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 eat [Pizza Hut] least two times per month; it's one of my favorite places to go to eat pizza.”—Male, 35, VA

More Millennials are asking for cash wedding registries, and it’s bad news for stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams Sonoma. Increasingly, young couples are asking guests to contribute towards their nest egg, travel, or anything they feel like buying themselves. Companies like Zola and Honeypot have boomed in popularity, offering a personalized platform for their cash registries. However, their success with wedding registries is taking “a key customer acquisition tool” away from home décor stores. (Insider)

The beauty industry is catering to Customization Nation, as more companies crop up to blend unique beauty products for each customer. But can the trend scale? Truly personalized products, like the ones offered by hair care start-up Function of Beauty and makeup company Bite Beauty, take time and resources. But companies that offer base products with just a personalized element or two could be the future of the industry. And big-name brands are getting their feet wet too: Lancôme and CoverGirl have both offered custom-made foundations. (Glossy)

Nordstrom is taking risks to survive retail’s big shifts. Instead of shuttering stores, they’re opening experimental retail locations, revamping their department stores, and making their mark in Manhattan with their first store openings. The long-standing brand also bought ecommerce site HauteLook and the subscription service Trunk Club. So far, their risk-taking hasn’t proved to be a boon to their bottom line—but only time will tell. (WSJ)

Hollister is teaming up with AwesomenessTV to reach Gen Z with a YouTube series. “The Carpe Life” will be a part of a broader campaign, which includes influencer marketingand appeals to young consumers’ love for active, adventurous lifestyles. "The Carpe Life" follows Hollister's first YouTube series, “This is Summer” which “boosted key brand metrics by double digits,” adding on to their overall positive impact on Abercrombie & Fitch’s rising bottom line. (Marketing Dive)

Netflix is switching its strategy, putting less money into “prestige films” for the Post-TV Gen. Instead, they’re churning out more direct-to-video releases. Last year, they bought ten titles at Sundance while this year they had none. While they continue to create original content like the recent The Cloverfield Paradox, they’re betting on less-than-award-worthy films to maintain their hold on Millennial viewers. (The Atlantic)

“Basically if I found out any brand was supporting causes I do not support and actively oppose, I will avoid buying their products.”—Female, 27, CA

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