Luxury fashion continues to be one of the fastest growing markets for Gen Z spending power in 2023. Whether it’s flexing on their mates with the latest designer drops or bagging the freshest high-end sneakers, students are willing to splash the cash to turn heads on campus—despite their famously tight budgets.
For luxury fashion brands willing to go the extra mile and build a connection with their student audience, the potential revenue opportunity is huge.
UK: £6.8b per year
The UK’s student population is 2.9m (2022)— and the potential spend on luxury fashion a year per student is up to £2400.
US: $33b per year
The US student population is 13.86m (2022)— and the potential spend on luxury fashion a year per student is up to $2400.
But how, where and why are style-savvy Gen Z buying luxury fashion?
Splashing on special occasions
From uni socials and birthdays to graduation, 1 in 3 students shop luxury fashion for special occasions.
And trust us, events and celebrations aren’t few and far between in the Gen Z social calendar. In fact, students are regularly splashing on special luxe pieces: around 1 in 4 students buy luxury fashion 1-3 times per month.
Hone in on student-relevant moments by creating campaigns with these events in mind: think grad gowns, end of semester party ‘fits, or workwear to impress at a new job. Need help connecting with your Gen Z audience? Our student-savvy experts at UNiDAYS are here to help.
Treating themselves to campus couture
But, Gen Z don’t reserve their fave fashion ‘fits just for one-off events, darrrrrrling. They’re always ready to serve looks in the lecture hall too, with 37% choosing a luxury fashion purchase when they want to treat themselves.
Keeping their finger on the pulse of fresh fashion, students are always on the hunt for their new fave brand or the latest piece to add to their wardrobe. 56% of UK students spend up to £200 per month on luxe fashion. Strategically-timed promotions can help students indulge in their monthly fashion fix: payday discounts are one way to tap into this audience when their bank balance is healthiest.
Miss out the middleman with D2C
Gen Z in both the UK and US prefer to swerve third-party retailers and connect directly with fashion brands, both online and offline. 46% of students typically buy online directly with the brand, while 1 in 4 prefer to browse new trends in store. This is in contrast to beauty, where multi-retailer brands have experienced a 55% YoY growth in engagements compared to direct.
Luxury fashion brands have a huge opportunity to leverage this Gen Z demand to shop direct; brands that work on building brand recognition, resonance and connection among students will have the edge on the competition. Creating an effective student discount programme that works seamlessly both online and in store is critical—and that’s something we know a whole lot about at UNiDAYS.
There's a huge opportunity for fashion brands to tap into entry-level luxury desire in Gen Z, laying the foundations for long-lasting relationships and lifetime affinity. Don’t miss out on this trendsetting demographic: connect with 29m+ verified UNiDAYS members now.
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