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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The Newsfeed

“I honestly wouldn't like to communicate with brands, unless it is to solve problems their brand is causing.”—Female, 27, MI

Why don’t people seem to care as much about fake followers on Instagram as on other platforms? Because while Facebook and Twitter are bashed for feeds full of fake news, no one holds Instagram to the same standard. The image-centric platform is inherently “a hyperreality,” where no one’s candid shot is truly spontaneous, and photo-shop freely fills feeds. Where does it get tricky? With Influencers, who are expected to garner true engagements for brands. (Real Life)

Influencer marketing faced another tricky situation this week when PopSugar replaced influencers’ affiliate links with their own. RewardStyle and its Instagram product LikeToKnow.it’s network of content creators’ photos and sometimes entire feeds “were copied to the site via “thousands of ‘falsified vanity pages’ containing millions of images belonging to the network’s content creators.” The group is planning on seeking a class-action lawsuit on their intellectual property and for the lost revenue that PopSugar made each time a customer clicked to purchase. (Racked)

Colleges are giving out more merit-based aid to win over top students. Tuition discount rates have risen to a record 49.1% for first-time, full-time freshman attending private universities, up over 10% from ten years prior—according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. By using data-driven analysis to calculate just how much aid is likely to lure a top student in, colleges are seeing success upping their prestige. However, the practice has also “created a closing of the doors for low-income students,” according to one policy analyst. (WSJ)

Apple is betting that young consumers could bring back magazines via a magazine subscription service. The tech company took a gamble by buying Texture, a subscription service for over 200 titles that’s been dubbed the “Netflix of Magazine Publishing.” The app aggregates articles into a single browsing experience, rather than being separated by title, and pays the included publications. Apple has announced plans to integrate the service into their Apple News app, the latest incarnation of their less-than-successful Newsstand app. (Bloomberg)

Function of Beauty is customizing hair care, blending up shampoo and conditioner for each customer based off a five-question quiz. Beauty companies big and small have hopped on the Customization Nation trend, and Function of Beauty takes that to the next level with their hyper-personalized hair care set. They're customizing everything from the fragrance to the chemical components, and even going so far as to print the purchaser’s name on each product. The founder explains, "Every single person is unique and different...why negate that instead of catering to it?" (Paper)

“[Allison Raskin] is open about her struggles with mental health, and she is also funny.”—Female, 19, CA

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