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: “This year, I’m planning on taking [my] wife and kid to the Philippines so he can experience his mother’s culture. His mother is Filipino while I am African American.” –Male, 32, CA

Over the last few years, airline flight safety videos have become marketing clips, with some going viral and brands getting more creative with their messages to stand out. Delta’s new in-flight safety clip is no exception, and they’re trying to speak young consumers’ language with a parade of internet guest stars. Meme celebs like Nyan Cat and Overly Attached Girlfriend make appearances in the “walk down Web culture memory lane” that has been viewed almost 2 million times in two days. (The Next Web)

The start and stop years of generations is hardly agreed upon, and many distinguish teens as a completely separate generation from Millennials—one that brands are paying more attention to. Tips for connecting with Gen Z (aka Plurals, Homelanders, iGen, or post-Millennials) include exposing your quirky side (or getting a little weird), having #NoFilter, and engaging with them on the social platforms they use. (Adweek)

Back in 2013, we told brands to prep for the future of e-commerce, including subscriptions beyond the beauty box—and we’ve been keeping track of the trend ever since. The founder of subscription box startup Carnivore Club has some thoughts on where the popular industry will go next. Expect even more niche product offerings, luxury services sold en-masse, and big retail brands joining in on the subscription model craze. (PSFK)

Nothing says summer like a baseball game—right? Maybe not for the next generation. The number of casual young players is dropping, and some Little Leagues are struggling to pull in players. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, the number of seven to 17-year-olds participating in baseball fell 41% between 2002 and 2013. New preferences for other sports like lacrosse and soccer, and kids’ focusing on a single sport for the whole year, could be reasons behind the drop off. (WSJ)

The promposal trend, which we spotted last year, has only been growing and now brands are getting in on the public “will you go to prom with me” spectacles. MTV launched “Promposal Mania” last month, orchestrating promposal stunts with pop stars and broadcasting them on Snapchat and Periscope. Sour Patch Kids has asked teens to submit their promposal stories on social, and is hosting a prom for the winners of the competition. (The Drum)

Looking for a quick stat on young consumers to get you up to speed before a strategy session? Searching Ypulse is the best place to start! Silver and Gold members have access to 10,000+ articles, 20,000+ curated news items, and thousands of statistics on Millennials and teens drawn from our monthly national survey of the generation. Your search can begin and end with us. (Ypulse)

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