Generation Z Is About To Transform the Luxury Industry — How Should Brands Pivot?

Gen Z girl
While it may be easy to disregard their opinions as “kids just being kids,” the reality is they’re going to be the driving force of our fashion industry in the coming years.

Generation Z is taking over. If you’ve spent any time on TikTok (or any social media platform, for that matter) over the last few months, you’ll know Gen Zers have strong opinions on just about everything. 

According to them, skinny jeans, the “crying laughing” emoji, and side parts are out, while mom jeans, middle parts, and pastels are in. While it may be easy to disregard their opinions as “kids just being kids,” the reality is they’re going to be the driving force of our fashion industry in the coming years. 

Dear Luxury Industry, It’s Time to Focus on Gen Z

In fact, according to Portia Antonia Alexis, who does economic research for the London School of Economics, millennials and Gen Z will account for 180% of the total growth in the global luxury market between 2019 and 2025.

I’m not the best with numbers and even I know that’s a lot.


According to Alexis, it’s crucial for luxury brands to start focusing on the Gen Z population and hone in on what they’re looking for. If they don’t, there’s a good chance their business will not do very well in the future. 

Into the Mind of a Gen Z Luxury Shopper

The second-hand luxury market has grown about 9% in the past year, indicating it’s more than likely a Gen Z behavior. Rather than paying full price for a luxury item, they’re looking to purchase second-hand products that fit into their budget. 

Sites such as or — which focus on re-selling luxury items — will benefit from this Gen Z growth. 

A Strong Social Media Presence Is Key

Long gone are the days of people shopping exclusively in-stores for designer brands. Instead, the younger generations are much keener to shop online.

Specifically, Gen Z tends to interact with luxury brands through social media, which explains why purchases influenced by online brand presence reached 85% in 2020.


It’s crucial for these brands to have strong social media campaigns, as online shopping numbers will only continue to grow. In fact, according to Alexis’s reporting, “online luxury retailing will emerge as the biggest sales channel in the global luxury industry.”

They’re Conscious Shoppers

We can laugh at Gen Z’s opinion on side parts, but the truth is they’re a generation focused on making a difference in the world. They believe in sustainability and supporting brands that advocate for inclusivity and social justice. Because of this, “purpose-focused” shopping will see a big push in the coming years. 

Gen Z wants to shop brands they feel take a stand on certain social issues, such as gender equality and racial equality. In fact, over two-thirds of Gen Z shoppers purchase items from brands they feel align with their values. 


Likewise, it is also important for brands to be focused on sustainability. Environmental awareness is very important to Gen Z and a majority won’t be interested in supporting brands that don’t take a stand on such issues. 

As the times change and we become more evolved as a society, it is important for brands to do the same. If luxury companies want to stay relevant and successful, they need to start focusing their attention on the Gen Z experience. Otherwise, they’ll be left in the dust alongside skinny jeans. 

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