Millennials & Gen Z’s 20 Favorite Clothing Brands

We asked 1000 13-34-year-olds to tell us their favorite clothing brands… 

The evidence that young consumers’ preferences have created a retail wasteland continues to mount. Wet Seal is the latest youth fashion victim—unable to find extra capital or a buyer since they filed for bankruptcy in 2015, the struggling retailer has been forced to close all of its remaining 171 stores throughout 42 states. The announcement closely follows news that The Limited and American Apparel have also been pushed to close down their retail locations. But some experts say it’s not Millennials’ and Gen Z’s shopping habits that are to blame. According to a Forrester retail expert and analyst, U.S. retail revenue is expected to reach $3.4 trillion this year, and it’s only those retailers “struggling to connect with consumers” that are closing stores.

But the competition is high to connect with them, and with brand names mattering less to these generations, it’s a trickier game to stay on their radar. According to a 2016 Ypulse monthly survey, 66% of 13-33-year-olds disagree with the statement “I like to wear clothing items with logos on them” and 83% agree “I don't care about what brand an item of clothing is, as long as I like it.” To find out what clothing brands are resonating with these finicky young consumers right now, we just asked 1000 13-34-year-olds to answer the question, “What is your favorite clothing brand? Think of the name on the label”* —and we’ve got the 20 brands mentioned the most:

*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of clothing brands that 13-34-year-olds consider their favorites. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are most highly thought of. The lists are ordered according to…

 
 

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Quote of the Day: “It's free to walk to work and I get some exercise in.”—Female, 26, NY

Niche beauty brands have blurred gender lines at their core—can large cosmetics companies play catch up without seeming “disingenuous”? Milk Makeup and Fluide have built their brands on being inclusive, but larger brands sometimes strike consumers as hopping on the band wagon when they try to do the same—especially since they created so many of the gender norms they’re now rallying against. The best way for them to get in on the trend? Start by making their hiring process more inclusive both “behind the lens” and in front of it. (Fast Company)

Starbucks thinks the “health and wellness” trend is to blame for declining Frappuccino sales. Despite marketing efforts like the Unicorn Frappuccino, syrupy drink sales are down 3% from last year. However, rivals like McDonald’s and Dunkin' Donuts could be stealing sugary beverage sales from the coffee giant, meaning young consumers’ penchant for healthification isn't necessarily the culprit. In fact, McDonalds recently debuted two new frozen drinks that earning praising on Twitter. (NYPFox News)

Apple is getting into kids’ content, teaming up with Sesame Workshop for a slate of original shows. Live-action, animated, and puppet-based series will be included in the programming, but Sesame Street itself is not part of the deal. There are no details yet on where Apple will release the shows, meaning they could either shop them to another platform or debut them on their own streaming platform. Considering that Apple has several original program deals in the works, they could be looking to bulk up their own bid in the streaming wars. (Kidscreen)

Twitter and Tumblr posts are getting a new lease on life—as screenshots on Instagram. While young users of Twitter and Tumblr have declined, Ypulse’s Social Media Trackerfound that over half of 13-35-year-olds use Instagram daily. Instagram is the preferred place to post memes, despite many accounts creating their content elsewhere. Why do they switch platforms to post? Instagram’s Discover tab allows faster browsing than Twitter, while Instagram images are displayed in full rather than being cut off, like they are on Twitter. (The Verge)

Eggo sales are down in between seasons of Stranger Things. Yes, the sci-fi series has that much influence on the frozen waffle’s revenue. One Eggo executive explains that they “quickly leveraged the [resulting] consumer engagement” from the show, and it paid off: sales jumped 14% in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 9.4% for the first four months of 2018. However, fewer people are binging the Gen Z & Millennial favorite these days, so Kellogg’s frozen pancakes, waffles, and French toast sales have slowed to just 1.3% year-over-year. (CNN)

Quote of the Day: “I fell in love with trance music.”—Male, 23, NY

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