Pacsun, Pinterest lean into music festival culture to appeal to Gen Z consumers

For Gen Z, music festivals like Coachella or Stagecoach aren’t just about the music—they’re about self-expression. Because of how closely Gen Z links festivals and fashion, apparel brands are using the events to connect with the young festivalgoers.

  • Pacsun has teamed up with its Collective of artists and creators on music videos that feature members of the Collective and the retailer’s festival-inspired clothing collection.
  • Celebrity stylists Chloe and Chenelle have partnered with Pinterest to create a curated board of Coachella fashion inspiration, where users can pin or purchase items directly from brands like Nike, Lexxola, or Frankie’s Bikinis.
  • Pinterest will also be at Coachella with its Pinterest Manifest Station, enabling visitors to create their own festival trends via beauty and styling experiences.

Many plan their outfits months ahead of time, often turning to social media for inspiration.

  • Searches for Coachella, which takes place in April, start to increase as early as January, according to Pinterest.
  • 40% of those searches are driven by Gen Z, per the platform.

As festival season approaches, we expect more fashion brands to announce festival partnerships and activations, accelerating a trend that has been building over the past few years.

  • Last year, Forever 21 launched its “festival umbrella,” which includes a 2000’s-inspired collection in collaboration with TikTok influencer Alix Earle, a live activation at the Rolling Loud music festival, and a collaboration with musician Frankie Clarke of Frankie and the Studs.
  • “How do you become a natural part of [the Gen Z] ecosystem?” asked Winnie Park, CEO of Forever 21 at a CommereNext event last year. “Instead of talking at them, listen to them, engage with them, and be present with them.”
  • Shein has also dipped its toes into music festivals, sponsoring Stagecoach for the second year in a row in 2023.

The bottom line: Music festivals are a convergence of pop culture, combining music, fashion, beauty, and food all in one. Brands that want to increase relevance among consumers, particularly younger consumers, should find ways to elevate the festival experience via inspiration and in-person engagement.


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