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: “It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without my cousins' annoying kids running in front of the TV.” –Male, 30, MA

Watch your back Instagram. Flipagram’s rise, and its partnership with music labels, could make it the next big sharing platform to watch. The app reached 30 million monthly users after one year, hitting the milestone faster than Facebook and Snapchat before it. Because music can be added to the 30-second photo videos users make, it has set itself apart from competitors Vine and Instagram, and the number of flips made on the platform rose 165% in the last year. (Forbes)

The final film of The Hunger Games franchise is in theatres, ending a wildly successful run at the box office. The movies weren’t considered a sure thing, but became a “runaway smash” because they perfectly matched Millennials’ mindset, becoming “an all-purpose metaphor for life as a young person in the post-recession era.” The theory is that because books debuted just as the recession was beginning, the dark tone and cutthroat storyline aligned with their experiences. (We happen to agree.) (Vox

Millennials continue to think more positively about technology than other generations. According to a 2015 poll, Millennials are more likely than Xers and Boomers to think tech helps them to learn new skills, has a positive impact on their relationships with friends, and allows them to live life the way they want. More than half of Millennials believe that technology positively effects their happiness, compared to 42% of Xers, and 30% of Boomers. (MediaPost)

Millennials might be less traditionally religious than older generations, but they are just as spiritual. While fewer Millennials say religion is very important, attend weekly religious services, or pray every day than Xers, Boomers, and Silents, they are equally likely to think about the meaning and purpose of life, and feel a sense of gratitude or thankfulness each week. (Pew Research)

Advertisements on YouTube Kids are getting the app into some trouble. Ads for junk food regularly appear on the platform “in the form of funny contests and animated stories,” and two complaints have been filed calling for an investigation of food marketers, videos programmers, and Google. The complaints argue that food companies have not lived up to their promises to keep junk food marketing off the app. (NYTimes)

Quote of the Day: "It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without my brother suggesting we don't celebrate and just order pizza.” -Male, 15, GA

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