Specialty retail and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands performed well for women, and Bonobos and Suitsupply were popular with millennials and Z Z for men in the apparel category, according to LEK Consulting’s Brand Hit Index survey. The index ranks brands by generation (Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X) across four categories of men’s and women’s apparel and footwear.
For athletic wear, Nike, Lululemon, Gymshark, Under Armour, Champion, and Adidas were among the top brands for both men and women. For casual wear, fast fashion labels such as Sheen, Fashion Nova, and PrettyLittleThing were popular among women, while workwear such as Carhartt and Levi’s were gaining popularity among men. Stalwart brands like The North Face, Columbia and Patagonia were popular for outdoor wear.
According to the Brand Hit Index survey, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors were the most popular apparel brands for both men and women in the United States. Nike, Lululemon, Gymshark, Under Armour, Champion and Adidas were among the top brands for athletic wear. Fast fashion labels such as Sheen, Fashion Nova, and PrettyLittleThing were popular for casual wear.
In the athletic footwear category, last year’s top brand for women surpassed Nike, primarily due to the popularity of millennials and Gen X. For men, Nike and Brand Jordan remain the two hottest brands overall, followed by Adidas and Under Armour.
For casual shoes, Crocs, Vans, Converse, Ugg and Allbirds were popular. Ugg was found as the top brand for women’s outdoor footwear, while Timberland and Columbia were the most popular for men. Younger consumers have shown a preference for outdoor/active sandal brands.
When it came to footwear, leading brands for women included Steve Madden, Coach and Michael Kors, with style and brand appeal the most important factors. For men, preferences vary across generations, with Cole Haan and Ferragamo being the most popular brands overall. New additions to the list are Jack Erwin, Sandro Moscoloni and Wolf & Shepherd, due to their popularity with millennials. Hugo Boss dropped from the top spot to number eight.
Laura Brookhiser, LEK Managing Director and co-author of the survey report, said: “While this year’s Brand Hit Index revealed several notable consumer trends, it’s worth noting that legacy brands that have been able to deliver a consistent message and experience over time, such as Nike and Columbia, maintained their strong overall performance—but consumers Also getting excited about up-and-coming brands like HeyDude, Hoka, and On.
“Not surprisingly, younger consumers prefer innovation and fast fashion like Sheen, Zara and Lulus, while older ones are more likely to emphasize comfort and quality like Patagonia.”
“Gen Z men are less engaged in the apparel and footwear category than others, as they are materially aware of only 10 brands. This is likely a result of the casualization trend, which is popular among the younger generation and has been amplified by the shift to work from home,” said Chris Randall, LEK Managing Director and co-author of the survey report.
The survey, which involved nearly 4,000 participants of US consumers aged 14-55, assigned each brand a hit score between 0-100, with higher scores indicating more popularity.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (NB)