It’s really ironic how most people of the older generation would constantly mock and tease the millennials while 80% of the industry focuses on creating products that fit into the lifestyle of these constant underdogs who collectively have an estimated spending power of 2.45 trillion. This Gen C is by far the most influential group with regards to consumption of services & goods; not just consumption but connecting back and engaging through connectivity.
Millennials place a high emphasis on how they groom and represent themselves in the society where they have the upper hand in purchasing power. And it's well-justified. They represent the modern era of go-getters and doers who make things happen. They are the presenters of their culture, their individuality in a global scenario when they travel for work or leisure and constantly share their experiences over social media. Therefore, looking good and presenting their personality is an integral part of their identity. It is a reflection of who they really are to 'friends and followers' as the social networks call it. Increasingly, they are becoming more aware of who they want to be, and increasingly conscious about how they are presenting themselves, treating every impression as carefully as the first impression. Sri Lankan fashion movement and its signature tropical style is progressively being absorbed in the West.
Yet the reality behind what fashion can do to your personality, tell you about a person and their culture, and the power of digital influence lies underestimated.
All is fair in love and vanity right? Wrong. The millennials are game changers making vanity look differently in the eyes of an outsider - making it not only exciting but also rather perrenial - something which we used to frown upon, breaking the mould of how superficial the work of 'virtual influencers' is considered to be. They are deeply involved with their signature style, giving sustainable and ethical fashion a chance, finding true matches in traditional crafts like handloom and batik being revived in contemporary designs as handloom sarees, batik dresses and more.
Moving on to the number of social media users as well the rising stats on online shopping in Sri Lanka and finding your “inspiration” from people you follow on your Instagram - is MASSIVE.
However, there’s a major hit and miss with this - especially concerning the line that blows—following bloggers vs understanding bloggers. Fashion influencers are no longer just about looking pretty, they are no longer endorsing brands solely because of the money but for using fashion as a tool of self-expression and establishing who they are with a sense of style unique to one's personality.
Being an Instagram user, it’s alright to be a little cheeky and place that order on the latest platform boots or the leather jeans your favorite blogger is wearing on his or her latest post - but the takeaway should always be to try to extract the true meaning behind the outfits these influencers wear that FIT YOU. This really gets your creative juices flowing and makes you sit and think about how would you like to be seen. Does your jacket scream independent woman? Does the shade of your lipstick say bold and sexy or does your necklace make you feel confident? Fashion itself is an art that needs time and intellect to understand.
There is more to this than meets the eye.
Instagram and fashion is constantly called out on as being a facade or “I’m just doing this for the gram” - which isn’t necessarily true. For instance, you will probably never see me in anything but a dark shade of lipstick to almost any outfit not because I’m morbid but because it makes me feel fierce. The hijab I wrap with every outfit, is not just because I’m Muslim and it’s something my religion asks of me but because it’s a part of who I am as a person, to making me feel extremely powerful. As a young teen, fashion always meant looking pretty and cool but there multiple perspectives to this and it’s most certainly not just in vain.
What your personal style and confidence can do to your personality is something you'll know yourself when you try it yourself. You can either feel like a Wonder Woman in a Wonder Woman bodysuit merchandise or you can create your own power look with your wardrobe, every single day. Change the world with your effortless style and be YOU.