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: "I follow the news so I can make fun of the GOP presidential candidates..." -Male, 30, KN 

Selfies might be the next innovation in online security. MasterCard is experimenting with facial recognition scans that would ask users to simply look into their phones and blink to approve a purchase. Biometric security like face scans and fingerprints are easier than remembering a password, and the brand believes that “the new generation, which is into selfies…they'll find it cool. They'll embrace it." (CNN Money)

Millennials’ history of disrupting industries has many long-standing brands making big changes to appeal to young consumers—who are aging into their years of spending power dominance. Time’s list of “old person” brands getting a Millennial makeover include Maxwell House, Residence Inn, NASCAR, Good Humor, and KFC—all launching rebrands and “tweaking old products…with varying degrees of success—and awkwardness.” NASCAR’s efforts include a racing festival that includes DJs and foam parties. (Time)

We included golf on our list of things Millennials are being accused of killing, and now golf clubs breaking some sport taboos to try to attract young players. Footgolf, a hybrid soccer/golf game attracting twenty-somethings, is being offered by some. Speedier games, speakers on carts, prizes for Instagram golf pics, and beer tastings are other tactics being employed—and upsetting traditional golfers. (Chicago Business)

Put on your top hat and bow tie, the “Monopoly movie has passed go.” Lionsgate and Hasbro have greenlit a film based on everyone’s favorite property trading game, and starter of family fights. The 80-year-old board game is the latest classic toy box item to be given time on the big screen, and the film will reportedly be an action/adventure following a boy from Baltic Avenue building his fortune, and of course avoiding bankruptcy and jail. (Kidscreen)

Unplugging is not just a trend with young consumers here in the U.S. A survey of 16-24-year-olds in the U.K. found that only half watch live TV, preferring online streaming for the rest of their media consumption. Online viewing has “disproportionately affected” news shows, and TV news viewing among the age group has dropped 29% between 2008 and 2014. In our most recent media viewing tracker, we found that 29% of 13-32-year-olds watch live cable five or more days per week, while 35% watch Netflix and 10% watch Hulu Plus five or more days per week. (The Guardian)

The glittery dust has settled. There is no longer any question that digital celebrities’ popularity rivals Hollywood stars’—for teens, they’re even more popular. So what does celebrity look like now? Fame has been redefined by the next generation of viewers, and we’re officially in a new era of celebrity influencers. We cover this trend in-depth our Q2 2015 Ypulse Quarterly report, available to Gold subscribers. (One-off pricing for the report is $1250.) (Ypulse)

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