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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Teen Fashion market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report explores attitudes and behaviors of teenagers regarding
shopping, fashion, style, and clothing/accessories, including where
they shop, what influences purchases, and what innovations may
drive sales.

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has defined teens as
consumers aged 12-17.

  • Younger teens: aged 12-14
  • Older teens: aged 15-17

In addition to boys’ and girls’ clothing, this report includes:

  • Footwear
  • Winter Apparel (eg hats, scarves, gloves)
  • Accessories (eg handbags, jewelry)

This report does not discuss underwear, sleepwear, or swimwear

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Madelyn Franz, a leading analyst in the Retail sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

For fashion retailers, appealing to the ever-changing teen market is challenging. Teenage consumers are savvy, trendy, and price conscious. They have high expectations of apparel brands and are looking for a variety of styles and sizes, as well as relevant and poignant brand messaging. However, as teens are shopping with a limited budget, and are not necessarily dedicating all of their discretionary dollars to fashion items, these offerings are expected at affordable prices.
Madelyn Franz
Retail Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Definition
  2. Executive Summary

    • Overview
    • Themes
    • Teens are diverse and want the same from their clothing retailers
    • Fashion is an expressive outlet
    • Stay social
    • What it means
  3. The Market – What You Need to Know

    • Malls are still relevant, but not just for shopping
    • Teens have diverse interests
    • Teens have a unique look, and they want to show it
  4. Market Overview

    • Market perspective
    • Is the mall still cool?
      • Figure 1: Mall visits in the last four weeks, by age group and gender, 2018
    • Spend is shifting away from fashion
      • Figure 2: What teens spend money on, by gender, Fall 2018
    • Market factors
    • Childhood obesity rates are rising
    • Teens are diverse
      • Figure 3: Share of population by race and Hispanic origin, teens compared to total population, 2018
    • Teen population is small, but significant
      • Figure 4: Share of population, by age, 2019 (based on 2017 projections)
  5. Key Players – What You Need to Know

    • Partnerships propel teen fashion forward
    • Fast fashion slows down
    • Pink is for everyone
    • Teens may help usher in the end of traditional ownership culture
  6. What’s Happening?

    • Athleisure still going strong, with streetwear emerging
      • Figure 5: Nike continues to launch streetwear sneakers, June 2019
    • Shopping for a cause
      • Figure 6: TOMS Stand for Tomorrow Campaign, May 2019
    • Non-fashion brands step onto the runway
      • Figure 7: Forever 21 offers co-branded clothing, June 2019
  7. What’s Struggling?

    • Traditionally “teen” brands see financial hardships
      • Figure 8: Charlotte Russe announces rebranding after bankruptcy, April 2019
    • Fashion may not be a top priority
      • Figure 9: Spending more on fashion than other things, by Gender, March 2019
  8. What’s Next?

    • Fluidity is the future
      • Figure 10: Billie Eilish’s wardrobe defies gender stereotypes, June 2019
    • Second-hand will be stigma-free
    • Do teens still need to own their clothes?
      • Figure 11: AE Style Drop offers teen-focused fashion rental, May 2019
  9. The Consumer – What You Need to Know

    • Teens crave diverse offerings
    • Clothes are expressive
    • Start simple with innovation
  10. Retailers Shopped

    • Department store own the saturated teen fashion market
      • Figure 12: Retailers shopped, March 2019
    • Walmart is the one-stop shop, particularly for big families
      • Figure 13: Retailers shopped: Walmart, by number of children in household, March 2019
    • Most teens shop at a few different stores
    • Methodology
      • Figure 14: Repertoire Analysis – Number of stores visited, March 2019
  11. Shopping Behaviors

    • Teens prioritize affordability, but not necessarily at the expense of style
      • Figure 15: Shopping behaviors, March 2019
    • Time to socialize
      • Figure 16: Shopping behaviors of social media users, March 2019
    • Black teens are very trend savvy
      • Figure 17: Shopping behaviors, by race, March 2019
      • Figure 18: Actor Michael B. Jordan partners with Coach, July 2019
  12. Fashion Influences

    • Peers’ opinions carry serious weight
      • Figure 19: Fashion influences, March 2019
    • Teen boys are influenced by their role models
      • Figure 20: Fashion influences, by gender, March 2019
  13. Attitudes toward Shopping and Fashion

    • Fashion is an outlet for personal expression
      • Figure 21: Attitudes toward shopping and fashion, March 2019
    • Girls have fun with fashion, while boys stick to what they know
      • Figure 22: Attitudes toward shopping and fashion, by gender, March 2019
    • Black teens care about their image
      • Figure 23: Attitudes toward shopping and fashion, by race, March 2019
  14. Style Definition

    • Casual is king, for now
    • Teens show off on social media
      • Figure 24: Style definitions, March 2019
    • Girls are interested in fashion
      • Figure 25: Style definitions, by gender, March 2019
    • Younger teens are searching for their signature looks
      • Figure 26: Style definitions, by age, March 2019
    • Black teens have a strong sense of personal style
      • Figure 27: Style definitions, by race and gender, March 2019
  15. Interest in Retail Innovations

    • Interest in retail innovations is somewhat limited
      • Figure 28: Interest in retail innovations, March 2019
    • Teens want to engage with brands, provided there is incentive
    • Methodology
      • Figure 29: TURF Analysis – Interest in retail innovations, March 2019
    • Interest in innovation is driven by avid shoppers
      • Figure 30: Interest in retail innovations, by repertoire shopping groups, March 2019
  16. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Market data
    • Consumer survey data
  17. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 31: Who pays for clothing, by age and gender
      • Figure 32: What teens spend money on, by gender
      • Figure 33: Who teens visit malls with, by age and gender
      • Figure 34: Mall visitation in the last four weeks, teens by age and gender
      • Figure 35: Frequency of mall visits in the last four weeks, all teens
      • Figure 36: Mall visitation in the last four weeks, all adults
  18. Appendix – The Consumer

      • Figure 37: Shopping frequency, March 2019
      • Figure 38: Repertoire Analysis – Number of stores visited, by gender, March 2019
      • Figure 39: Repertoire Analysis – Number of stores visited, by race, March 2019
      • Figure 40: Repertoire Analysis – Number of stores visited, by social media usage, March 2019

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


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