Social Media’s impact on fashion the past few years has been tremendous. Designers are finally threatened and have to sit up and pay attention- the street is talking now. Influencers aren’t just the rappers and movie stars- it might be the girl or boy next door- and she or he might be 15years old. The Fashion front row is now an ever changing landscape. Where it used to be reserved for the top magazine editors, models and designers- it is now mixed with fashion influencers (Instagramers and Youtubers) ,bloggers and vloggers who are making the same or even more fashion influenced impact.
Teenagers are identifying their styles earlier these days - thanks to social Media and having constant images flicker across their screens. Children as young as 8 are now insisting on wearing that they want and not what their parents are buying. And online fashion is taking over this space as so many streetwear styles are now one size or oversized that it makes the Guess my size question easier to answer.
The Teen market though is being slightly ignored considering the choice for adults and children. They have to work much harder to find the “cooler” pieces at the oldest age in Childrenswear and the Extra Small sizes in Adult wear that is appropriate for them.
The Niche is the 12-16year old teen age group. https://teenzshop.co.uk/ directly addresses this genre- and they address it in the right way. On trend, high quality fashion at competitive prices. They design for the Teenagers who have identified their personal style and aren’t afraid to stand out.
World-wide favourite go-tos are Urban-Outfitters, Brandy Melville, Hollister and our favourite high-street pic - Bershka.
River Island and New Look are strong for the tweens but Teenzshop (web only) is capturing the fashion mature Tween and teenager all-in-one shot.
The funny thing is that teenagers are so self-aware, self-conscious and affected by their piers and social group. They feel comfort in blending into the fashion of their social circle and feel a safety in that camouflage.
It’s their mothers and Fathers who are more daring, happy to stand out and try the new seasons trends. Teenzshop directly talks to the Teenagers who aren’t afraid to stand apart from the crowd and identify with the trends and want to engage.
Hype-brands are popping up all the time with limited edition pieces, small drops and instead of stores- moving to exciting and elusive pop-ups, with the word spread through social media. The result is lines of teenager and millennials waiting outside a pop-up, closely guarded by burly bodyguards limiting entry.
The result of this high demand/low supply for hype brands such as Off-White, Supreme, Yeezy- is a secondary market- dominated by teens. Teenage boys are making a fortune on eBay, etsy and their own DIY websites selling highly-sought after trainers at premiums. Hence the beginning of teenage fashion entrepreneurs. How fantastic!
I have a special connection with Off-White and get first dibs on many of their items. My friends son begged me for a pair of Off-White collab Nike Blazer sneakers. I bought them for him as a surprise- hoping to be his Santa Claus, Knight in Off-White shining armour and to see him wear them each day to school with a big smile on his face. Beeeeeeep! Wrong!- straight on Ebay for a hefty profit. First and last time I do him a favour!
The other problem with Teenage fashion is the disconnect between the Teenagers and the parents who pay!
Amazon has become a currency for kids. The trends see them asking for Amazon vouchers for their birthdays and this in turn gives them “currency”. Amazon fashion in increasing in numbers exponentially and the unbeatable delivery options means the buyer get his or her Hoodie- the next day.
Visa cards are also popping up aimed at teenagers. For example- Go Henry is a visa. Essentially a charge card which is given to the kids, with their name in the card and their individual visa number. However it is ‘charged up’ by the parent account holder and an easy-to-use app means parents can monitor their kids cards, block, unblock and transfer funds with ease and allocate pocket money.
What’s the moral to this story? We need to wake up and talk to this generation. Fashion needs to include them. They are fashion relevant and are the fashion future. With a world being taken over by technology and artificial intelligence- I am embracing the future for artists and designers. This really is their generation. Where style and design and creativity can not be replaced.