The latest on campus cool looks

What one’s back-to-school aesthetic signals plays a significant role in capturing the attention of incoming students, reflecting current trends, and creating emotional connections In fact, 71% of Gen Zs tell us that they are MORE likely to buy a product for back-to-school that they’ve seen on social media, and searches for inspo on TikTok alone amongst the #backtoschool, #backtoschoolclothinghaul, and #schoolsupplies videos are collectively garnering over 28B views, while evoking feelings of excitement, anticipation, and nostalgia associated with the start of a new academic year. But brands- as usual, are also looking to capture the attention of our younger cohorts, so ahead, we take a look at the way some are aiming to appeal to students during this critical shopping period.


Getting into sororities has become nearly as competitive as acceptance to top universities, and as such, a curious industry has emerged in recent years, spurring a rise in “Sorority Consultants” that cover topics such as what to wear, how to act, what to say and the wisdom of scrubbing potentially off-putting social media posts. The likes of It’s All Greek to Me is one such example which offers a $600 seminar for rush students and their parents to learn the basics about getting into a sorority where you have to be trendy but not too trendy, modest but not too modest, fit in but be unique.

— Zoe, 20, IL (Cassandra Collective)


    Ikea is highlighting its storage solutions ahead of the return to school with an artfully done slice-of-life anime series premiering on TikTok and YouTube. Each of the 45-second long clips features a diverse cast of college students finding joy in simple moments with the help of organization tools from the boxed-furniture retail while encouraging consumers to “Find Your Slice of Life This Semester”. The choice of using anime as its genre, IKEA is making clear their desire to court Gen Z consumers.

    Gap, known for tying into popular culture for generations now, has partnered with “Recess Therapy,” a popular web series known for its viral “corn kid” interview,” to create playful content promoting its sustainable and recycled clothing for the back-to-school season. The 8-minute video features a number of children as they share their perspective on the importance of style for the first day of school, with one participant going as far as dubbing the occasion “fashion week for kids”.

    For more Back to School insights, check out the full details of our Back to School 2023 survey.