Gen Z & Millennials Think These Are 10 of The Hottest Fashion Brands

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Clothing and accessories are at the top of young consumers’ wishlists, and our youth brand tracker reveals what fashion retail brands they think are hot right now…

When we asked Gen Z and Millennials what they want to receive for the holidays this year, clothing/accessories made the top of the list for the first time in years. (Money had been nabbing the top spot since 2016.) Clothes were also a major theme when we looked into how (and why) young consumers are treating themselves. Our recent trend research found that 43% of 13-36-year-olds like to buy nice clothes/accessories when they decide to treat themselves.

Needless to say, despite a rocky run of years trying to adjust to young consumers’ purchasing preferences and patterns, these are positive notes for the fashion retail industry. The New York Times also reported recently that some stores are rising up out of the retail apocalypse, with sales on the rise for several major brands. With clothing top of mind, and at the top of many of their shopping carts, we tapped into our youth brand tracker to find out which fashion retailers might be getting the benefit of positive buzz right now.

Our youth brand tracker Ybrands has collected over 60,000 interviews so far this year, tracking brands across a variety of variables, from the brands seen as supporting causes to the brands they’re telling their friends about—and the brands they think are hot right now. Here are the fashion retail brands that made it to the top of that ranking:

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

*Ybrands measures young consumers’ relationships with a brand based on a weighted 6-point scale, ranging from “Never heard of this brand” to “This brand is one of my favorites.” As part of Ybrands’ “Brand Momentum” metric, we also ask respondents “Which of the following are hot right now?” These are the top brands that were rated “hot,” among those who are aware of the brand. The brands on this list are among the almost 300 brands included in the brand tracker as of 12/4. Rankings are subject to change as more brands are added and removed. 

As we’ve seen in several other rankings, Nike is a top brand among young consumers—and the brand they’re most likely to say is hot right now, winning the top spot among all age groups. From their products to their marketing (yes, young consumers did like the Kaepernick move) it seems Nike can do no wrong. And the streetwear/athleisure trend is clearly still in full force, with sportswear and athletic brands crowding this top ranking.

We see far more variety in the second place spot, with 13-17-year-olds more likely to say Under Armour is hot, 18-24-year-olds to say Supreme is hot, and 25-36-year-olds to say that Jordan is hot. However, there is a fair amount of crossover between age groups, with all three of these brands making the top ten ranking among almost all. The major exception here is Under Armour, which falls to #16 among 18-24-year-olds.

Of course, the brands that female and male young consumers think are hot aren’t exactly the same:

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

While Nike still comes in at the top spot for both lists here, PINK, Victoria’s Secret, and Fashion Nova (the fast fashion brand that's Googled more often than Chanel) rank high as hottest brands among females, while Jordan and Supreme rank high among males.

Supreme makes the ranking for both genders as well, proving that their current status as the cool kid in the retail room stands strong.

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “The [financial] industry has been slow to adapt to the ways in which young people want to be communicated with and to communicate with each other.”—Ian Rosen, CEO, StockTwits (YPulse)

Instagram users can now purchase products without leaving the app. The platform’s shopping tags are evolving to allow users to check out directly inside the app from about 20 retailers using saved payment and shipping information. The move doesn’t just give Facebook a direct cut of each sale, but also allows the platform to collect data that they’ll leverage in their ad targeting. Instagram’s influence over young consumers’ purchases continues to skyrocket, and according to our Shoppability trend, 72% of Gen Z & Millennials are open to buying products on social media. (Recode)

Disney and MAC Cosmetics are debuting a nostalgic makeup line for Aladdin fans. The Disney Aladdin collection features lipstick, an eyeshadow palette, and bronzer in jewel and metallic hues that Princess Jasmine might wear with her bright turquoise outfit. The partnership is part of the lead-up to the live-action Aladdin’s debut, and isn’t MAC’s first time introducing fans to whole new worlds of Disney-themed cosmetics. In the past, they’ve also released Cinderella and Disney villains-themed lines. (Teen Vogue)

Google announced their ambitious plan to become “the future of gaming:” a cloud-based streaming service called Stadia. Gamers will be able to play across device (phones, TVs, tablets, etc.) without waiting for the title to load in a YouTube-connected setting. That means viewers can instantly play titles featured in videos and stream their own gameplay to YouTube—which could challenge industry leader, Amazon-owned Twitch. The Netflix-like service is set to launch this year. (The Verge)

Instagrammable dim sum is going global. The craze stared in Hong Kong, where Social Places serves up bao made to look like tiny pigs and charcoal custard bao filled with “a thick liquid that oozes out like lava,” introducing three or four new incarnations each month to keep customers coming back. Meanwhile at Disneyland Hong Kong, Crystal Lotus customers dine on buns that look like their favorite animated characters, including Frozen's Olaf. In the U.S., San Francisco’s Chili House and New York’s RedFarm are some of the first to take on the trend. (Bloomberg)

Netflix’s next choose-your-own-adventure series lets viewers chart Bear Grylls’ journey through the wilderness. Soon, Netflix viewers will have the chance to become outdoors experts from the comfort of their couches, as they make the survival show celebrity’s choices as he traverses tricky situations. Grylls himself says that he’s “giving viewers an all-access pass to explore the world and its landscapes in my boots” and that “For the first time, my survival is in your hands.” (THR)

Quote of the Day: “One of the biggest myths about Millennials is that they do not want to engage with human beings, especially if a chatbot, app, or a website can be deployed.”—Xiomara Lorenzo, Director, Society of Grownups (YPulse)

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