CASSANDRA SESSIONS: HEARING FROM GEN Z
Understanding why certain brands “vibe” with their aesthetic
At Cassandra's annual Sessions event, That’s so Aesthetic – the Gen Z Vibe and Its Reverberation in the Market, one of the highlights was our live, unscripted Trendsetter focus group. Our live focus group included seven Trendsetters, and the discussion ran from describing their own current aesthetic to when this was something that they started thinking about to their views on which businesses are getting it right (and those that are not!). Below are three key takeaways from the session - if you’d like to learn more, please reach out to us!
EVERYTHING IS INTENTIONAL
One of the themes that emerged throughout the day was how important the ideal vibe is to Gen Zs in creating their own narratives. Noting where they each were individually in their lives, many of the Trendsetters on stage discussed different life stage transitions (e.g., full-time student to working), and as a result, their vibe shift was yet another area of personal exploration and change. But no matter what the context, the key is that it is very intentional and intrinsically linked to one’s sense of self and identity. Isa (24) commented, "You can’t focus on curating your aesthetic until you truly have a sense of who you are.“ And, like Gen Z identity, one’s aesthetic is fluid and ephemeral.
— Cait (26)
— Mayce (25)
BRANDS MUST ALIGN TO THEIR VALUES
The conversation with our Trendsetters also explored the role that brands can play - and there was a clear challenge that brands must align more closely with their generation's values. Brands such as Nike, Dove, Rare Beauty, and Depop were mentioned more than once. These brands are invited into their lives organically in a way that works for them and provides value.
— Sekayi (26)
— Macye (25)
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: FAST FASHION
As we've been exploring for some time, Gen Z is concerned about the climate crisis and expresses a desire for sustainable clothing, yet they often continue to shop from budget-friendly, fast-fashion outlets. And our panel fully acknowledged this disconnect.
— Alexandra (21)
The panel also underscored an earlier finding from Cassandra that many Gen Zs feel overwhelmed by the climate crisis; there is only so much an individual can do. Emily (21) stated, “What can I do as one person by not buying this? I feel bad and definitely don’t like the child labor stuff, but if I need new clothes, I don’t have a ton of options. Maybe I could check Depop. It’s going to take the companies and industry as a whole to really change how things are.
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