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: Q: Is there anything you have cut out of your life (or something you’d like to cut out) just because it takes up too much time? What is it? A: “School takes up a lot of time. I'm learning stuff that I can't use in real life.” –Female, 22, NY

Over the weekend, news that nude photos of several actresses, including Jennifer Lawrence, had been released thanks to a hacker set the internet ablaze. But the reactions to the photos, including this trending BuzzFeed post suggesting that readers “not [be] scandalized at all,” reflect our predictions of the end of scandal as we know it for Millennials. A group that has grown up accustomed to having digital skeletons in their closets is increasingly reacting to “scandals” from leaked photos to drunken arrests with a resounding, “Whatever.” (BuzzFeed)

Paramount is tapping into the social anonymity trend to promote the upcoming Men, Women & Children, and attract young consumersThe trailer directs viewers to Whisper, where they’re being invited to share secrets under the hashtag #MWC and the movie’s tag will be featured as the Whisper of the day. The film follows a group of teens and their parents, focusing on the ways their online lives change their offline relationships. (Mashable)

Urban Outfitter’s disappointing sales point to an “obvious loss of cultural clout” with young consumers, and could be traced back to several PR “disasters,” including tee shirts printed with offensive designs, several products that were deemed derogatory to Native Americans, and the company president’s donations to conservative Rick Santorum, all of which do not appeal to liberal minded and politically correct Millennials. The brand has also lost its fashion clout and has more competition from affordable brands like Forever 21 and H&M. (Adweek)

New research by Eventbrite claims that one in five Millennials attended a music festival in the past year, and that festivals are “one of young Americans’ favorite pastimes.” The study scanned social media conversations from the last year and found that South by Southwest was the most-discussed festival, and EDM fests made up eight of the top 25 most talked about events. Ypulse’s own bi-weekly survey found that 31% of 14-29-year-olds planned to go to a music festival in 2013. (Quartz)

Millennials have a different approach to buying food than previous generations, and they are changing the way that grocery shopping is done. These foodies are more likely to plan their shopping around a specific recipe they’re planning to cook, to buy ingredients the same day they’re preparing a meal, and look for minimally processed and locally grown food and beverages. Their preferences put pressure on big-box stores and traditional groceries who need to adapt to attract the new generation of shopper. (Washington Post)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our bi-weekly survey result data files, we provide our Gold subscribers with a topline report that synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points and our insights and expertise. Interesting differences between males and females, older and younger Millennials, ethnicities, and more are highlighted, and relevant statistics are streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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