Make America Stylish Again
Let’s face it: Generation Z has been lacking style. Up until recently, a good portion of Gen Z has thrown on an anonymous, yet comfortable, uniform consisting of the hoodie, ripped jeans and an acceptable brand of sneakers – a uniform so dark and “popular” that no one would ever stand out. That was the point. But Gen Z style is changing.
A recent focus group I ran among young women (15 girls age 12-14) confirmed that Gen Z’s interest in style is growing, especially styles that are comfortable. If a brand helped them assemble a more stylish outfit, or made a stylish version of their comfort clothing, they were definitely willing to try new styles. We spoke about their favorite brands – J Brand Jeans, Adidas, Free People, Forever 21, Vineyard Vines, Nike, American Eagle, Chubbies (above), lululemon – and what they loved about the brands: both comfort and style. They also like these brands for being “playful”, “cheap”, “flowy” and “high quality”.
Fortunately, some truly gifted
young designers, like bullied teen Kyemah McEntyre (right), are designing clothes that offer comfort and style. The latest fashions are more innovative, more colorful (not just Millennial Pink), and a better fit for all body types than many classic brands. For example, Gen Z’s are speaking out about style and body type, hopefully enabling Gen Z to be more confident in bolder clothing. (See Refinery21.com for their Z-list.)
Just as interest in style is growing, and as Gen Z grows up, spending is predicted to reach $200 billion in 2018. This presents an open window of opportunity for brands to reach the new Gen Z consumer, a working adult or an interning teen, who is ready to purchase a new wardrobe. Let’s make America stylish again by encouraging Gen Z to express themselves, by embracing their individual style and finally, empowering them to stand out in the crowd.