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: 

Q: What goals do you have for yourself that your parents did not have? 

A: “Working for myself, finding a career field that fits with both my interests and skills, being in a relationship(s?) that is healthy and promotes growth (not necessarily marriage)…” –Male, 23, D.C.

Summer isn’t over yet, but there is already a prediction for what will be THE toy of the holiday season. The BB-8 droid, viral star of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, has been made into a real, working remote-control toy “every Star Wars fan has dreamed of owning.” The BB-8 droid can be controlled via smartphone app and with verbal commands, and operates like a remote control car—with the added magic of a robot head staying balanced on top of it. (WSJ)

“Give me my mobile TV!” According to Ericsson’s new media report, more than half of Millennials’ entertainment viewing time (53%) is spent on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The numbers are even more dramatic among teens, who are watching nearly 75% of their TV and videos on mobile. Unsurprisingly, younger viewers are also watching linear TV less than older audiences, with 60% of 16-34-year-olds watching everyday, compared to 82% of 60-69-year-olds. (The Verge)

Major entertainment brands and TV networks are teaming up to solve the problem of the “growing legion of missing kids.” (See above.) The recently formed Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement is backed by Time Warner, Disney, NBCU, and many others, and is studying the viewing behavior of 2-17-year-olds to create a new measurement system that could account for all of the ways that they consume video—outside of “’old-school’ TV.” (Variety)

The teen years used to be all about fitting in, but for today’s middle and high schoolers, standing out is so much cooler than being like everyone else. Ypulse’s own Chief Content Officer MaryLeigh Bliss weighed in with a little why behind the what: “Teenagers have grown up learning innately about personal branding in order to stand out in a sea of billions of people. If you want followers and likes, you have to display photos and videos that show you doing and wearing interesting things. Otherwise you’re going to fade into the background.” (The Globe and Mail)

Children’s nonfiction is having a moment. Nonfiction children’s book sales have reportedly spiked, going up 38% in the last year for Penguin Young Readers Group. At Scholastic, Minecraft handbooks have in-print figures over 17.5 million, and non-fiction annuals like Scholastic Year in Sports have become so popular they are expanding the series with a gaming edition. (Publishers Weekly)

Quote of the Day: “My aspiration is to retire early and travel!” –Male, 27, CA

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