October 2014: Global Millennials Who Set the Trends
By Claire Brooks
In the second instalment of our Fall GlobalCultureBlogSM, our global Millennial bloggers interview someone whose style they admire. Here are the trends in their lifestyles and philosophies.
‘Green’ has long been price of entry for brands which Millennial admire, but we see creative new ways to embrace sustainability. NYC store Reformation uses dead stock fabric and renewable yarns, countering the environmental costs of fashion while producing chic clothing. Our Milanese trendsetter does not even approve of electric cars and builds her own bike at a free workshop provided by anti-car activist group Ciclofficina. In NYC, Luna dreams about car ownership but feels it’s not affordable; she hopes the US will adopt Parisian electric car rental system Autolib.
DIY is a way to express individuality affordably and with the sense of hand that Millennials revere. An LA stay-at-home mom DIY’s her Hollywood home and plans to create YouTube videos to empower other moms to DIY an affordable stylish life (though her fashion choices like Splendid and must-have Isabel Marant sneakers are certainly not home-made) In Milan, an ethical film maker has written two books on ‘avant gardening’ (urban community gardening) and now promotes a store selling high tech lighting systems for indoor gardening on Facebook.
Millennials have a huge respect for classic fashion brands and for Vintage clothing. But forget thrift shops, Millennials want their vintage style curated (along with everything else). In Tokyo vintage kimonos combine craft with tradition while in Brooklyn, a Parsons fashion student shops designer vintage in local stores Friends Vintage and Beacons Closet which carry fewer, thoughtful selections.
While fruit-based cocktails have been around for a few years, they’ve gained new respect with the craft trend in restaurants. Our Tokyo trendsetter loves fresh fruit and Belvedere concoctions at Two Rooms. At Roberta’s pizzeria in Bushwick, NYC where the rooftop garden doubles up as their vegetable growing patch, the Garden Cocktail contains sorrel and purple basil.
For Milllenial trendsetter women outside the US, skin care is more important than cosmetics. In Milan, Mariella prefers Swiss biodynamic brand Weleda, while in Tokyo it’s all about herbals from Aveda and Jurlique and honey from Burts Bees. In NYC and LA, by contrast, neon nail color and Chanel lipliner are essentials.
‘Digital native’ is an understatement for our global trendsetters. Digital is the enabler of not only the career portfolio or social exchange but also of aesthetic experience and creativity. As Luna in NYC says (of Instagram) “everywhere my eye goes there’s poetry”. And for Millennial research specialists like ModelPeople, social media is now a primary source of visual ethnography.