Neil send me this link to a blog that has interviews with some pretty powerful people in the youth culture world. They’ve done a ton of work and research figuring out “what’s next.” If you want to know more about that – then hit the link. Here’s a clip of it, too:
Question: Typically, how long does a “young-people” fad last?
Answer: It depends on the country and age group, but generally young people do not think something is a fad. It’s just what’s happening right then. A 15-year-old’s sense of history is about three years, which explains, for example, why they think they’re creating punk rock, even though their parents may have listened to the Sex Pistols.
If something becomes “classic” than it’s more long term and most likely has become a part of several aspects of youth lifestyle. Such as Converse sneaks–most young people have no idea they were intended as basketball shoes. They represent quintessential punk. Timberlands have crossed over yet maintained their cred. Once used for utilitarian purposes, they are now the footwear of choice in various urban markets, particularly among the krumping scene in South-Central LA where it’s a part of the tribal street dance style, even if you’re wearing a pleated Brazilian-capoiera-inspired skirt with “American Apparel” type tube socks and arm sock-sleeves.
A Japanese trend that’s crossed over is BAPE–Bathing Ape–bringing colorful patent leather sneaks, characters, urban vinyl dolls, and entire collection of cool, inspired by manga to the States. I realize I just talked about a bunch of footwear examples, but hopefully it shows concepts of fads, trends, and quintessential classics.
We asked the question across all our global studies about information overload: “Do you feel there’s too much information coming at you to absorb?” The young people in the United States, Canada, and Japan said No. If anything, young people want more…they’re hungry. You can see this in our China Study too.
But the European results are much different. In the UK, they feel overloaded, saturated, can’t handle it; and in Germany there’s a similar feeling. It’s like they don’t want change as much. Whereas Spain, they’re far more into information in general and don’t feel that overwhelmed. Italy’s like Spain in that sense. Here’s a generalization: China and Japan are futuristic and optimistic; Western Europe is stuck in their history; and America has no past and no future–we’re Now.