During the last edition of Bluezone in Munich we continued our SI TALKS format, this time under the motto “It’s a Consumer’s World” and as part of the project “Let Them Know” initiated by Bluezone/Munich Fabric Start. During four sessions SI’s Editor-in-Chief Sabine Kühnl talked to several experts about denim consumerism.

To find out more about the young generation's (denim) shopping behavior we asked three Gen Z representatives on stage to answer our questions: fashion-savvy teenagers Milena, Luis and Jeff, all living in Munich.
One thing became clear quite quickly: jeans do not breathe the spirit of rebellion and individuality for Generation Z any more. For today’s teenagers, they are a garment like any other and far from standing for coolness.

 

How important are jeans to you? How many do you own and what role does the brand play?
Milena:
Jeans are somehow important. I have seven pairs in different colors and shapes. Brands aren’t that important, but I like Closed very much.
Luis: I don’t have a target brand, I look at what suits me, what I like and where the price is right.
Jeff: Normally I don’t wear jeans.

 

Jeff, how could a brand convince you to buy a pair of jeans?
Jeff:
That’s hard. I’m happy with what I’m wearing.

Not really into denim: teenager Jeff Schmerz
Photo: MFS/BlueZone
Not really into denim: teenager Jeff Schmerz

 

Are jeans cool or rather uncool for you? For example, would a pair of Gucci jogging pants be cooler?
Luis:
I wouldn’t necessarily say jeans are uncool, but they are standard, just nothing special.
Jeff: I also think jeans aren’t the coolest trend product. They’re nothing new. A Gucci jeans would be different, but the price also plays a role.

 

What price would be ok for you? Do you have a price limit?
Milena:
I avoid going to expensive shops but rather to places where quality and price go together. The things shouldn’t be too expensive because I don’t know how long they fit me and if I’ll be grown out in half a year. But I can’t set a price limit.
Jeff: That depends. I’d buy a Gucci jeans with a 50% discount, even if it’s still very expensive. But for other brands that would be too expensive for me. I know it’s crazy.

 

But with sneakers the brand often plays a big role. When is the brand important for you?
Luis:
It’s different with sneakers, because social media is often used to tell you what’s in at the moment. Jeans look too similar to tell the difference.

Jeans look too similar, thinks Luis Borges
Photo: MFS/BlueZone
Jeans look too similar, thinks Luis Borges

 

Would it help if denim and jeans got a whole new look?
Jeff:
I think so. Many people wear expensive shoes to be seen with. That would also work with jeans if they had a clear sign.

 

Is fashion generally a topic? Do you, for instance, talk about brands and influencers?
Jeff:
People talk a lot about shoes and what people wear.
Luis: Right. Music culture also has a lot to do with fashion and influencers are also important.

 

What role does sustainability play for you?
Jeff:
Theoretically it plays a big role, but practically none at all. Even if I’m sorry, I don’t pay attention when I buy something. Non-sustainable products are not an exclusion criterion for my purchasing decision.
Luis: I don’t think about it in the shop either. At that moment I neglect that.
Milena: It’s the same with me. But I also like to buy brands that I know are more sustainable.

 

Do you buy from Primark, for example?
(all): No.


How do you find out about fashion?
Jeff:
I look at Instagram, blogs and what’s hot at the moment. That certainly has an influence on me.

 

What role do magazines play?
Milena
: None. If so, then I look at the Instagram accounts of the magazines.
Luis: I also look at blogs and Instagram accounts because they immediately share when new things come out.

 

How do brands get you?
Jeff:
That has a lot to do with who wears the stuff. If he’s cool, you can reach us.
Milena: I agree. I also look at advertising on Instagram when it’s cool. I don’t care if it’s advertising or not.

 

How do stores have to be designed to appeal to you? And what annoys you?
Milena:
It annoys me when the displays look confusing. Music can also be annoying.
Jeff: I don’t care about music. But it annoys me when I don’t find what I’m looking for right away. That’s why I prefer to shop clothes at stores (and not online) because I don’t like to have it sent.

 

What about the sales staff in the shop? Do you want to be addressed?
Jeff:
I want to be addressed in a friendly manner. Ignoring does not work at all. If they don’t even look at you, it sucks.
Milena: I also think it’s good to be addressed.
Luis: In high fashion stores you are often ignored as a teenager because they think we don’t buy anything. I don’t like that either.

Milena wants to be addressed in stores
Photo: MFS/BlueZone
Milena wants to be addressed in stores

 

And do you also want advice?
Milena:
That depends. If it comes across honestly, then gladly.



What’s your call on the fashion industry? What needs to improve?
Luis:
Fashion should become more sustainable but in a way that it’s a given.



Note from the editors: The interview is taken from our current issue #288, The Service Issue.

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