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 think Dove does the best job of appealing to people my age. Their ads encourage women to love themselves and to build each other up.” –Female, 28, PA

Here’s a weird, but potentially important, app to know: teens are reportedly flocking to YouNow, a live-streaming platform where they hang out with each other, chat, create music, or sleep. (Yes, sleep—there’s even a popular #sleepsquad hashtag that trends at night.) While Meerkat and Periscope have adults’ attention, 70% of YouNow users are under 24-years-old. These young consumers can purchase points on the app they use to tip other users, or to keep their messages at the top of the comment section in a feed. Live-streaming channels on YouNow include #musicians, #dancing, #girls, and #truthordare—and the app says they invest a lot into keeping it a safe space for the teens who love it. (BuzzFeed)

Acura is targeting Millennials with a social media campaign that focuses on the emotion of music and driving. The brand tapped eight up-and-coming artists to create original electronic songs for their newest entry-luxury car. Each track represents one of the eight gears of the new sporty ILX sedan, and as listeners move through the playlist, the music increases in velocity. For Millennials, luxury is no longer strictly defined by whistles and bells, and is shifting to center around authenticity and experience, so highlighting the emotional elements of their product could be a move in the right direction for the brand. The songs are posted on Acura’s Tumblr, where they have reportedly been downloaded seven million times so far. (Ad Age)

Millennials are known for being more progressive and open-minded than previous generations, but what exactly do they think is moral and immoral? A new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute tested their views on various sexual behaviors and found that 42% of 18-34-year-olds believe homosexuality is morally acceptable, which is more than those who believe casual sex is morally acceptable (37%), or sex between teenagers is acceptable (24%). The research says that 38% of this age group believes sex between two adults of the same gender is morally wrong, though we should note that Ypulse’s survey on Millennials’ LGBT views found them to be far more open. (Washington Post)

Millennials love a good deal, and 55% of 18-34-years-olds say they download coupons from coupon websites, compared to 38% of 35-54-year-olds and 21% of those over 54. The digital discount trend is reshaping how online retailers are building their business models. Jet.com, a startup putting itself up against Amazon, offers consumers a small membership fee to receive access to savings. It’s being predicted that while e-commerce becomes the place for discounts, retail locations will become cheaper distribution hubs with well-trained employees shaping stores into “knowledge centers.” (Inc.)

A new wave of digitally savvy models is taking social media and advertising by storm. “The Instagirls,” a title coined by Vogue, are Millennial models like Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, and Karlie Kloss who have been catapulted to fame thanks to their massive social media klout. While models used to have an air of mystery and exclusivity, the trend of being open, candid, and accessible has earned them millions of followers who want to see relatable celebrities. Brands have taken notice, and these young models are achieving both high fashion and commercial success, “a rarity since the supermodel era of the '90s.” (Adweek)

Did you know 73% of Millennials over 18-years-old have shopped at online stores like Amazon or eBay in the past month? This week's Ypulse topline report breaks down stats about where this generation shops and how they approach religion and spirituality. Twice a month, our topline report synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points from our most recent survey of Millennials for our Gold subscribers, giving them relevant statistics streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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