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The Implications of Gen-Z for the Fashion Industry — in Five Charts

BoF Insights decodes US Gen-Zers’ relationship with fashion and the impact on the market
The Implications of Gen-Z for the Fashion Industry — in Five Charts
By
  • Benjamin Schneider,
  • Diana Lee
BoF PROFESSIONAL

All businesses must learn to navigate the cultural and technological shifts ushered in by young consumers, but this is particularly important for the fashion industry because it is predicated on style and novelty. Gen-Zers — the first true digital natives — range from ages 12 to 25 and are now coming into their own.

Chart 1 Insights

Having mastered social media platforms at an early age, this generation is adept at producing and consuming fashion content, doing so at a faster pace than any generation before. This inverts the design process where styles are now percolating bottom-up rather than being pushed down from the traditional gatekeepers, while also accelerating trend creation. This digital savviness manifests in the way Gen-Z discovers, purchases, and even disposes of fashion. As a result, this generation has the power to reshape all the points in the consumer journey as they mature and gain purchasing power.

Brands and retailers must take note of this generation’s intricacies in order to thrive. BoF Insights’ latest report Gen-Z and Fashion in the Age of Realism focuses on the US, where Gen-Z has an estimated disposable income of $360 billion.

Below is a look at what the fashion industry needs to know to craft a winning, long-term strategy with Gen-Z.

Chart 2 The Implications of Gen-Z for the Fashion Industry — in Five Charts
Chart 3 The Implications of Gen-Z for the Fashion Industry — in Five Charts

The vast majority of Gen-Zers find fashion inspiration through social media platforms, especially TikTok with its personalised #ForYou pages. Nonetheless, the next step — in terms of converting those young consumers — is arguably more important. In this case, Instagram still comes out slightly ahead in terms of providing the information needed to pull the trigger. Meanwhile, Snapchat and Facebook lag with BoF Insights’ panel despite their investments in social commerce features, including AR try-on and integrated shops, respectively.

Chart 4 The Implications of Gen-Z for the Fashion Industry — in Five Charts
Chart 5 The Implications of Gen-Z for the Fashion Industry — in Five Charts
Gen-Z and Fashion in the Age of Realism | BoF Insights Banner
Further Reading

Find out what makes Gen-Zers so unique and crucial to the fashion industry in the latest BoF Insights report. Co-created with Gen-Zers as well as a host of fashion and social media experts, we unpack what this generation expects from fashion today, and tomorrow.


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