Consumer Inspiration: Looking to Pop Culture

By Alissa Guzman, Lauren Lyons, Marketing, The Doneger Group
May 10, 2016

Everyone is vying for consumer attention, dollars and loyalty, from brands and retailers to celebrities and designers, yet it's often pop culture that wins out. With consumers looking for inspiration and non-branded authenticity, having the freedom to choose their own inspiration and style is pivotal: pop cultural today is hugely influential. Friends, news, memes and celebrity culture come together to form a mass of events and opinions, styles and statements. We are looking to pop culture as an overarching and influencing voice in the lives of consumers. We see it as a strong indicator of where fresh ideas, interests and inspirations can be found and mined by brands and retailers.

Celebrity Storytelling

The release of "Lemonade," Beyoncé's boundary pushing visual album is generating the type of buzz brands like Gucci and Calvin Klein have been trying to cultivate. For "Lemonade," Marni Senofonte and her army of stylists created inspirational looks that reflected antebellum, Victorian and modern day aesthetics. Her styles are dramatic, and curated from a mix of well-known and emerging designers. The film overall stresses the importance, even for celebrities, of creating an individual piece of storytelling.

Blockbuster Fashion

Beginning with the "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" exhibition in 2011, the appeal of museum fashion shows has steadily grown. The Met Museum's Costume Institute has become known for its blockbuster exhibits, and each year it draws in record breaking attendance. This season will be no different, as a new exhibition of over 170 gowns titled "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology" promises to seduce. With fashion taking up a new role alongside art, the influence of these exhibitions cannot be overlooked.

Subculture Style

Coachella is a lifestyle event that offers a yearly guide to west coast, festival and street style. From performers to influencers, looks to imitate are spread throughout social media channels. This year, with a capsule collection presented by H&M and Revolve's desert delivery service, retailers were quick to capitalize on the festival season in new and exciting ways. As festival culture becomes more and more mainstream, however, we are looking to new subcultures to generate fresh fashion buzz, and the overlap between underground youth culture and mainstream pop culture is fertile ground.