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

“I believe in a higher being, whether it takes the form of a god or it's more abstract like the universe.”—Female, 21, FL

An avocado-inspired chocolate is selling out fast, and Millennials’ obsession with avo is getting the credit—lest we forget the lattes and the proposals of the past. Waitrose’s gimmicky treat has a dark chocolate shell, a dyed green white chocolate interior and small chocolate “stone” sprinkled with cocoa for the center. The play on a traditional Easter egg chocolate is Waitrose’s best-selling product in its 114-year-history, selling out repeatedly since its recent launch. (The Independent)

Vacation companies that confiscate travelers’ smartphones are selling out their trips. The Wanderlust Generation isn’t just looking to travel, they’re looking to unplug—in spite of their penchant for picture-worthy excursions. All of Off the Grid’s phoneless itineraries sold out and more are being added for 2018. Yoga retreats and hotels are offering device-free options as well, with one hotel offering iPhone cases to anyone who makes it 24 hours with just a “dumb phone” replacement. (NYP)

Kids can’t get enough of Roblox, and the platform just went “cash-flow positive.” ComScore found that children under-13-years-old spend more time on Roblox than on YouTube, Netflix, or any other similar platform. For teens, the game came in second, behind YouTube. The gaming sensation lets kids create and interact in digital worlds, build their online friendships, and make money—if they’re a “top creator.” (TechCrunch)

Unboxing is getting an augmented spin for Nike’s next sneaker drop. The Millennial and Gen Z-favorite brand has created a link that leads to “a virtual box” containing the new shoes. Users can access the box via any platform and then open the box and use their cursor or finger to check out the Deerupt shoes from “all angles.” Nike also recently let sneaker heads virtually run across the world in their Nike React shoes via in-store treadmills. (GlossyMobile Marketer)

YouTube Red is headed to the box office for the first time with their original movie, Vulture Club, starring Susan Sarandon. In the past, they’ve premiered content on their premium service and in limited releases, but rumor has it this will be their first big bet on a full theatrical release. Everyone from Amazon to Hulu is upping their original content to compete in the streaming wars, and though YouTube has all eyes on their free platform—their paid service is lagging behind the competition. (IndieWireThe Verge)

“I’ve been using Apple products for years. Although Samsung technology is probably better, I am so used to Apple that I would probably not switch.”—Female, 18, PA

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