Millennials Drive Up Luxury Accessory Sell-Outs

Millennials hate commitment — to a degree.
Edited, a retail analysis organization reviewed Millennial consumer behavior within the luxury sector. The research uncovered that despite the falling of overall full-price sell-outs in the segment, accessories, particularly bags benefited a rise in sales.
“With its low prices and swiftly developing trends, fast fashion has facilitated this demographic’s endless switching-up of garments. But that’s not to say the Millennial shopper isn’t attuned to the finer things in life, which is where luxury accessories play a key role,” said Katie Smith, senior retail analyst at Edited.
The research reviewed data collected from 30 U.S. luxury women’s wear retailers that included over 5,000 brands in the first half of 2016 compared to the first half of this year. On the upside, the study found that luxury retail discounts decreased five percent year-over-year, suggesting that retailers are turning to updated alternatives for improved revenue gains.
According to the analysis, the top-performing brands in this year, in descending order, were Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana. The handbag category posted the highest boost. The research found that full-price sell-outs of the item were up 22 percent with an average price of $ 1,465.07.
Gucci was the big winner

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Are Millennials Destroying Pop Culture? Short Answer: No.

Our resident Old Guys™ debate technology with a Certified Millennial™.

Lifestyle – Esquire


Fendi and Coach Get Real, Grittier With Millennials in Asia

HONG KONG — Millennials are growing tired of the luxury of yore and just want to “be real” — that was the message Fendi and Coach sent out this week in Hong Kong as the two fashion houses hosted parties targeted at a younger generation.
On Thursday, Fendi took out the basement of Cosco Tower in Sheung Wan, lighting the space up in a rainbow of neon lights. There was no Champagne here, just strong vodka mixers as a “no-holds-barred” attitude permeated the party. It was the second stop after New York for the “F Is for Fendi” initiative — the dedicated online platform for Millennials the Italian house launched in February — and the event saw a cast of pan-Asian cool kids come out to party: Korean pop star Taeyang, rapper Okasian, music producer Choice 37, Shanghai-based DJ Victor Aime and Japanese designer Alisa Ueno.
RELATED: Fendi Launches China Peekaboo Project >> 

The idea of authenticity came up several times in conversation during the night.
“What we try to tell our artists is don’t worry about what other people think or what you think is popular,” Choice 37 said. “Try to find who you are and your identity first.”
Ueno was candid about a slight outfit snafu

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Theory Taps Into Millennials

MILLENNIAL PROJECT: Is Theory tapping into some new design talent? The market has been buzzing that the 20-year-old company is developing a “Millennial collection,” where it’s asked young people on staff to design a separate capsule collection. The staffers are handling fabric selection to design as well as photo shoot production. Sources said the collection will be distributed to Theory’s own freestanding stores and web site. Like other major apparel brands, Theory has experienced a slowdown in sales at department stores and continues to be challenged by fast fashion and excessive discounting. The Millennial collection is reportedly being viewed as a way to ignite some fresh ideas and creativity from within the ranks as the company looks to empower the next generation of creative leadership.
A spokeswoman for Theory didn’t return a phone call and e-mail Friday seeking comment.

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Millennials Are Twice As Likely As the Elderly to Be Lonely This Christmas

And many young people are not seeking support.

Lifestyle – Esquire


Reunited Punks L7’s Message To Millennials: ‘Get It Together, Step Up’

Everywhere a music fan turns these days, it feels like a band at their height in the ‘90s is reuniting — and the quality of the ensuing musical output has varied widely from inspired to “why?!”

But there have been few reunions met with as much exuberance of critics and fans alike than that of L7, the explosive all-female Los Angeles grunge-punk outfit fronted by the effervescent Donita Sparks and known for their trashing, high-energy songs like “Shitlist” and “Shove.”

it all started a couple of years back when Sparks began curating the band’s Facebook page, posting photos, fliers and other band ephemera she was in the process of digitizing. In that process, Sparks also came across many hours of videos the band had shot during their original run. She showed them to filmmaker Sarah Price and the group decided to pursue the creation of a documentary using the newly discovered footage, launching a successful $ 130,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund it. 

