The definition of 'fashionista' may just have changed as new research shows women over the age of 50 are the highest increasing spending demographic when it comes to fashion. In 2013 females over 50 spent nearly 7 billion pounds on clothes and accessories, an increase of 4.5percent on the previous year. Interestingly, the under 50s spending fell 1.3 percent to 9.5 billion pounds.
The research comes from analysts Kantar Worldpanel, and suggest the over 50s account for 41 percent of the fashion market, and retailers such are Marks & Spencer are increasingly tailoring products for more mature buyers.
Ian Mitchell, Kantar Worldpanel’s head of fashion, said: “Marketers need to ask how they can tap into that age group. If you take the top 10 womenswear retailers and look at those who are growing, they are doing so because the 50-plus market is influencing it."
There is little correlation between age and style
Lee Pinnington, multichannel marketing director at Matalan, told The Daily Telegraph: “While there is a correlation between style preference and age, overall womenswear is about fashion attitude. Different customer groups have different tendencies, so one wants flattering clothes that follow fashion, another is keen to avoid looking like their mother."
Daryl Humphreys, head of marketing for BHS, explains why the retailer believes targeting specifically to a customer’s age is no longer an appropriate strategy, regardless of a single segment’s growth pattern: “We believe that it is more about attitude and lifestyle than age.
“The traditional age barriers are blurred and the belief is that customers of all ages are confident about fashion. Clever retailers are quickly adapting mainstream trends to all ages. There is more awareness about how to style yourself and that gives people confidence to be fashion-driven.”
Image: M&S over 50s model