Everything you need to know to design Gen Z fashion11 min read

Summary 

  • Designing Gen Z fashion can be a lucrative opportunity, as this audience is highly active online and eager to consume trends. 
  • To connect with this audience, it is essential to understand their behavior and what they look for when choosing a brand. 
  • Leverage the power of technology to deliver the best of Gen Z fashion. Try Audaces360 for free! 

Gen Z encompasses people born between 1996 and 2010. They stand as the first generation of true digital natives, meaning they were born and grew up with the internet as an integral part of their lives. 

Shaped by hyperconnectivity and access to lots of information from an early age, their approach to consumption is guided by a unique set of values. This leads to purchasing decisions that often differ from those of previous generations. 

To fully understand the motivations behind Gen Z’s fashion choices, it’s essential to consider some key aspects, which we break down in detail in the following paragraphs. 

Enjoy your reading! 

Why is it important to understand how Gen Z consumes fashion? 

Generation Z is characterized by two significant distinctions from the previous ones: they are used to making everything online and have high social consciousness. 

That’s why understanding their consumption habits is key to creating collections that resonate and drive sales. 

They grew up in a world marked by financial instability, climate change, and immigration crises, with constant access to real-time information through the internet. 

This exposure has shaped their approach to consumerism, leading to more thoughtful, cautious and less impulsive purchasing decisions. 

Traditional marketing campaigns that rely on impulsive purchase tactics are not efficient when targeting Gen Z fashion consumers.  

They are incredibly informed and engage in extensive online research, including social media feeds, news, and reviews from other users, before making a purchase. 

While they still seek a sense of belonging by participating in trending styles, their buying decisions go beyond aesthetics and price. 

They look into the brand’s background and transparency, considering its production ethics, social responsibility, and overall image. 

Learn more: Uncover the benefits of fashion trend forecasting for your clothing business 

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What does Gen Z look for when consuming fashion? 

To understand what drives Gen Z fashion and what motivates this audience with such specific characteristics to make purchasing decisions, let’s delve into some key topics. 

Practicality and comfort 

Aesthetics still play a significant role in Gen Z fashion choices, but comfort is no longer compromised for the sake of style. Instead, the challenge lies in striking a balance between the two. 

Research indicates a shift in the habits of younger generations, influenced by the social isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people now prefer to stay in rather than go out. 

This preference translates into a demand for clothing that is both practical and comfortable, yet still stylish and trendy. 

Sustainability 

More than any other generation, Gen Z firmly believes in playing their part in protecting the environment. This isn’t just idle talk — it’s an integral part of their reality. 

Whether actively or not, people belonging to this generation are contributing to mitigating the effects of climate change.  

Gen Z demands that brands also take responsibility for their environmental impact. Companies with a genuine commitment to sustainability are more likely to capture their attention and loyalty. 

Learn more: Find out how fast fashion and sustainability can coexist in the apparel industry 

Social responsibility 

Another characteristic of this generation is their political and social awareness. They take their choice of representatives seriously and, more than ever, expect them to address social demands. 

Gen Z does not shy away from their responsibilities in this regard. This is why they actively seek out brands that demonstrate ethical practices, promote diversity and inclusion, and act with a social conscience. 

When it comes to product promotion, Gen Z consumers seek to identify with the people featured in campaigns. They want to see diverse backgrounds represented and feel that the companies they purchase from share their values and purposes. 

Innovation 

A fashion designer using 3D software to design for Gen Z fashion.

Following Gen Z fashion trends requires a commitment to innovation. Beyond the delicate balance of aesthetics and comfort, brands must also consider the environmental impact of their production processes. 

Consumers are increasingly drawn to brands that prioritize sustainability. Therefore, embracing eco-friendly resources and adopting greener production methods can be a powerful tool. 

Transparency is paramount in building trust with this audience. Openly sharing information about your initiatives can foster a sense of connection. 

Demonstrate how your innovations are making a positive impact on the world. By highlighting the benefits of your sustainable practices, you can inspire them and build identification and loyalty. 

Learn more: Find out how print-on-demand clothing can help your creation 

Positioning 

Given Gen Z’s deep investment in social and environmental issues, promoting products without addressing these concerns can seem pointless. For this generation, sensibility and empathy in critical moments are key. 

Brands must show they’re aware of the world’s difficulties and willing to be part of the solution. This could involve supporting environmental initiatives, advocating for social justice, or promoting ethical practices throughout their operations. 

This audience is more likely to support businesses that align with their values and actively work towards making a positive impact. 

Simply selling good products is no longer enough — brands need a purpose that resonates with Gen Z’s aspirations. 

How to design apparel for Gen Z fashion? 

Now that you’ve grasped the attitudes and positions that connect with this audience, let’s delve into the practical aspects of designing apparel for Gen Z fashion. 

Generation Z is defined by hyperconnectivity.  They spend a significant amount of time online, following what’s trending in real time. 

This translates to the fashion industry, where clothing items can become a collective desire really fast. As a result, brands need to be constantly on the lookout and ready to act at the right moment. 

