Welcome to the age of flashy luxury and opulence - Generation Z is ushering in a new era of fashion and lifestyle trends that puts understatement and “quiet luxury” firmly in the past. From statement accessories to vibrant clothing and bling-filled hairstyles, Gen Z is decidedly short on subdued, minimalistic fashion statements. Nylon examines how this generation is redefining what luxury looks like – and why the old rules of fashion no longer apply.
1. Gen Z Outgrowing the Allure of Quiet Luxury
A Generation of Nonconformists
Generation Z, born between 1996 and 2010, is driving a shift in luxury consumer behavior, choosing products and services that buck the trends of their predecessors. Fuelled by their immense buying power, Gen Zers are opting out of traditional luxury symbols and instead, investing in experiences and expressive styles.
Take apparel and accessories for example. Rather than look to big-name designer labels for status symbol-laden items, Gen Zers are finding quality, unique items from smaller labels and influencers. The huge success of Dapper Dan, who rose to fame in the ’80s supplying custom-tailored streetwear to rap stars, is a testament to the preferences of Gen Z.
Furthermore, Gen Zers are looking beyond clothes, spending their money on:
- New experiences, from pop-up galleries to theatre performances
- Showcasing their philanthropic efforts by donating their earnings
- Interest-based hobbies and clubs
Long gone are the days of quiet luxury. Gen Z is about the big statement, the bold move, and theluaj. They want luxury their own way.
2. From Subtlety to Statement: Unearthing Gen Z’s Luxury Style
In recent years, the luxury fashion sector has been closely tracking the growth and emergence of the Gen Z shopper, and the industries’ attention has been well placed. The youngest of the millennial cohort have taken the reigns and contributed to pushing the high-end fashion sector to a bolder, more daring realm.
Young luxury style seekers have pushed the boundaries when it comes to the currently-trendy idea of ‘dressing up.’ They’ve layered their effortless streetwear-inspired leggings and sneakers with opulent faux furs and statement bags, mixing extreme luxury with punk rock grunge and subculture elements. The confidence that they approach the style with is evident with Gen Z often pairing retro cat-eye sunglasses with their marbled hair and gold chains. Some prominent luxury pieces that Gen Zers are donning include:
- Textured Outerwear
- Pearl Accessories
- Chunky Silver Jewelry
The freedom of expression that they feel through their wardrobe is something that the luxury fashion industry simply can’t ignore. It will be thrilling to watch the impact that this new and unique personal style will have within the high-end fashion realm as Gen Zers become more and more comfortable and confident with their HEADLINE purchasing power!
3. Meet the Brands Playing into Gen Z’s Colorful Aesthetic
Colors carry meaning and emotion, and Gen Z has silenced any lingering skepticism about bright, clashing hues. Embracing each hue according to individual expression, the fashion industry is meeting Gen Z’s vibrancy head-on. Here are three of the brands that are bringing the rainbow.
- Fenty Beauty
- Jac Vanek
- Kozi Squad
Rihanna shatters beauty standards with the vibrant, inclusive collection of makeup products she offers through Fenty Beauty. Personalizing shades and formulas with 40 foundation shades and a wide array of hues, her colorful wares were made for Gen Z’s exploratory approach. Jac Vanek understands that colorful clothing today is more than a trend; it’s a form of self-expression and communication. From cheerful polka dots and glitzy sequins to hoodies that scream of your favorite Saturday morning cartoons, confess your enthusiasm with affordable statement pieces. Kozi Squad is the brand that takes the rainbow to the streets. While its clothes toe the gender-inclusive line, what stands out is the bold inclusion of neon hues throughout the collections. Stand out on your next Zoom call with an accessory from Kozi Squad.
4. The Battle for Prestige: Quiet vs. Loud Luxury in the Gen Z Marketplace
As Gen Z shoppers continue to flex their brand-loyalty and purchasing choices, the competition for prestige between ‘quiet’ and ‘loud’ luxury has become fierce. On one hand, ‘quiet’ luxury brands offer shoppers an opportunity to refine their style without needing to shout it from the rooftops. Conversely, ‘loud’ luxury brands entice customers with their flamboyant, often overly-branded designs. What shoppers get with one, they sacrifice with the other.
Making the decision between ‘quiet’ vs. ‘loud’ luxury isn’t easy for Gen Z shoppers. Various factors such as budget, trends, and personal preferences all come into play. ‘Quiet’ luxury brands often come with a higher price tag than ‘loud’ ones, but the long-term returns may be worth the investment. On the flipside, ‘loud’ luxury can be a great way to show off one’s fashion status without breaking the bank. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what looks best on an individual.
- ‘Quiet’ luxury offers shoppers refinement
- ‘Loud’ luxury is often more affordable
- Making the decision between ‘quiet’ vs. ‘loud’ luxury isn’t easy
As the future unfolds, one thing is for sure- Gen Z will continue to break barriers and take bold steps when it comes to redefining luxury and fashion. With their fearless approach, it’s no surprise that “Quiet Luxury” will remain a thing of the past.