The fan response to the Kickstarter and Facebook posts was so deafening the band, whose original lineup had last performed together in 1996, decided to give live shows another go, playing their first show in almost two decades together in LA in May. They followed that show up with a run of 11 shows in Europe and are in the midst of a mini-tour of 15 U.S. cities, playing Riot Fest in Chicago earlier this month.

The response to L7’s resurrection, especially from fans so young they weren’t alive when the band’s most recent album was released in 1999, came as a surprise to Sparks, she admitted shortly before taking the stage in Chicago’s Douglas Park. Her band is a good place, she said.

“A lot of people are like, ‘L7? Who are they? Who cares?’ And other people are like, ‘Oh, my God, it’s fucking L7!’” Sparks said. “We’re kind of in this cool, weird spot that we dig. We don’t have to be known by the masses, we just want to be known by the cool people anyway. We don’t have to convince the squares that we are a decent band.”

Decent doesn’t even come close to doing the band justice. Sparks and her bandmates — Suzi Gardner, Jennifer Finch and Demetra “Dee” Plakas — ripped through 13 songs from their catalog over the course of a taut hourlong set that felt like one of the packed weekend’s loudest and most-anticipated. One would have never guessed they were watching a band that “peaked” some 20 years earlier.

Closing with the thrilling “Fast and Frightening,” the band delivered on a request they made of the stage’s sound tent earlier in the set: to “melt off their balls and titties, in a nice way.” 

As much as the shows have represented a family reunion of sorts for L7, the Riot Fest set was also a literal homecoming for half the band’s lineup, as both Plakas and Sparks were born in Chicago.

Growing up in the Chicago area, Sparks said she turned to bands like the Ramones, Blondie and the B-52s, all of whom represented a level of eccentricity and unapologetic weirdness that provided solace from her “square” suburban surroundings.

After high school, she spent a year working in downtown Chicago as a foot messenger for a photo lab to save up money to move to Los Angeles, where she launched L7 with Gardner in 1985. The hotel the band was staying at while in Chicago actually overlooked the office building where Sparks delivered artwork on foot to advertising agencies. 

In Los Angeles, the band worked to develop their signature sound, a fiery blend of punk, metal and grunge elements, and were signed by Sub Pop, the label known for breaking artists like Nirvana and helping create Seattle-style grunge.

L7 didn’t quite breakthrough to the mainstream until their third album, 1992’s “Bricks Are Heavy.” They were even featured in a John Waters film, playing the part of a band called “Camel Lips” alongside Kathleen Turner in 1994’s “Serial Mom.”

They went on to influence a whole generation of women-fronted bands associated with the riot grrrl movement not only because of their music but also because of their politics. The band founded Rock for Choice, a decade-long series of feminist, pro-choice women’s rights benefit shows.

Sparks has stated in other interviews that she can see the need to revive the Rock for Choice series. Still, she admitted that she is disappointed in what she perceives as a lack of younger artists today who are embracing political activism at a time when many of the same pressing questions that prompted benefits like Rock for Choice remain unanswered today.

She is particularly concerned about environmental issues and though she said she was thrilled by the Supreme Court’s decision this year on marriage equality, she quipped, “If we’re all underwater, who cares if you’re gay [and] getting married.”

“I scratch my head and wonder why aren’t these younger bands doing benefits, I mean, are they? Are any of them organizing?” Sparks said. “We fucking built [Rock for Choice] from scratch. The Beastie Boys built the Free Tibet series from scratch. Are any young bands stepping up because I don’t know, they should be. I don’t get it. It’s needed now more than ever. Basically we’re the fucking Titanic sinking on every issue that we can think of. Millennials, get it together. Step up!” 

