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Gen Z's top fashion brands of 2023

By Vivian Hendriksz


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Generation Z favorite brands 2023 Credits: Pexels

Generation Z, often referred to as Gen Z, represents a distinct departure from the fashion sensibilities of previous generations. This demographic, born between 1997 and the early 2010s, now comprises about 30 percent of the global population.

Unsurprisingly their approach to fashion has been profoundly influenced by their upbringing in a digital-first world, where media and technology are seamlessly integrated into everyday life. Gen Z's fashion preferences are characterized by a blend of comfort, self-expression, and a reflection of their personal values, a trend that is increasingly evident in their sartorial choices.

Now, as the older segment of Gen Z approaches their mid-twenties, their economic impact becomes increasingly significant. In the US alone, their collective purchasing power is estimated to be around 360 billion USD. This financial expenditure is predominantly focused on the fashion sector, with Gen Z showing a pronounced preference for investing in apparel and accessories over other entertainment forms. Highlighting the shifting landscape of consumer spending, where fashion takes a leading role in defining generational identity, some may wonder which brands have caught Gen Z's attention.

Nike #1 brand for Gen Z for apparel & footwear

Despite the increasing array of brand offerings, from casual leisurewear to high-end luxury, it's evident that trends continue to play a decisive role, especially among younger consumers like Gen Z. According to the 46th semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens® survey from Piper Sandler equity research firm, Nike remains a firm favorite among the younger demographic in the US, for both apparel and footwear.

Gen Z shoppers Credits: Pexels

With a 35 percent share, Nike was the number one favorite brand for clothing among Gen Z's, with Lululemon and American Eagle, with a 6 percent and 4 percent share, respectively, coming in second and third. Chinese fast-fashion retailer Shein was tied for fourth and fifth place with Pacsun, with both holding a 3 percent share. Altogether, these top five brands made up 51 percent of the preferred apparel brands for Gen Z.

Nike was also the most popular footwear brand, with a 61 percent share, with Converse in second with a 9 percent share, followed by Adidas in third with a 7 percent share, New Balance in fourth with 3 percent, and Vans in fifth place with 3 percent.

When it comes to luxury handbags, established brands continue to dominate the market, skillfully leveraging platforms like TikTok and other social media channels to engage with Gen Z consumers. Notably, Louis Vuitton, with 11 percent, and Kate Spade, at 10 percent, have both maintained a strong presence in this sector. However, it is the US heritage brand Coach that has emerged as the frontrunner, commanding a leading 19 percent share in brand loyalty.

Overall, the recent spending growth within fashion for Gen Z's in the US is largely attributed to male consumers, with brands like Nike Inc., Lululemon Athletica Inc., and American Eagle Outfitters Inc. becoming favorites. According to the survey, female consumers' spending on clothing and shoes decreased by 9 percent and 5 percent, respectively, year-on-year. However, it increased by 8 percent in accessories, reflecting changing attitudes.

“Our survey points to initial signs of a slowdown in teen spending," said Edward Yruma, senior research analyst at Piper Sandler, in a statement. "Inflation reached its highest mindshare in terms of political and social issues, right behind the environment."

Gen Z