How much buying power, if any, do African youths have, in Africa? Are American youths driving African inspired designs by Adidas? Recently, Adidas launched a limited collection of African inspired sports wear and apparel. The launch just adds to the already exciting “I love Africa” trend that has been ongoing. Adidas should be commended for selling merchandise that is fashionable, trendy, young, African and Western. The styles are edgy and fun for the Ladybrille young woman. The silhouettes are western, the fabrics are African, sophisticated and timeless. Voila, brilliant!
I, however, do not care for the limited editions Adidas has. It sort of reinforces the whole Africa as a fad. I want to see these “African” products become staples, especially in the classic form that Adidas has presented them. I also want an expanded view when it comes to fabrics of what is “African.” Also, is the launch of the Adidas limited Africa collection a result of looking at the demographics and psychographics of African youths in the USA and/or Africa? Is Adidas acknowledging African youths have a buying power? That sure would be nice so we could say, “told ya!” As of 2003, Harris Interactive, a firm focused on marketing research indicated that the “Generation Y population” which includes, “American kids, teenagers, and young adults, aged 8 to 21 years, have annual incomes totaling $211 billion.”
The report states that this “Generation Y” was spending at a rate of approximately $172 billion per year! This leaves me again with the question of whether the Adidas Africa collection is the result of the musthahave push byAmerican youths for an African collection in light of the Africa trend. While there are very positive studies and surveys done of Africans in the USA with governmental agencies like the US Census Bureau as well as private research companies like Target Market News, I would like to see similar studies for African women and African youths in Africa, the so called “Generation Y” of Africa.
I think the results would make a compelling case for liasoning the USA and Africa Fashion Industries to create products that can satisfy a specific and highly profitable niche market. Ultimately, I hope it means the Ladybrille woman gets access to these designs right in North America and Europe at Adidas retail outlets and other boutiques we love to shop!
~by Uduak Oduok