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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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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