A recent survey by the brand-tracking group YPulse asked 60,000 Millennial and Gen Z consumers in the US which fashion brands they think are “hot” right now. The results highlight how the ‘athleisure’ trend has made some sports brands “hot fashion brands” in their own right.

• Clothes are a major theme among young consumers: 43% of 13-36-year-olds choose to buy clothes/accessories when they treat themselves.

• Young consumers are shopping online but also looking for in-store experiences to connect to brands.

• 95% of Millennials are active and 30% see themselves as core athletes (3x the US population).*

• Millennials value outdoor sports, where discovery and challenges prevail.

• Gen Z’ers see sports as a holistic wellness routine and a meritocracy symbol. These digital-natives enjoy using sports apps to add fun and share data (eg. burnt calories, distance travelled, speed). One Gen Z’er out of 3 shares content from a fitness app at least once a week.

• Brands are delivering youth-focused sportswear with an emphasis on design and comfort – performance shoe sales have dropped in favour of trendy athleisure footwear.

• Skateboarding has become the leader in streetwear designs for Gen Z’ers, which is impacting sneaker sales: six years ago, basketball sneakers accounted for 13% of US sales; today, they are down to 4%.* Skate brands such as Supreme and Vans are capitalizing on this youth athleisure trend.


*Millennials are defined as those people born between 1981 and 1996, according to the Pew Research Center. Gen Z shoppers are typically referred to as those consumers born thereafter.

*YPulse’s 2019 youth brand tracker measures young consumers’ relationships with brands based on a weighted 6-point scale, ranging from “Never heard of this brand” to “This brand is one of my favourites.” The survey asked respondents “Which of the following are hot right now?”

*Source: NPD Group research

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