“Uniqueness is a priority for Gen Z”, said Sarah, the editor from WGSN. For Gen Z, they see themselves as fluid and open. Regardless of what you call them, you have to understand them and accept that they are a deeply divided group. Before we get to know about their attitude towards fashion, we have to understand the two separate segments of Gen Z: Gen Me and Gen We.
Gen Me likes to use social media platforms to communicate with each other. They even use social media to promote themselves as brand and fashion leaders. By 2017, street fashion had become a big business. Luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Balenciaga are collaborating with streetwear brands or adapting their own street styles. In effect, streetwear has become the new luxury. A new language has also flourished in Gen Me culture: memes. In order to reach out more Gen Z consumers, Gucci has collaborated with many meme artists including Christto Andrew, Amanda Charchian and Loukia Alavanou. Subculture like K-pop is very popular for Gen Me. Nowadays it has become a global cultural phenomenon. Puma recently collaborated with the popular Korean boy band BTS. It is also easier than ever to find many familiar K-pop stars’ faces at the front-row of fashion shows around the world.
Unlike Gen Me, Gen We is not about looking up to macro influencers. Gen We are inspired by the actions of their peers and empower one another to ignite the change they want to see in the world. They focus on the issues like mental health, sustainability, race equality, LGBTQ+ rights and more. Dior had feminist statement — ‘We Should All Be Feminist’, in its SS 2017 campaign. In the AW 2018 collection, Burberry unveiled rainbow check print in support of LGBTQ+ charities. According to GreenMatch’s findings, 72% of Gen Z would spend more money on a service if it was sustainably produced. Many fast fashion brands like H&M and Zara have already started working on sustainable business strategies to catch the attention of Gen Z.
Due to the diversity of Gen Z, fashion brands have to work hard to narrow down their target audience. However, thanks to the uniqueness of Gen Z, the fashion industry has become more inclusive and considerate towards not only humanity but also the environment.