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.

To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Supernatural is a guilty pleasure show.  While it isn't very consistent in terms of plotline, it’s a fun show with a lovable cast, and it’s ludicrous story keeps you wondering what is next.”—Female, 26, GA

Millennial women are taking over proposing, and looking up ways to pop the question. On Pinterest, “women propose to men ideas” is being searched more than ever, with popularity of the term rising 336% year-over-year. And women aren’t just getting down on one knee to propose to men: the term with the greatest growth from 2017 is “unique lesbian proposals,” which saw a 1,352% rise. Pinterest also found that emerald engagement rings are trending, demonstrating Millennials’ growing interest in non-diamond options. (The Cut)

Dave & Buster’s is positioned to win over experience-loving Millennials. Despite disappointing earnings of late, investors are buying up the experiential restaurant’s stock during its dip because (as one analyst explains) they “believe [Dave & Buster's] can outperform other full-service concepts and drive multiple expansion as it proves itself as a differentiated growth concept.”  Our Experiencification trend backs up their bet, finding that 74% of Gen Z & Millennials would rather spend money on experiences than products. (TheStreet)

Airlines made for Millennials are failing. Air France is thinking about shuttering Joon, their trendy airline, just one year after it took flight. As it turns out, Generation Wanderlust values one thing above amenities like stylish steward outfits and smart tech: value itself. The airlines that are seeing success are budget-friendly first and foremost, like Norwegian Air. ICF Aviation’s SVP sums it up, “What does a [M]illennial want in an airline? A low fare and a good schedule…They don’t want more purple lighting.” (Vox)

Fortnite isn’t just “the most important game of 2018"—it’s “a cultural tsunami.” Nearly 80 million people played the battle royale-style game that’s taking over the internet this year, and over 65% of Fortnite’s players are under-24-years-old. If that’s not enough evidence that brands should cashing in on the craze, celebrities like Drake are playing the game and sports stars like Antoine Griezmann are doing Fortnite’s signature emote dances on the field. (CNET)

Media companies could be under-estimating Nickelodeon’s young fandom. Nielsen reports that two-11-year-olds spent 23 hours each week watching TV in the second quarter of 2018, with almost 15 of those hours taken up by live TV or DVR-recorded content. While Nickelodeon ratings may be down, they’re still the leader of kids’ networks, accounting for 67% of all ad-supported kids’ TV viewing. However, 74% of Millennial parents tell Ypulse that their children watch more content on streaming services than cable. (Bloomberg)

Quote of the Day: “I like playing and talking about [Animal Crossing] with other people. It's nostalgic for me since I've been playing games from the series from a young age.”—Female, 22, PA

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