The Whys Behind Festival Fashion

The summer music festival season has begun, with Millennials poring over their newsfeeds in anticipation of the festivities. It’s debatable as to whether these events are still about the music, or have instead become an avenue for Millennials to see and be seen. Festivals have grown from a music outlet to a snapshot of youth culture. Nowhere is this more evident than with the unique rules at play when it comes to festival fashion. Festival wear is distinctly different, as girls flock to outdoor venues draped in Grecian-inspired maxi dresses, flower-crown headpieces, face paint, day-glo crop tops, and daisy duke jean shorts. When teens are seen dressed in neon spandex from head to toe in the NYC subway, it is clear that they are probably headed to the Electric Daisy Carnival. But despite the fact that the media will use photos of Millennials in Coachella garb to represent the everyday youth population, Millennials obviously aren’t wearing the full-on festival ensembles in their daily lives. Today we’re looking closer at the difference between festival and street fashion to figure out what it all means to Millennials. 

Late teen and twenty-something Millennials have reached the age of self-discovery at a difficult time. Many college grads have moved back home and are finding it difficult to secure full-time employment in today’s saturated job market, leaving them in limbo between independence and the inability to support themselves financially. Music and fashion have always provided the ultimate escape from the stresses of daily life, and now more than ever Millennials need this escape. For them, festivals have become an escapist showcase, a creative display far outside the realm of normal life. Whether for a couple of hours or several days, festivals allow attendees to step into a…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“Most of the role models and leaders in my life have been Gen Xers so far."

–Male, 16, WI

Instagram has reached 700 million active users, and its growth has been speeding up. The app hit the new user mark just four months after reaching 600 million, and the introduction of Instagram stories in August may be a major contributor to its accelerated growth. The feature has a reported 200 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 161 million. Overall, Instagram now has twice the user base of Twitter and is quickly approaching the coveted 1 billion user mark that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger have reached. (TechCrunch)

Millennials are using social media and YouTube to decide what to buy. A U.K. study found 32% of 18-24-year-olds are using social media to research their purchase decisions before checking out, and 25% are using video platforms like YouTube. There are also signs they’d like to search for products on social media: 25% of U.K. 18-24-year-olds reported the desire to search media based on their lifestyle and 23% would like search to understand their current mood. These findings, paired with the detailed targeting available to advertisers, are changing the consumer journey from search query to cart. (AdvertisingWeek)

Millennials are keeping 70% of their money in cash, reluctant to invest in anything, from stocks to their own retirement plans—according to new BlackRock research. Clearly impacted by the Great Recession, Millennials are most likely to agree, "What you might earn investing isn't worth the risk of losing your money," and a third say “they learned what not to do with their money” from watching their parents. They also tend to undervalue the potential returns of investments by millions of dollars, which is not good news for their futures—at their current rate, most Millennials will have less than $1 million saved for retirement. (TheStreet)

Influencer marketing is proving its worth. Though marketers have worried about determining ROI with the approach, one report is claiming it’s more effective than advertising alone, showing a direct lift in results rates of up to 30%. Across 450 influencers and 11 campaigns, the expansive research compared results from consumers exposed to ads featuring influencers versus control groups, overwhelmingly showing increased action when an influencer was involved. Good news for marketers, who spent $570 million on influencer marketing on Instagram alone last year. (Adweek)

The Amazon Echo can now help pick your outfit—and tell you when you don’t look good. LED lights and a depth-sensing camera will let the new Echo Look take pictures of any look, and “Style Check” software “combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists” to evaluate which outfit is best, and lets you compare pictures of multiple outfits, from multiple angles. Amazon’s already extensive product recommendations could feasibly be a part of this product’s future—and, if all goes well, a drone will ship the recommended new clothes to your door. (Quartz)

“I want to work for myself so that I can have more flexibility and be my own boss. I have an online business.”
—Female, 16, FL

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