Trend Alert: Tween Fashion

Trend Alert introduces you to the latest trends that are impacting the daily lives of 16-24s.

The oldest members of Gen Alpha (the generation born in 2010 or later) will be turning 12 this year, which means they’re reaching the age where they start spending their own money on purchases such as clothes and developing an interest in fashion. Interestingly, this comes at the same time as several major brands are launching or relaunching fashion lines dedicated to the tween market: the group who aren’t yet teenagers, but don’t want to dress like little kids anymore.

A recent piece from Business of Fashion summarised the trend, citing examples such as Sugar & Jade, an online-only tween brand created by The Children’s Place, and Franki’s, a tween spin-off of Francesca’s, which now has its own physical stores and ecommerce site. Some of the biggest retailers in America have also taken a renewed interest in the demographic. Target launched their line More Than Magic in 2019 and Walmart brought back Justice (formerly known as Limited Too) last summer. Abercrombie & Fitch is doubling down on its kids’ line (for those aged 5-14) and making it more fashion-forward, according to Glossy. These brands mainly target tween girls, but some also cater to boys or keep their clothing gender-neutral.

Gen Alpha are often described as “mini Millennials,” as they typically have Millennial parents. Since the tween market had its last boom when Millennials were in their tweens, with brands like Limited Too and Delia’s often mentioned as examples, it makes sense that Millennial parents would be looking for the 2020s equivalent to introduce their children to fashion. The popularity of TikTok with Gen Alpha (despite them technically being too young to use it) is credited with driving tweens to take an interest in fashion, giving them access to trend content and outfit inspiration that they may not have otherwise been privy to. On TikTok, every user can find their fashion tribe, and as tweens find the ones they identify with most, there’s a growing market to offer them age-appropriate clothing that enables them to become part of those subcultures.

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