Monday, September 10, 2007

School yard fashions sure have changed

The LAT Image section last Sunday ran a piece called Design schooled about teen and tween fashion spending habits. It is truly horrifying. These kids wear a school uniform every day. So how do they assert their identity? With 'it' bags. Teenagers with multiple Birkin bags? Didn't Martha get sent to the big house for just one Birkin?
"Chanel is definitely my favorite designer," she says, emerging from the dressing room, unvictorious. She adds that her most prized purse is a black Yves Saint Laurent Muse bag, which sells for about $1,200. Her best friend, 14-year-old Jennifer Hourani, prefers her Chloé Paddington bag. But today, Jennifer is carrying a pristine white leather Dolce & Gabbana tote (it was shelved after Labor Day).

Designer labels make up about 15.3% of purchases by 13- to 17-year-olds, according to a recent study by New York-based marketing research firm NPD Group. Five years ago, that figure hovered at 9.6%.

No wonder teens talk waaaaay more about labels than their parents. A recent survey of more than 2,000 13- to 17-year-olds by marketing consultants Keller Fay Group found that kids have 145 conversations about brands per week. Adults invoke brand names about half as often.
I find even 70 conversations per week about brands excessive.

Has anyone read Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster?


  1. Anonymous08:07

    Wow. That is absurd. And really sad.

  2. 70 conversations about brands per month would be excessive for me. I'm thankful for two things -- 1) I have all boys and 2) we live in a small town where "American Eagle" is the biggest brand name going.

  3. Brands are such part of our lives that I think we invoke branding discussions a lot more than we realize. They may not be high fashion designer labels, but they are brands, nonetheless: Kleenex, Q-Tips, Prius, iPod, Levis, Safeway, Target, Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft. They are all brand names. Madison Avenue has succeeded in putting brand names into our everyday vocabulary. The battle has already been lost.

  4. Ann brings up an interesting question. What constitutes a discussion about brands?

    If I ask, "I am running over to Target and then Trader Joe's. Do you want to add anything to the list?", does that count as a discussion of two brands?

    Or would I have to specifically say, "We are out of tissue. Should I buy Kleenex or Puffs?"

  5. Anonymous19:33

    I am very disheartened, exhausted by apparel brands. Before, you made a product that was good enough for some reason to get you noticed. These days, the label is *the* product, mostly tees with the company name/logo. Many entrepreneurs are *launching* as brands. It is very discouraging...

    I have the deluxe book. I'll send it your way when I've finished it (still remembering I owe you Fallow who I keep intending to quote for a post). Sorry!

  6. Dani23:35

    I understand where many of the people who wrote the comments above are coming from, but they are only looking at one side of the story. Yes, this article was written about two teenage girls who discuss high fashion brand names, but what else do you all know about them? For all we know they could very possible be straight-A students, very involved with community service, and helpful to their friends and family. They are beautiful young ladies who have plenty of time to discover who they are, so why do you all care so much if they look good while doing it? Let them be and stop spreading so many negative vibes regarding them.


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