Fashion’s obsession with youth could cost it billions

More than most industries, fashion is preoccupied with youth. It’s an obsession reflected in the barely post-pubescent models on its runways and in its ad campaigns, and in the sources from which it takes inspiration.

Meanwhile, nearly every country around the globe is seeing a rise in its number and proportion of older people.

That narrow focus on the young could become costly in the years ahead, the Guardian reports. In the UK alone,  households headed by someone age 50 and over will increase their spending (pdf) on clothes and footwear by more than 75% from 2018 to 2040, according to an estimate by the International Longevity Centre (ILC), a UK think tank focused on the impact aging is having on society. At that point, they’ll have surpassed under-50 households as the UK’s biggest spenders on fashion by a wide margin.

ILC warns companies ignoring these customers risk missing a big opportunity. It expects not only more older fashion shoppers in the UK, but also an uptick in their average annual spending on fashion, driven by growing incomes and good health lasting later into life.

Ageism’s forms vary in fashion. It can be as subtle as not considering older customers at all when designing clothes, or designing for them without any regard for style. In previous research, ILC found many of those surveyed felt products targeted at older people didn’t take aesthetics into account. “This was a particularly common theme among women discussing choice in clothes,” ILC said in a report (pdf). “A number of women indicated that they did not want the mass-market, high-street clothes that they perceive to be designed for younger women but also did not want the limited, staid choice they felt was offered by shops targeting their age group.”

(For more, Check out the original article from here)


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