonder WomanAquaman, and The Flash. A movie featuring Lego Batman is also being fast-tracked for next year, so kids and adults alike can look forward to another fix of awesome. (Wired)

It’s 13 days until Halloween, and this year could be the most costume-filled holiday ever. A recent survey has shown that over two thirds of Americans plan to buy a costume, the most in eleven years. The fact that Halloween falls on a Friday has likely been a factor in the boost. Ypulse’s own most recent bi-weekly survey found that 36% of 13-32-year-olds plan to don in a costume to celebrate, 30% of those who plan to dress up will buy a pre-made costume, while 54% say they will purchase some items to make a costume of their own. (Ad Age)

MAC cosmetics is creating an entirely new kind of store that will target today’s teens and tweens. The stores will be designed completely differently to appeal to the younger consumers, including a “major focus on selfies” and a table full of products to sample on the spot. When explaining the new approach, global brand president Karen Buglisi Weiler told WWD, “One store doesn't fit all…You have to be in the world of customization and relevancy now." The first location opened over the summer in Orlando, and is reportedly already one of MAC’s top five stores in North America. (Racked)

Some of the hottest tech startups today are part of the “photo economy.” Millennials and teens have made their penchant for visual communication clear, and helped to make multiple photo sharing apps into huge success stories. Now entrepreneurs are fighting into the space with photo apps that put an emphasis on “storytelling, shopping, and storage.” Competition is tough, and so far the many startups that have tried to make photos shoppable have not succeeded. But still clearly the apps to know next will likely have something to do with this picture-obsession. (Fast Company)

Did you know that thanks to our bi-weekly survey of 1000 14-32-year-olds nationwide, we track trends in social media, entertainment viewing, earnings, spending, and more? Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated charts following average daily spend and items purchased broken out by age and gender. We do the heavy data lifting, and we’re constantly adding new data to our trends. (Ypulse)

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