Sadly, it’s no longer just teenagers that think the world revolves around them, with celebrated Aussie fashion designed Alex Perry now chasing the lucrative kids in his latest collection.
But high fashion, lavish clothing is not his game this time around, and on Sunday Perry announced the launch of his new range, ALX, set to target females aged 16 to 25.
“We have a lot of interest from younger girls – daughters of clients and girls who see me on television – but Alex Perry is not right for them,” Perry told news.com.au.
“She knows the brand, but she’s too young to buy into the brand. Those clients don’t suit the dresses.
“We loved the idea of designing great little dresses they can wear when they’re going out on the weekend. It’s for that younger girl and that type of clothing that she wants.
“In the fashion industry, we get so caught up in what we think fashion is supposed to be and what it should be, but what are girls actually wearing? There might be an amazing high fashion trend, but is anyone actually wearing that?”
Perry’s clothing still holds a hefty price tag of between $75 and $350, but compared to his main line of dresses, which cost between $1300 and $2200, it’s not bad.
The designer renowned for his sunglasses atop his bald head reckons there’s a hole that needs filling in terms of clothing for this age bracket, and while stores like Topshop, H&M and Zara offer affordable options, most are made of pretty poor quality materials.
These women are often still living at home, working part-time at least, and have a stack of expendable cash, which is frequently spent on clothes.
Speaking to news.com.au, retail consultant and director of research and strategy firm DGC Advisory Geoff Dart says this market could be valued “anywhere between half a billion and a billion dollars”.
“If you include what this group buys online, you’d be surprised at how large it is. They are also the children of cashed-up baby boomer parents, who often pay for things like rent and cars,” Dart said.
And while Perry’s beloved Jennifer Hawkins is typically the model fronting the fashion label, this time around YouTube video blogger and Instagram star Cartia Mallan has been enlisted to spruik the brand. The 17-year-old from Byron Bay in NSW has 257,000 Instagram followers and 274,000 YouTube subscribers.
“If you want to sell to 17-year-olds you have to talk to 17-year-olds,” Perry said of his decision to swap Jen for a younger ambassador.
“My niece is 16. She doesn’t shop like a 30-year-old woman shops. You have to be in their headspace. Jen Hawkins is an Alex Perry girl, but so is Cartia.”
“We stalked Instagram accounts to see what the sorts of girls we love and want to dress are wearing. We looked at what Taylor Swift is wearing, those iconic girls. I went and sat in nightclubs.
“You need to get out there and look at what they’re actually wearing, buying and where they are shopping. Find out where they shop and what they want.”