Learn more: A practical guide to sell clothes online and achieve more success 

Be authentic with your brand 

While following trends is crucial for engagement, it’s essential to distinguish between copying and genuinely incorporating trends into your brand’s identity. 

Authenticity is highly valued by Gen Z, and simply replicating others’ successes won’t speak to this audience. 

Take the essence of a trending style and add your unique identity, creating something that sets you apart from others. 

Choose clothing pieces that resonate with your audience 

Understanding your audience is paramount. You need to discern which trends are relevant to explore and which can be disregarded. 

We know, it seems like a lot of work, but staying connected and actively following their content will help you differentiate the subtle nuances of their preferences.  

Unlike younger generations like Gen Alpha who follow different fashion trends, and Millennials, the preceding generation who have distinct buying behaviors and preferences, Gen Z has its own unique language when it comes to fashion. 

By prioritizing audience research and staying current with the latest trends within Gen Z fashion, you can effectively make the best design choices. 

Bonus: collaborate with influencers 

A young digital influencer with a smartphone promoting Gen Z fashion.

Influencers hold immense power in connecting with Gen Z audiences. However, it’s crucial to choose the right partners, not just the one with the largest following number. If the influencer doesn’t reflect your audience, the investment will be ineffective. 

People are tired of repetitive content. Seek influencers who align with your brand’s values and bring fresh perspectives to trending topics. 

If you are new in the market, don’t let a limited budget hinder your digital marketing efforts. 

Partnering with smaller influencers can be a strategic move. You can collaborate to grow together, fostering a long-lasting and loyal partnership. 

Learn more: What are trendsetters, and why are they important to fashion? 

How can technology help design successful Gen Z fashion? 

Technology has emerged as a powerful ally for fashion designers, streamlining the process, saving resources, and promoting a more sustainable approach. 

Let’s explore how technology can enhance your creations: 

Providing freedom for creation 

By automating repetitive tasks, you unlock precious time for what truly matters: creating captivating Gen Z fashion. 

Optimizing your processes frees your mind to explore innovative and creative ideas. 

With a streamlined workflow, you can fully focus on crafting designs that are both commercially attractive and viable for your target audience. 

Some smart tools, such as Artificial Intelligence specifically developed for fashion, will help you find fresh concepts and ideas to ignite your design process. 

Allowing simulation of patterns and textures 

Imagine creating intricate patterns and visualizing them on garments before even touching a thread. Advanced technology software empowers you to do just that. 

By simulating patterns directly on the computer screen, you can explore countless variations and refine your designs to perfection. 

This eliminates reworks and experimentation with physical materials, saving you time and resources while expanding your creative horizons. 

Learn more: 5 benefits of using 3D modeling software in your apparel company 

Enabling visualization of the garments’ fit 

3D mannequins empower you to create designs with perfect proportions directly in a virtual environment. This technology eliminates the need for physical samples, allowing you to craft entire collections in record time. 

The streamlined design process is especially helpful for following trends and launching them while they are still popular.  

It also allows you to analyze in detail the fabric drape and fit on different body types. This meticulous analysis empowers you to make adjustments before going into production, ensuring a flawless design for customers. 

Design your Gen Z fashion collection with the Audaces360 multisolution 

Audaces360 Cycle.

Audaces360 Creative 

This plan includes the Audaces360 creative suite of solutions, which brings together the most advanced software in fashion technology. 

With it, you have access to Audaces Fashion Studio, which allows you to create simulations of garments in a virtual environment with realistic characteristics. 

Its powerful tools enable you to meticulously examine the fit, drape, and movement across a diverse range of body types and experiment with fabrics, colors, textures, and prints. 

Audaces Idea is another solution included in this subscription. Here, you can create precise technical drawings, ensuring exceptional detail and information accuracy. 

Apply and edit prints with intuitive and user-friendly tools, so you can focus entirely on your creative vision. 

Audaces Isa helps you with online collection management in real-time, with a mobile version that enables you to monitor processes and make changes from anywhere, right in the palm of your hand. 

You can also rely on e-mail and phone support, cloud storage, a knowledge base, and a platform with courses and training. 

In addition to all these features, you have the option to include Audaces Sofia, a fashion-specific Artificial Intelligence, in your package. 

Delve into 3D digital design in fashion with our comprehensive content. Download our ebook for free!

FAQ

Why is it important to understand how Gen Z consumes fashion?

Generation Z is characterized by two significant distinctions from the previous ones: they are used to making everything online and have high social consciousness. That’s why understanding their consumption habits is key to creating collections that resonate and drive sales.

What does Gen Z look for when consuming fashion?

Practicality and comfort, sustainability, social responsibility, innovation, and positioning.

How to design apparel for Gen Z fashion?

Leverage fashion trends to your advantage, be authentic with your brand, choose clothing pieces that resonate with your audience, and collaborate with influencers.

about the author

Audaces
Audaces is a global reference in the development of innovative solutions for the fashion industry, integrating processes, people, and technology.

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