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Ranked: Gen Z’s Favorite Brands in 2023

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chart showing Gen Z's favorite brands in 2023

Ranked: Gen Z’s Favorite Brands in 2023

People have a lot of choice when it comes to shopping brands, but Gen Z’s favorite brands may surprise you.

From leisure to luxury brands, and from sporty to socially conscious (or both), a variety of brands have become more readily available thanks to online shopping. But trends, especially for younger people, remain king.

What brands do today’s teens like? This graphic uses data from Piper Sandler to rank Gen Z teens’ favorite brands of clothing, shoes, and handbags. The September 2023 study surveyed 9,193 U.S. teens across a geographically diverse set of high schools.

One Company Tops Gen Z’s Favorite Brands

The study found that Nike dominated the rankings by a landslide. It was the runaway favorite brand for all teens in both clothing and shoes.

RankCategoryBrandGen Z Popularity
(Sept. 2023)
1👕ClothingNike35%
2👕ClothingLululemon6%
3👕ClothingAmerican Eagle4%
4👕ClothingPacsun3%
5👕ClothingShein3%
1👟FootwearNike61%
2👟FootwearConverse9%
3👟FootwearAdidas7%
4👟FootwearNew Balance3%
5👟FootwearVans3%
1👜HandbagsCoach19%
2👜HandbagsLouis Vuitton11%
3👜HandbagsKate Spade10%
4👜HandbagsMichael Kors8%
5👜HandbagsChanel6%

In clothing, Nike was the preferred brand for 35% of those polled, followed by Lululemon and American Eagle at 6% and 4% respectively. Inclusivity and diversity-focused brand Pacsun ranked fourth at 3%, further highlighting Gen Z’s preference for socially conscious and authentic brands.

Together, the top five brands in clothing made up 51% of preferred Gen Z teen brands. Comparatively, the top brands had a significantly stronger hold of the market in shoes, with Nike the overwhelming favorite at 61%. Converse (9%) and Adidas (7%) ranked second and third, but again attracted a fraction of Nike’s popularity.

Meanwhile, luxury brands have maintained a hold on the handbag market, with many using TikTok and other social media tools to attract Gen Z customers. Louis Vuitton (11%) and Kate Spade (10%) both had strong brand loyalty, but Coach took the top spot at 19%. Indeed, Gen Z is said to be responsible for “bringing Coach back.”

What’s Next for the Top Brands?

Piper Sandler’s survey also revealed a slight fall in overall teen spending, the first decrease seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Down 1% year-over-year, it has mainly been attributed to inflation and environmental concerns.

The decrease came primarily from female spending, as male fashion spending actually increased. In the female categories, apparel and shoes spending were down by 9% and 5% year-over-year, but increased by 8% in accessories spending.

As Gen Z deals with economic worries and sifts through trendy thrift stores, social media posts, and the values of companies, the onus falls increasingly to the brands themselves to attract greater followings.

If Nike can do it, so can the rest.

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