The Rise Of Psychographic Segmented Clothing Brands
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The Rise Of Psychographic Segmented Clothing Brands

We often look to others to tell us what is cool rather than deciding that for ourselves. These brands take advantage of this aspect by having their mission statement ever so grounded in selling an identity, selling "cool".

The Rise Of Psychographic Segmented Clothing Brands

MadHappy. Off White. BOY London. Supreme. We all know and love these brands, but why? What do these clothing brands have in common that draw in customers of masses and how are they becoming the definition of fashion culture?

It's because of two words: hypebeast fervor. These brands aren't primarily selling us clothing, and by no means are they selling us unbelievably unique designs or fits. They're selling us hypebeast fervor; the idea that wearing or buying into the brand has a greater conceptual meaning than just fashion consumerism.

With these brands and marketing styles comes an identity for the consumer and a group for them to be apart of. Street style, the category many of these brands fall under, has become less of a niche of fashion and more of a lifestyle. Off White, known for its pricey sweatshirts and irony-driven design, has pioneered the hypebeast movement along with Supreme (which, in case you forgot, had lines out the door of people waiting to buy a... brick, and resale went up to $1000 on said brick).

The point of my bringing up the irony-driven design and the brick is to demonstrate that this psychographic form of market segmentation is intensely effective. People are willing to drop thousands of dollars on an Off White wallet that says "CASH" on the outside. This isn't because customers are taking it upon themselves to inform others of what is in their wallets by having a description on the outside. It's because of the "hype" or "clout" that comes with it, thanks to the marketing of the brand that has played into people's interpretation of investing in it both financially and personally. On a similar note, I am not sure if a brick released by Zara or H&M would've had nearly the amount of success or demand as the Supreme brick did due to the value of edge that is integral to Supreme.

This might be due to the fact that our society has become dependent identity wise. We often look to others to tell us what is cool rather than deciding that for ourselves. These brands take advantage of this aspect by having their mission statement ever so grounded in selling an identity, selling "cool". We can take a look at the mission statement of BOY London to see this tactic in action:

"Beloved by the underground, but frequently courted by an overground hungry for a piece of BOY's trademark attitude, it remains the label that everyone wants in on. From Warhol, to Madonna, Punks through to New Romantics, club kids to fashionistas, all have worn BOY. Adopted as the uniform of choice for every youth movement that has mattered, the brand has outlived them all, with the unmistakable spirit that underpins all things BOY remaining the same today as when it was first formed…"

Here, BOY creates physical demand by first establishing an imaginative demand in our minds for BOY clothing. It also showcases all the different groups of people that wear BOY. Notice, however, that all groups mentioned are kinds with strong ideological bases that can easily be associated with what it means to be on the cutting end of style. BOY aligning themselves with club kids and New Romantics makes us feel apart of those groups as we buy in to BOY.

MadHappy has very similar attributes and tactics to the ones mentioned above, but where it is different is in the way that it opposes social norms and asks consumers to rethink certain parts of life. For instance, some of their merchandise has sayings such as "Log Off" or "Sorry, No Wifi." Also, in their very name, they ask consumers to see life as something that isn't supposed to be perfect and suggests that we should always strive to be MadHappy.

Through and mainly because of social media, all of us strive for perfection and are surrounded by content of other people's lives that seem to be perfect. MadHappy so eloquently pushes back on this aspect of our culture by telling us to, literally, log off, and become comfortable with taking life and people at face value, and to live a less contrived life.

These brands, as well as many more, are shaping the frame of the main ideas in our culture. By appealing to identity and lifestyle, they are changing consumerism and how fashion consumers interact and view the pieces they wear. More than ever, we are representing who we are in how we dress. This wouldn't be possible without the prominent psychographic aspect of this emerging business of streetwear.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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