For decades, teenagers and young adults have looked to the world of celebrity for fashion and lifestyle inspiration. As far back as the 50s, young people were following how their favorite pop stars and movie stars dressed, where they shopped, who they dated, and where they hung out. Then, as far as possible, copy them. Instead of dressing and behaving like they were younger versions of their parents.

At that time, young people did not have much access to their idols. They had to rely on the occasional press or magazine story. If they were really lucky their idol would appear briefly on a TV show. Yet, despite this lack of media exposure these celebrities still became trend-setters. Unsurprisingly, they did this at a much slower pace than today´s celebrities do…much, much slower.

Take for instance the 60’s fashion phenomenon that was the mini skirt. Around 1964, the fashion icons André Courrèges and Mary Quant started selling skirts that finished mid-thigh, or above. Several huge stars of the day immediately started wearing them, including Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton. Despite the fact so many famous women championed the new style, it was another two years before seeing young women wearing them was the norm.

In today´s world, 2 years for a fashion trend to take off would be unthinkable. During 2 years, most young people will change the style of clothes they wear 3 or 4 times. More if they follow the chameleon-like Kylie Jenner. Since the early 2010s, she has been transforming the way young people dress and doing so several times a year.

During 2018 alone, she was identified as being responsible for millions of people starting to wear Adidas tracksuits, Dior sunglasses, Victoria Secret underwear, and mini dresses. When she wore a pink dress for her birthday, sales of pink dresses soared by 107% in just 48 hours. A fair bit faster than the 2 years it took for the mini-skirt trend to go global.

Kylie Jenner is the Queen of Social Media. A title she has more than earned. She was the No. 1 followed individual on Instagram from 20th Dec 2021, right up to 23rd February 2023, when Selena Gomez caught up.

Young people love social media. Recent research by Pew found that 97% of US teenagers use the internet and social media, every day. So, it is not surprising that new ideas and trends get seen and adopted super-fast. Typically, it only takes a week or two before virtually every young person is clamoring to change the way they dress or look. As well as what they eat, drink, where they go, and what they do in their leisure time.

Responding to what we see on social media is now second nature. So much so that some of Sydney’s most Instagrammed cafes have become busy that they have to regularly turn people away. In all likelihood, following celebrities on social media and copying what they do is here to stay. The habits you learn as a young adult are usually hard to break.

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