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For American consumers, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors were the leaders for both men and women in the dress wear category, according to a survey identifying the most popular brands by generation and gender.

Specialty retail and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands performed well for women, and Bonobos and Suitsupply in the dress wear category were popular among millennials and Gen Z, according to LEK Consulting’s Brand Heat Index survey. The index ranks brands by generation (Gen Z, Millennial and Gen X) in four categories of men’s and women’s apparel and footwear.

For athletic wear, Nike, Lululemon, Gymshark, Under Armour, Champion and Adidas were among the top brands for both men and women. For casual wear, fast fashion labels such as Shein, Fashion Nova and PrettyLittleThing were popular among women, while workwear brands such as Carhartt and Levi’s were gaining popularity among men. Stalwart brands like The North Face, Columbia, and Patagonia were popular for outerwear.

According to the Brand Heat Index survey, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors were the most popular apparel wear brands in the US for both men and women. Nike, Lululemon, Gymshark, Under Armour, Champion and Adidas were among the top brands for athletic wear. Fast fashion labels such as Shein, Fashion Nova and PrettyLittleThing were popular for casual wear.

In the athletic footwear category, it surpassed last year’s top-ranked brand for women, Nike, primarily due to popularity with Millennials and Gen X. For men, Nike and Brand Jordan remain the two most popular brands overall, followed by Adidas and Under Armour.

Crocs, Vans, Converse, Ugg and Allbirds were popular casual footwear. Ugg was found to be the top brand for women’s outdoor boots, while Timberland and Columbia were the most popular for men. Young consumers preferred outdoor/active sandal brands.

When it came to dress footwear, the leading brands for women included Steve Madden, Coach and Michael Kors, with style and brand appeal being the most important factors. For men, preferences varied across generations, with Cole Haan and Ferragamo being the most popular brands overall. New additions to the list included Jack Irwin, Sandro Moscoloni and Wolf and Shepherd, due to their popularity with millennials. Hugo Boss has dropped from the top spot to number eight.

Laura Brookhiser, LEK Managing Director and survey report co-author, said: “While this year’s Brand Heat Index revealed a number of important consumer trends, it is worth noting that legacy brands that have been able to deliver a consistent message and experience over time, such as Nike and Columbia, have maintained their strong The overall performance is maintained – but consumers are getting excited about upcoming brands like Heydude, Hoka and On as well.

“Not surprisingly, younger consumers prefer novelty and fast fashion like Sheen, Zara and Lulus, while older consumers place a greater emphasis on comfort and quality, like Patagonia.”

“Gen Z men have a lower association with the dress footwear category than others as they are physically exposed to just 10 brands. This is probably a result of the casualization trend, which is popular among the younger generations and has been fueled by the shift to work from home,” said Chris Randall, Managing Director of LEK and co-author of the survey report,

The survey, which included nearly 4,000 participants who were US consumers aged 14-55, assigned each brand a heat score ranging from 0-100, with higher scores indicating greater popularity.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (NB)

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