10 Key Factors Driving the Spirited Trend

on 3/1/11

As the 'digital generation' are one of the most important emerging socio-economic groups for 2012 and beyond, The Trend Boutique thought that they would take a look behind the social shifts & lifestyle changes that are driving this dynamic group. Classed as those that were born after 1995, this group of children are the first group to have grown up where technology & being online has always been a part of their life. As discussed in our 'Spirited' Guide to the Season for Spring Summer 2012, this young generation are much more dynamic & forward looking than their older siblings, eschewing vintage in preference for new and conducting an even greater proportion of their lives online. 

The Trend Boutique take you through some of the key drivers behind this socio-economic & lifestyle trend:

No.1: End of the ASBO 

Announced by the coalition's Home Secretary, Teressa May in the summer of 2010 the end of the ASBO was seen as a real shift in terms of managing anti-social behaviour. Originally bought in by the Labour government, the ASBO was created to try & curb unruly families & young people, however the opposite became true with it becoming more like a badge of honour rather than a deterrent.

What it did do though was create a whole generation of young people who felt alienated & at odds with the local communities as 'hoody' wearers were seen as the 'scurge' of the UK and spawned the often mocked 'chav' culture. Will the end of the ASBO mean that young people will be seen as worthwhile, & important contributors to society or will the ASBO be replaced by another form of jurisdiction.

Hoody Graffitti by Banksy
Hoody Graffiti by Banksy 

No. 2: Education Cuts 

Despite the end of the ASBO, the recent spending cut announcements by the Coalition Government have radicalised the young as never before with many protesting due to feeling that their chances of a Higher & Further Education are being taken away from them. Raises in university tuition fees & corresponding funding cuts plus the abolition of Education Maintenance Allowances (EMA) has led to wide spread protests & rioting, what has surprised many is the young age of those taking part.

For the last decade or so there has been a lot of talk about the apathy of the young, however within a short space of time they have taken to the streets & raised their voices. It just needed something that they felt passionate about, surprisingly this is education. 

Teenagers at Recent Riots
Teenagers at Recent Education Protests & Riots 

No. 3: Digital Generation

This is the first generation to have grown up completely within a digital world. Unlike generations before who can remember a time before Google, Facebook and YouTube, this age group has been permanently plugged in. From spending hours gaming both on & offline to running their own TV channels or blogging their way to cult status, this socio-economic will probably already own & switch effortlessly from their iPad, iPhone, PC or MAC, laptop and XBox or Playstation. 

For this generation it is now longer about downloading vs uploading, on vsoffline, or virtual vs real, as this new technology & digital world is one that is just integrated into their day to day lives.  

I Pad
Apple iPad

No. 4: Everything for Free

With the end of the recession we have been looking for new social & economic models, and there is no generation better placed than this one to make this a reality. Through the digital world they do not feel as if they need to physically own things, so music, TV, & films are all watched on demand, when & how they want them. No need to even download they are happy to watch online or use free music sites, such as Spotify. 

They also enjoy swapping, sharing, collecting, making their own & being rewarded with free things, and it cannot be underestimated the influence that this is having on some industry sectors and is set to spread to others too.

Film Website Screenshot
Screenshot of Film Website

No. 5: Mobile World

Just in time for this digital generation is the growth in smart, touch-screen 4G mobile phones. Through improved broadband internet access shopping & even paying via your mobile is becoming a reality and brands & telephone service providers are quick to capitalise on this with plans to offer direct mobile-based promotions as you pass by chosen stores. E-bay have also already recorded record sales via mobile phones with 30 million people downloading their app in 2010. 

Added to this are other mobile applications that all work perfectly for this age group, such as location based social-networking sites, projectors & augmented reality, securing the mobile phone at the heart of this digital generation's world. 
Mobile Projector - CES
No. 6: Immersive Technology
The last piece of technology that we want to touch upon that is acting as a key driver for this socio-economic is that of 'immersive technology'. Advancing at a rapid rate we have already gone from 2D to 3D, and now holographic TVs & films are on the horizon. We have now started to immerse ourselves in this new technology allowing us to fully interact with it & use all our senses. 
Once again this generation is at the forefront having quickly mastered the likes of the Wii & now using the likes of Xbox Kinect. Look out for new 'immersive technology' being created over the next 10 years, some of which will make the current 3D TVs look almost archaic. 
X Box Kinnect
X Box Kinect 

No. 7: The Rise in Celebrity Kids 

It's amazing how the celebrity status has now been transferred to the offspring of the rich & famous. First you had the likes of Nicole Ritchie & Paris Hilton who really were in line with the 2000's celebrity culture - famous for being famous, however 2010 onwards sees the rise of über successful, and über talented celebrity kids.

With the likes of Daniel 'Diggy' Simmons (son of Rev Run) born in 1995, and at 15 already has his own sneaker line Chivalrous Culture & music career collaborating with the likes of Pharrell & Lupe Fiasco. Plus Willow & Jayden Smith who have both acted in major films plus Willow released the successful & critically acclaimed  'Whip My Hair' & is signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation. She is also a youth ambassador for children who have AIDS through Project Zambia. 

Tavi Gevinson & Diggy Simmons
Tavi Gevinson, Style Rookie and Daniel 'Diggy' Simmons

No. 8: New 'Slash / Slash' Generations 

Never mind if you don't come from a celebrity family, you can still find fame through your own talents & style, as seen with the likes of Tavi Gevinson who created her Style Rookie blog at the age of 11 and is now a regular on the front rows of catwalk shows.

This is the new generation of 'slash / slash' kids who are following their older siblings into the world of multiple occupations. The difference is that they are starting their multi-disciplined & multi-tasking lives at an even younger age, by the time they hit their late teens or early twenties they probably have already been a fashion designer, writer, musician, DJ or film star.  

Fanning World Screenshot
Screenshot of Fanning World (Dedicated to Dakota & Elle Fanning) 

No. 9: Slacker Kids 

So what gives this new generation their drive & determination? As we have already identified it is the unlimited access to the digital world that has opened up endless possibilities plus added to this is the exuberance of youth. It cannot, however be overlooked that this age groups parents are from the Slacker Generation or Generation X. Renowned for their inactivity & hatred of authority, in fact this socio-economic group love new technology & doing things in their own style - so perfect drivers for this directional group. 

In their youth, musical & cultural direction came from the likes of Punk, New Romantics, Rave & Grunge all of which were born out of a DIY spirit, that has been reinterpreted by their children.

Kurt Cobain Memorial Bench
Memorial Bench in Seattle, USA for Kurt Cobain. Image by KW Designs (Creative Commons License)

No. 10: The End of Vintage 

Last decade was all about vintage finds as a whole wave of nostalgia hit the country from 'shabby chic' interiors, Eighties retro & most recently a 'Make Do & Mend' aesthetic reminiscent of the Forties. For this generation, however, they are all about new using digital technology to create one-off pieces, whilst mixing & matching the odd technocraft design whilst embracing brand new styling. 

The new motto of this generation is to stop looking to the past as their is a bright future ahead of them, and of course its digital.

Vintage StoreImage by Bonnie Natko /Bondidwhat (Creative Commons License)

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article resources

For further information:

'Spirited' Sping Summer 2012 Guide to the Season - The Trend Boutique

ASBO Article - Daily Telegraph


Government Information - ASBO

Education Cuts Article - The Independent 

Mobile Phone Trends Article

E-Bay Mobile Phone Article - The Independent 

Holographic TV Article - The Times


X Box

Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

Daniel 'Diggy' Simmons


Willow Smith

Tavi Gevinson - Style Rookie

Dakota & Elle Fanning



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