While Sparks is happy to see more popular artists embracing the term “feminist” she added that she would like to see more action in that arena as well.

“They probably are feminists but I don’t know how much that is speaking to teenage women, I really don’t. I mean, rock and roll women,” Sparks said. “If I were a teenager I’d be looking for ways to get my aggression and frustration out. I’d really just want to scream and yell at a concert because there’s a lot of stuff to be pissed off about.”

As for L7’s future past a string of shows on the west coast in November, Sparks said there are currently “no plans” for the band to create new music and that they have been exclusively focused on the live shows and the forthcoming documentary. Beyond that, she added, “you never know.” 

“We’re not being salespeople to get people to like our new album,” Sparks said. “We don’t care. We’re playing shit that’s 20 years old that people really like and they want to hear. It’s been a love fest.”

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Arts – The Huffington Post
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Let’s Stop Blaming Millennials for Everything

“Are colleges too politically correct for comedy?” was the overhyped bird flu/shark attack/Ebola of the news recently. Having had a less-than-stellar experience performing comedy at a college, I wrote a piece about the idea. I discussed my university show gone awry, and it got a decent little amount of attention. Right place, right time.

Most topics are polarizing, but the idea colleges were too PC found a home where both conservatives and liberals could reside. From the Huffington Post to the Rush Limbaugh show, many agreed that Millennials needed to toughen up and take a joke. They turned a concept involving an institution — universities — into a generation war and finger pointing: “Generation Y is useless!”

I’m not sure that accomplishes anything, and in my piece, I went out of my way to avoid laying blame on the students.

I discussed what happened, and reported the information I was given. I did note the kids were too involved with socializing and their phones to be a good audience, but I didn’t insult them for not getting my jokes. I also didn’t say the students found me offensive; I noted the young woman in charge said I was. I discussed exactly what I thought the problem was: a hypersensitive institution unwilling to take a chance while pandering to sensitivity. That’s on the institution, not the students.

No child ever becomes who they are on their own. Someone raised Millennials and instilled quirks and sensitivities in them. It’s easy to make fun of them for getting participation ribbons and attaboys for doing nothing, but who hands those ribbons out? What parent first decided their precious child couldn’t take having hurt feelings, and why did the rest of society go along with that? Is it because latchkey kids became parents and didn’t want their kids to feel as unloved as they did? I don’t know, but I’m curious. Understanding the root cause of a problem should be more important than yelling at the end result.

I’d also say it is unfair to blame Millennials for the actions of a university, and here’s why: A few weeks after my disastrous college gig, I spent a weekend at The Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase. It’s a comedy club in, you guessed it, Ann Arbor, MI.

Ann Arbor is a college town, where the school and city intertwine. University means students, and students means Millennials. When young faces entered the comedy club before my first show, I grew slightly nervous. Not paranoid, but a smidge unsure of my abilities. After all, the last time I had been in front of members of their generation things hadn’t gone well.

Once on stage, I started slinging jokes and wave after wave of laughter washed over me. As they say in the business, “I destroyed.” After all four shows I left the stage overjoyed with the audience response to my nonsense. Members of Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomer walked out of the showroom smiling and reaching for my hand; they all had a blast, and wanted to congratulate me on a job well done.

In those moments, I realized something simple: these people were at a comedy club. They came specifically to see comedy. They paid to see comedy. The students at my college show had shown up looking for something to do. Comedy was an afterthought, not their evening.

In my piece, I asked, “Are colleges destroying comedy?” The answer is no. Colleges may be hurting comedy on their own campuses, and by not allowing students to hear a variety of jokes and opinions they may be hurting that young person’s overall development, but they aren’t destroying comedy.

Comedy is doing just fine, and Millennials will laugh at funny when they make the conscious decision to step into a comedy venue and see it.

