Category Archives: Research Swatch

RESEARCH SWATCH : 16-17 year olds talk about their lifestyle

Sample : 10

Age : 16-17 / female 

Profile : Boarding school 

Location : York

 

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 FASHION BRANDS?

Although top of the list are high street names such as Zara, Top Shop and H&M, I was really surprised to see how many the high end and luxury labels were also referenced such as Chloe, YSL, Balenciaga, Gucci, Vivienne Westwood and even Alexandar Wang.  Although the latter are mainly ‘desire’ brands, my trustee intern confirmed that several of her schoolfriends actually owned pieces by these brands as well.  Not only is this age group really fashion savvy, but they are also entering the designer world at an execptionally young age.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE?

Most of those interviewed had some kind of beauty routine going – notably cleanse, tone and moisturise. There seemed to be little interest  in using products with SPF – although some did mention that their moisturisers already had SPF in them.  They are not concerned with wrinkles and aging yet.  All girls wore make-up daily.

ARE THERE ANY BEAUTY PRODUCTS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?

Everyone responded with makeup as the must-have beauty product (no mention of skincare or accessories such as a hair brush or hair straighteners).  Again, I was surprised by the grown up selection of brands : Mac was the unanimous winner for this group, and for the other choices, think premium department store beauty and you get the picture.  One girl considered Elemis her beauty essential – an interesting answer given this brand is targeted at an older market, plus it doesn’t have the glitz and glamour of a beautiful fashion brand and/or aspirational ad campaigns behind it – this is possibly a brand handed down from mother to daughter?  

DO YOU FEEL HAPPY WITH YOUR BODY IMAGE?

The girls were generally contented with their body image which was nice to discover (although how much anyone would reveal about this personal issue in a quick snapshot survey is hard to know!). 

SIZE 10 OR SIZE 0?

70% would rather be size 10, 10% would like to be size 0 and 20% were kind of in the middle ie not as small as size 0, but not as big as size 10.  

WHAT MAGAZINES DO YOU READ?

Grazia is where these girls turn to to get their fix of fashion and beauty.  Other popular publications include Elle, Heat, Closer and OK; older target media such as Vogue and Tatler were read by several.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE TV PROGRAMMES?

The Hills, Gossip Girl, soaps such as Home&Away, Hollyoaks and Neighbours, plus re-runs of Friends and SATC.  Clearly everyone has SKY at home.

WHAT ARE YOUR THREE FAVOURITE MUSIC BANDS?

I have never felt so out of the music loop as I have after reading the responses to this question. Chris Brown was the clear winner, and brands mentioned twice or more included Avril Lavigne, The kooks and Rihanna. Less familiar to me, but seemingly popular amongst this set are Tegan&Sarah, Danity Kane, The Long Blondes, Sean Kingston, Sarah Bareilles, City and Colour and One Night Only.

WHAT 3 WEBSITES DO YOU LOOK AT MOST?

Top of the list is Facebook – it’s also the preferred social networking site amongst these girls – who’ve generally gone off MySpace.  They search using Google, but if they want to read the news they will go to MSN.  Other popular destinations include online fashion sites such as Net-a-Porter, ASOS, TopShop and Zara – these are more for browsing than purchasing, as buying online is considered risky by some, plus the fact that you can’t try before you buy is a put off.  Some are purchasing from Ebay. Hotmail is still the favourite email provider and apparently they don’t IM that much – texting and Facebook pretty much covers it.

HOW IMPORTANT IS YOUR MOBILE PHONE TO YOU?

No major surprises here but these girls can’t live without their mobile phones to keep in touch with their friends.  Functions used most are ringing, texting and sending photos.  Popular designs have been the Prada and Armani phones and new on the wish-list is the Samsung Tocco.  Apparently apple iphones were cool when they first launched but momentum hasn’t kept up and there was less interest with the new version which launched recently (the reason for this was unclear other than a general feeling that they did not live up to expectation).  Actually, when it comes to apple – the ipod is king to these teenage girls – followed by the apple macs and the iphone last.

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