Why You Should Pay Attention To Millennial “It Girls”

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Millennial girls are hot, says Goldman.

You remember the “It Girls” back in high school and college. They were the fashion leaders, typically attractive, usually athletic and always impeccably dressed and well-groomed. Well, it turns out these thumb on the pulse of fashion culture “It Girls” are actually predictive of future trends, as the clothes, make up and shoes these millennial trendsetters are wearing today tend to become the hot popular culture items of tomorrow.

Goldman Sachs decided to take advantage of this millennial group’s predictive ability, and in 2013 launched the annual Teen Vogue-GS brand survey, wherein they “leverage Teen Vogue’s  “It Girls” (fashion influencers between the ages of 13-29) to analyze the most important fashion, beauty, and retail brands in today’s marketplace.”

Athletic sector is hot in 2015

According to the the 2015 Teen-Vogue GS Brand survey, the Athletic sector showed significant momentum for the second consecutive year. Lindsay Drucker Mann and the GS team highlight that: “Nike now ranks as the #2 most loved brand by It Girls, while Adidas showed the largest gain in affinity this year of any other brand in our survey.”

Beauty and cosmetics remain strong among millennial women

The GS brand survey also noted that “Beauty stands out for being well loved and well owned.” The analysts go on to note strong momentum for prestige cosmetics in specific. Of note, Estee Lauder’s MAC brand has the highest It Girl affinity among all brands.

Prestige beauty brands score very high among millennial It Girls, are well owned, and currently enjoy positive momentum. The report points out favorite brands include MAC, Urban Decay, and Make Up For Ever.

Beauty retailers also performed well in the 2015 survey. Sephora is a highly ranked brands in terms of It Girl Affinity, and Ulta also received high Affinity scores and is showing strong momentum compared to last year.

Handbags, on the other hand, underperformed in this year’s survey.  Drucker Mann et al elucidate: “Similar to luxury, we saw generally weaker affinity ratings for the major accessible luxury handbag brands. Longchamp, Coach, Tory Burch, and Michael Kors all showed noticeable declines in Affinity from last year. Marc Jacobs and Kate Spade improved modestly.

The Apparel segment also remains under pressure as favorability metrics were broadly lower for the majority of Apparel brands. The GS analysts point to the greatest weakening in  year-over-year favorability on Delia’s, American Aparel, Hollister, American Eagle, Express, Charlotte Russe and Abercrombie. Calvin Klein has been the exception to the rule here, enjoying momentum and ongoing improvement in It Girl affinity word of mouth, and ownership rankings.

The 2015 Teen-Vogue GS Brand survey “Love List”

Millennial Women

The Goldman Sachs analysts also broke down the survey to create what they call their “Love List”, which represents the “best known, most loved, and most talked about brands by It Girls.”

The 2015 top 10 brands on the “Love List” were Forever 21, Pink, Victoria’s Secret, Nike, Sephora, MAC, H&M, Converse, Urban Outfitters, and Target.

Millennial Women

The 2015 Teen-Vogue GS Brand survey also ranked the names best positioned to break out with mainstream women as “Brands Rising”. This year’s top 5 “Brands Rising” were Topshop, Nasty Gal, Brandy Melville, Free People and Essie.

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