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Trend Q&A: Key consumer mindsets, from nostalgia to nihilism

Y2K and '90s trends for kids, retaining brand loyalty and nihilism in the consumer landscape
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Jun 09, 2023 By WGSN Insider

Y2K and ‘90s trends, retaining brand loyalty and nihilism in the consumer landscape. That and more on today’s episode.

Want to know what’s next? Listen to the show where our experts from around the globe unpack your biggest challenges. This week, WGSN’s CEO Carla Buzasi takes us to London and New York to explore in-store retail strategies and the consumer desire to adopt different mindsets, from nostalgia to nihilism.

Watch the full episode below or read on for highlights of this episode:

Q: Are Y2K and ‘90s trends still relevant for kids and tweens?
“Absolutely. Things are only just getting started and the important thing is to keep evolving these two aesthetics to ensure newness. For S/S 24, we see Y2K and ‘90s nostalgia blending with rising pop punk influences, resulting in a rebellious, but joyful do-it-your-way approach to dressing.

“Look to the youth markets for fresh directions, with popular cargo pants and baggy oversized fits key. Give grungier pieces a vibrant update with acid brights and digital-inspired shades.”
– Hannah Allan, Kidswear Strategist, WGSN
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Q: What are some in-store retail strategies to retain brand loyalty amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis?
“We have seen an influx of retailers using more in-store signages, whether to describe a product, showcasing its material make-up usually from a sustainability point of view, for transparency and how a piece can be versatile for different scenarios.

“In terms of products, we’re noticing a quality over quantity mantra, whether focusing on classic or bestseller pieces for familiarity, or releasing a permanent wardrobe capsule collection that only consists of essential and stable pieces.”
– Rhoneil Tiburcio, Retail & Buying Strategist, WGSN
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Q: How is nihilism shifting the consumer landscape?
“Nihilistic sentiments have been bubbling up for years among Millennials, accelerated by the emotional turbulence of living life through multiple once-in-a-lifetime crises. Sadly, things don’t look much better for Gen Z, as nihilism has slowly seeped its claws into a cohort often commended for its values and hopes for humanity.

“Many of them are leaning on digital media to cope collectively and feel less alone. TikTokers are inserting humour into the notion that nothing matters via the floating rock trend, which boasts over 1bn views.”
– Cassandra Napoli, Insight Senior Strategist, WGSN
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