Plugged-In Over Preppy: Teenagers Favor Tech Over Clothes

Nicole Myers, 19, outside an Apple store in Midtown Manhattan, said a phone was “a better distraction than clothing.” CreditHiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Excerpt from this article:

“It’s definitely more exciting for a lot of teenagers to have a new phone that can do lots of cool stuff than clothing,” said Nicole Myers, 19, a model in New York who emerged from an Apple store on Monday with a new iPhone that cost about $200. “A phone keeps you much more entertained. It’s a better distraction than clothing.”

Analysts and trend-spotters agree that a major shift in teenage trends, and in teenage spending, is underway. John Morris, a retail analyst at BMO Capital Markets, says that his regular focus groups with teenagers about what trends they find most appealing often stray from clothing.

…“Having a cool phone to show you’re plugged in is a huge part of people’s style, a huge part of life these days,” said Eva Chen, editor in chief of Lucky Magazine, adding that teenagers used smartphones to signal status in the way men used to do with ornate watches.