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  • Christopher Morency

Streetwear Reigns Supreme, Say Teens

Brands including Adidas, Supreme and Gucci come out on top in a Piper Jaffray survey of young consumers, while Nike and Ralph Lauren are losing lustre.

LONDON, United Kingdom — Teens are flocking to streetwear labels — and running from brands that have not embraced the trend, according to survey by Piper Jaffray. Demand for clothes and shoes with a “street” aesthetic soared up the investment bank’s semiannual list of brands teens listed as their favourite in a survey of 6,000 young consumers. Adidas cracked the top 10 for the first time among teens whose household had an average income of about $100,000, while Supreme rose from 10th place last fall to 7th in the latest survey. Vans saw the biggest gains in the footwear category, from the preferred choice of 9 percent of teens a year ago to 16 percent in the spring survey. Streetwear’s rise came at Nike’s expense. The company remained the most popular apparel brand, but was picked by just 23 percent of teens, down from 31 percent a year ago. “Both Vans and Adidas have this ‘open-source’ platform where they allow pop culture to help guide and influence how they are positioned with the consumer today,” said Erinn Murphy, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray and co-author of the report. “Having a very collaborative environment when it comes to the softer side of brands is very important. Both of those brands were open to that, whereas Nike has historically been a performance-led company.” Brands taking a reinvented approach to their 1990s archives — the era of logo mania — are also appealing to teens, Murphy said. Gucci entered the top 10 in the latest survey, while lower-priced brands that heavily feature their logos, including Tommy Hilfiger and Champion, have also gained. Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren, which has not featured its logo as heavily, was not a top 10 choice for male teens for the first time since 2002, according to the report. The company has only recently started rolling out limited-edition capsules such as its “Snow Beach” and “Stadium” collections. But it might have missed its chance with young consumers, Murphy said. Overall teen spending increased by 6 percent compared to Fall, and is up 2 percent from a year ago, to $2,600 a year. Clothing is listed as the second highest expense at 16 percent for men, behind only food. For women, apparel was in the top spot, at 25 percent of spending. Teen beauty spending hit an all-time high of $386 per year, up 4 percent from the spring 2016 survey — led by skincare, which increased 18 percent year-on-year. Moreover, Amazon remains unchallenged among favourite websites to purchase from with 44 percent of teens listing the e-commerce juggernaut number one. The report, which assesses the spending patterns, fashion trends, use of technology and media preferences of more than 6,000 US teens, with an average age of 16.

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