Clothing brands that will dominate the industry


black friday teens shopping

Chris Franz/Getty Images

Teens shop in Fargo, North Dakota on Black Friday.

The apparel industry is getting increasingly competitive.


As fast-fashion companies usurp traditional retailers, the landscape is continually shifting.

To get an idea of which clothing brands will thrive over the next several years, it's smart to look at where teens are spending their money.

These are the top five apparel brands among upper-income teens, according to a recent survey by Piper Jaffray.

1. Nike


Nike Facebook

Nike has surpassed former mainstays like Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch to become a favorite retailer among teens.


The brand has been investing more in its women's sector, which is already paying off. By capturing women with a "girl power" message, Nike has the potential secure more young women as lifetime consumers.

2. Forever 21

Forever 21


Forever 21 is the epitome of fast fashion, as it quickly churns out affordable looks that resemble those seen on the runway.

Forever 21 has captured a demographic that Liz Dunn, CEO of Talmage Advisors, calls "aspirationally 21" - and this demographic doesn't care that Forever 21 allegedly rips off other brands.

"You're attempting to get the looks for less, right? The consumer is aware that the brand is derivative - that's probably why they're buying it," Dunn said to Business Insider.

Forever 21 is a private company and does not disclose its financials.


3. American Eagle

American Eagle has managed to avoid the fate of its competitor, Abercrombie & Fitch, which has been battling declining sales for years. The brand has been making efforts to eliminate inventory and to tone down on heavy promotions.

In the most recent quarter, American Eagle's same-store store sales increased by 10%.

4. Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren is a classic brand that teens are still wearing.

Recently, Ralph Lauren stepped down as CEO and Old Navy's (now former) global president, Stefan Larsson, filled his shoes.

Larsson successfully helped Old Navy execute a renaissance and capture consumers, so it's likely that he will help the brand.


5. Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters is known for its edgy and controversial clothing.

In the most recent quarter, same-store sales for Urban Outfitters increased by 2%.

Other retailers that upper-income teens love include PacSun, Urban Outfitters' bohemian sister brand Free People, H&M, and Vineyard Vines, and Nordstrom.

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