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Jennifer Marks

Bright Young Things

Let's kick the year off on a bright note. I recently had the good fortune to attend a presentation by Fashion Institute of Technology home fashions students on the subject of emerging consumer segments. Here's what they're seeing:

  • Jet Set Execs (Kathleen McPherson): Female frequent travelers who spend just 1/3 of the year in their homes.

  • The Mombians (Christine Sullivan): Ethnically diverse lesbian couples raising kids.

  • Short-Termericans (Corinne Escobar): Baby boomers from other countries who spend part of the year in the second homes (usually condos) they own in the United States.

  • Living Apart Together (Gabriella Smith): Couples in which each partner has children from a previous marriage and each partner lives with his/her children in the home they occupied before the second marriage.

  • Whole Food Momma (Tara Moseley): Stay-at-home moms who buy strictly organic.

  • Storks (Jamie Fune): Singles from the United States who travel overseas to adopt children.

  • Farmetters (Holly Perham): Affluent, city-dwelling boomers who move to the country to run hobby farms.

  • Go Girls (Francesca Ofrias): Girls 14 to 25 years old who compete in motocross, live the motocross lifestyle.

  • Pocket Dwellers (Samantha Singh): Empty nesters and retirees whose desire to simplify their lives leads them to opt for smaller homes.

  • Uncle Sam's Club (Danielle Mirizio): Consumers who are dedicated to buying U.S.-made products.

  • Baby Bloggers (Kelly O'Connell): Older, first-time moms blogging about each moment of their child's lives.

  • BBOC (Kimesha Simmonds): Baby Boomers on Campus, who have gone back to college either to look for a new career or to explore areas of interest.

  • Penny Savers (Shannon Ballantyne): 30 to 40-year-old moms, often retired, who pride themselves on their money-saving skills. They are mega coupon-clippers.

  • Second-Flighters (Brittany Pfeiffenberger): Northeasterners who move to Florida then move halfway back, alighting in coastal or mountain areas.

  • Single and Satisfied (Katie Milam): The first generation of professional women, now in their 50s and 60s. They've replaced their husbands and boyfriends with social networks of their girlfriends.

  • Modern Romancers (Kelly Cielensky): Hipster boy in his 20s or 30s and boho girl in her 20s:modern equivalent of hippies who live green.

  • Righties (Alexandra Allinson): College students who go against the generational gain and actively support Republican political aims.

  • Retire-Less Women (Elisa Brotherhood): Women who start businesses after they retire.

  • Four and Twenties (Gabriella Giamquinto): Young marrieds who entertain at home rather than going out with their friends. Debt is a generation-defining condition.

Some of these groups are eye-poppers, some are head-scratchers. But you'd be surprised how many FIT students, when questioned, knew someone in a given category.

So hats off to the future of the industry. And best wishes to all in the dawning days of the new year. Let's all do the best with it we can.

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