Mellianials, also referred to as Generation Y, are defined as the “demographic cohort following Generation X.” There is no formal start or end to either generation, Gen Y is usually recognized as those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. For as long as millennials have been shopping, marketers have been trying (and struggling) to determine what these shoppers want and how they want to purchase it. For many of these marketers, a majority of their frustration comes from the fact that as soon as they feel like they have figured out this group of people and their purchase preferences, these preferences change. In other words, Gen Y is always keeping it fresh, keeping marketers and retailers on their toes. In the previous years, it has seemed that millennials have sought quantity of quality, preferring stores and brands such as Forever 21 and H&M, in addition to many other stores with similar strategies. All of these stores offer trendy clothes, shoes, and accessories at a much lower price, allowing shoppers the ability to purchase mass amounts of clothing with a total that is more appealing than a single item would cost with most designer labels. Another attractive quality of these stores is that they have their entire collection online, with the option to shop on the Internet, however they also have brick and mortar locations. This quality is appealing to this group of people because they have also seemed to prefer “shopping” online, but actually purchasing in the store where they can see and try on the merchandise before parting with their dollars.
While this idea of fast-fashion has been all the trend in the recent past, many millennials are getting tired of purchasing these clothes that are essentially recyclable and can only be worn a few times before needing to be replaced. With this fatigue has come the return of popular luxury goods and designer clothing. The fallout of this new trend in fast fashion has come primarily from this idea that it’s essentially recyclable. When many shoppers look back on their annual spending, they are seeing how high their total bill is coming to in comparison to what they still have in their possession. The result? Not as attractive as they may have once thought this idea of inexpensive clothing and accessories was – in translation, more is actually not always better. With this revelation has come a shift in the purchasing behavior that marketers and retailers have begun to notice in the recent past. That $2,000 Givenchy bag or that $1,100 pair of Jimmy Choo pumps that once seemed to be outrageous, now may not be that ridiculous and out of reach. This return of the popularity of high fashion does not necessarily mean that ever 22-year old college graduate is rushing out to the nearest Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue and giving their wardrobe a face-life at the start of each season. However, it does mean that in regards to wardrobe staples such as a classic pair of black or nude pumps, a little black dress, or a practical and classic everyday bag, these millennial shopper are more willing to bite the bullet and pay the premium prices for these products that they know will last a lifetime in their closet without going out of style.