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: “My 2017 resolution is YOLO life...Don't be afraid to take a chance, to fail, and then try again.”—Female, 20, NY

Professional Millennials are turning to apps and loved ones for financial advice—but they still aren’t reaching their goals. A study by finance company SoFi found that 25-34-year-olds are most likely to turn to significant others as a resource for money matters, followed by family, then “nobody,” followed by financial advisors. Almost 40% are using apps and digital tools for personal finance a few times a month or more, but despite their efforts, 38.4% say they were less than successful in accomplishing financial goals last year—indicating that they could use more help. (SoFi

Netflix has turned itself into a must-have for TV viewers. Hub Entertainment Research recently asked U.S. consumers what TV sources they would keep if they could only have three, and found that 36% chose Netflix, followed by ABC at 20%, and then CBS at 18%. For 16-24-year-olds, Netflix is “even more indispensable,” with 56% choosing the streaming service as one of their three—almost three times more than their second choice, ABC at 19%. Our Binge Effect trend found that 64% of 13-33-year-olds are using Netflix the most for binge-watching content.  (Digital TV Europe

University students in the U.K. value good grades more than privacy. A new study from digital learning platform Kortext found that almost half of students agree they would get better grades if their lecturers were able to track their study habits and progress throughout the year, and a whopping nine out of ten would be happy to let their universities use analytics to track their weekly progress to achieve better marks. Growing up in the digital era has made younger consumers more open to sharing information than previous generations—which we covered in our The Privacy Issue trend. (Forbes)

Millennial-owned businesses are feeling really good about 2017. A recent Yelp survey revealed that the majority of businesses had a good 2016, with 68% saying their business performance met or exceeded their expectations. The majority of Millennial business owners felt the 2016 political climate benefit for their businesses, and they were more likely to say it had a positive effect than older respondents. They’re also expecting 69% more revenue growth than their older counterparts for 2017. (Small Business TrendsYelp)

Sesame Street’s Count von Count is a rare find—children are not hearing many foreign accents in their entertainment. An analysis of kids’ TV shows found that out of 282 characters, only 21 were foreign, and “in terms of personality traits, [the] foreign characters were more bad, aggressive and uncultured than non-foreign characters.” According to a Pew report, second generation immigrants make up 11% of the entire U.S. population, and our Diversity Tipping Point trend, revealed that 52% of 13-33-year-olds don’t feel entertainment media does a good job of representing minority groups. (The Guardian

Quote of the Day: “My 2017 resolution is to improve my dog's confidence- She's somewhat fearful.”—Female, 28, PA

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