Maybe the best course of action isn’t to point fingers and blame an entire generation for how they were raised, but to confront the leaders of the PC movement. We know who they are, but I’m not going to name them here. Attention is their sustenance, and I will not offer them food of any sort. When they start their hashtag campaigns or social media assaults on comedy, however, I will mock them. I will mock, challenge, and call them out on their nonsense.

And I hope you’ll join me, whatever your age.

Nathan’s silliness can be found at

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Millennials Are The Least Religious Generation Yet, And Here’s The Surprising Reason Why

A large body of research shows that Millennials are significantly less religious than previous generations of young Americans. But as to whether the lack of religion seen in today’s Gen Y’ers (born between 1980 and the mid-1990’s) is transient or lasting, scientists aren’t sure.

But now a new review of surveys of more than 11 million adolescents, conducted over the course of almost 50 years, suggests that the religion divide between Millennials and their predecessors is a true generational one. According to the data, Millenials are much less interested in organized religion — and also less interested in spirituality in general.

“Unlike previous studies, ours is able to show that Millennials’ lower religious involvement is due to cultural change, not to Millennials being young and unsettled,” Dr. Jean Twenge, a psychologist at San Diego State University and of the researchers, said in a written statement.

Twenge is referring to studies like a 2010 Pew survey — which suggested that people may consider religion to be more important as they get older — and a 2014 survey that suggested Millennials do have a strong sense of faith in God, despite identifying less with organized religion.

Religion’s decline. For the new study, the researchers reviewed four surveys conducted between 1966 to 2014 and involving 11.2 million American adolescents between the ages of 13 to 18. They found that Millennials were less likely to attend services, less likely to say religion was important in their lives, and less approving of religious organizations than Boomers and Gen X’ers were at the same age.

Millennials “were also less likely to describe themselves as spiritual, suggesting that religion has not been replaced by spirituality,” Twenge told The Huffington Post in an email.

The decline in religiosity was found to be greater among young women than young men. The decline was also found to be greater among Whites than Blacks, and among Northeasterners than Southerners.

A cultural shift. What explains the religious declines? Twenge believes the changes may reflect a growing emphasis on individualism in U.S. culture.

“We found that religious involvement was low when individualism was high,” she said in the email. “Individualism is a cultural system that places more emphasis on the self and less on social rules. Individualism can conflict with religion, especially as religion usually involves following certain rules and being part of a group.”

As for whether the decline is a good thing or a bad thing, she said “I’d rather leave it up to others to decide.”

Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt “this is a time of dramatic change in the religious landscape of the United States,” as the researchers wrote in a paper describing the research, which was published online on May 11 in the journal PLOS ONE.

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Arts – The Huffington Post
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The Biggest (And Best) Difference Between Millennials and My Generation

We’re an enigma, those of us born at the tail end of the ’70s and the start of the ’80s. Some of the “generational” experts lazily glob us on to Generation X, and others just shove us over to the Millennials they love to hate. No one really gets us or knows where we belong.

We’ve been called “Generation Catalano”, “Xennials”, and “The Lucky Ones”, but no name has really stuck for this strange micro-generation that has both a healthy portion of Gen X grunge cynicism, and a dash of the unbridled optimism of Millennials.

A big part of what makes us the square peg in the round hole of named generations is our strange relationship with technology and the Internet. We came of age just as the very essence of communication was experiencing a seismic shift, and it’s given us a unique perspective that’s half analog old school and half digital new school.

You Have Died of Dysentery

If you can distinctly recall the excitement of walking into your weekly computer lab session and seeing a room full of Apple 2Es displaying the start screen of Oregon Trail, you’re a member of this nameless generation, my friend.

We were the first group of kids who grew up with household computers, but still novel enough to elicit confusion and wonder. Gen X individuals were already fully-formed teens or young adults when computers became mainstream, and Millennials can’t even remember a time before computers.

But, when we first placed our sticky little fingers on a primitive Mac, we were elementary school kids whose brains were curious sponges. We learned how to use these impressive machines at a time when average middle class families were just starting to be able to afford to buy their own massive desktops.

