Comptoir des Cotonniers has depicted mothers and daughters, together, in its clothes for years.
Earlier this spring, actresses Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn were featured together by Almay, a photogenic pairing whose makeup ad was just one indicator of the increasing consumer importance of the mother-daughter duo. Others include the French label Comptoir Des Cotonniers, which has advertised its clothes on mothers and daughters, since 1997, as a key part of its brand identity. Lingerie company The Lake & Stars did more or less the same thing just a couple years ago, though they caught some flak from some news outlets for their particular depiction of a mother-daughter duo (which we thought was progressive, nicely non-ageist, and really not that racy at all).
These brands are all on to something — mothers and daughters have a growing mutual affinity for the same labels. And with their tastes getting closer, the duo becomes an increasingly formidable joint purchasing power, particularly when they go shopping together. According to a study by Jennifer Black & Associates, a retail stocks research firm, besides the fact that mothers and daughters are buying, more than ever, from the same stores as one another, when they do so together they’re more likely to buy more. (Our last visit to Century 21 with our own mother absolutely confirms this finding.)
Michael Kors and kate spade new york are two brands that both mothers and daughters consistently seek out, together, for elegantly on-trend styles that appeal to both demographics, but other labels are actively adjusting their branding — and their clothes — to generate interest from a younger generation without losing their older customers. Smart companies are responding to the new consumer tendency with a mix of styles that are trendy enough for the daughters, youthful but not too over-the-top for mom, and classic enough for everyone. Ann Taylor’s LOFT offshoot is one good example — the company re-branded the former Ann Taylor Loft label a few years ago to represent an overall younger yet accessible-to-all-ages look. And while Talbots still skews more toward mothers than their daughters, a revamped image that includes featuring famous faces recognizable to everyone (Linda Evangelista, Julianne Moore) offers a point of entry to the brand for the next generation.
Of course, some daughters are shopping with their mothers for reasons other than a fun Saturday afternoon. With those under age 24 experiencing an unemployment rate that’s more than twice the percentage of the workforce overall, this trend isn’t going away soon. As this particular joint consumer force grows, look for more and more brands simultaneously appealing to two previously very stylistically distinct demographics.