This made us the first children to grow up figuring it out, as opposed to having an innate understanding of new technology the way Millennials did, or feeling slightly alienated from it the way Gen X did.


An AOL Adolescence

Did you come home from middle school and head straight to AOL, praying all the time that you’d hear those magic words, “You’ve Got Mail” after waiting for the painfully slow dial-up internet to connect? If so, then yes, you are a member of the Oregon Trail Generation. And you are definitely part of this generation if you hopped in and out of sketchy chat rooms asking others their A/S/L (age/sex/location for the uninitiated).

Precisely at the time that you were becoming obsessed with celebrities, music and the opposite sex, you magically had access to “the Internet,” a thing that few normal people even partially grasped the power of at the time.

We were the first group of high school kids to do research for papers both online and in an old-fashioned card catalogue, which many millennials have never even heard of by the way (I know because I asked my 21-year-old intern and he started stuttering about library cards).

Because we had one foot in the traditional ways of yore and one foot in the digital information age, we appreciate both in a way that other generations don’t. We can quickly turn curmudgeonly in the face of teens who’ve never written a letter, but we’re glued to our smartphones just like they are.

Those born in the late ’70s and early ’80s were the last group to have a childhood devoid of all the technology that makes childhood and adolescence today pretty much the worst thing imaginable. We were the last gasp of a time before sexting, Facebook-shaming and constant communication.

We used pay-phones. We showed up at each other’s houses without warning. We often spoke to our friends’ parents before we got to speak to them. And we had to wait at least an hour to see any photos we’d taken. But for the group of kids just a little younger than us, the whole world changed — and that’s not an exaggeration. In fact, it’s possible that you had a completely different childhood experience than a sibling just five years your junior, which is pretty mind-blowing.

Napster U

Thanks to the evil genius of Sean Parker, most of us were in college in the heyday of Napster and spent many a night using the university’s communal Ethernet to pillage our friends’ music libraries at breakneck speeds. With mouths agape at having downloaded the entire OAR album in under five seconds, we built our music libraries faster than any other dorm-dwelling generation in history.

We were the first to experience the beauty of sharing and downloading mass amounts of music faster than you can say, “Third Eye Blind,” which made the adoption of MP3 players and music streaming apps perfectly natural. Yet, we still distinctly remember buying cassette singles, joining those scam-tastic CD clubs and recording songs onto tapes from the radio. The very nature of buying and listening to music changed completely within the first 20 years of our lives.

A Youth Untouched by Social Media

The importance of going through some of life’s toughest years without the toxic intrusion of social media really can’t be overstated. MySpace was born in 2003 and Facebook became available to all college students in 2004. o if you were born in 1981-1982, for example, you were literally the last graduating class to finish college without social media being part of the experience.

When we get together with our fellow Oregon Trail Generation friends, we frequently discuss how insanely glad we are that we escaped the middle school, high school and college years before social media took over and made an already challenging life stage exponentially more hellish.

We all talked crazy amounts of shit about each other, took pictures of ourselves and our friends doing shockingly inappropriate things and spread rumors like it was our jobs, but we just never had to worry about any of it ending up in a place where everyone and their moms (literally) could see it a hot second after it happened.

But unlike our older Gen X siblings, we were still young and dumb enough to get really into MySpace and Facebook in its first few years, so we understand what it feels like to overshare on social media and stalk a new crush’s page.

Time after time, we late ’70s and early ’80s babies were on the cusp of changes that essentially transformed modern life and, for better or worse, it’s shaped who we are and how we relate to the world.

Anna Garvey is the Director of Content and Social Media for WebRev Marketing & Design, a boutique firm in Chicago. In past lives, she’s also been an ex-pat in Italy and a 6th grade teacher on the Southside of Chicago. When she’s not scouring the internet for social media and blog fodder, she enjoys Netflix binges, soulful music and New Orleans culture.

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Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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