A quick survey of teen flicks could easily sum up the It Girl into an on-trend, domineering fashionista, who calls the shots. In Mean Girls she's both Regina George and Cady Heron. In Clueless she's Cher. In Bring It On she's Torrance. And, according to Goldman Sachs and Teen Vogue's latest survey, she and her posse are pretty loyal to the brands that they love.
According to Business Insider, the research firm and teen publication described the It Girl as one who is "more educated on the brands, owns more of them, and has stronger opinions on them." The publication polled more than 1,200 girls on 350 brands to compile its top 50 "Love List." Forever 21 hit No. 1 on the list among millenials, while PINK Victoria's Secrets came in second. In close running were Sephora, Converse, H&M, and the most coveted among us all, Target. Some of the most least favored were Vera Wang, Dr. Martens, Levis, and surprisingly, Charlotte Russe (the retailer's clothes are specifically marketed to young women, who they've thumbed "Charlotte girls").
To reach its top 50 list, GS and Teen Vogue measured familiarity, affinity and word-of-mouth. Business Insider reports that brands on the list had a 75 percent increase in "National familiarity," which the research firm says supports the idea that It Girls set the tone for others. In addition to influencing particular styles (Ugg boots and leggings anyone?), these specific girls are also setting the tone for where to shop and how often to shop there.
The It Girls in teen flicks are often high schoolers, who are both envied and inspirational (and sometimes downright mean) to their classmates. However, the It Girls polled in the Love List research span a different demographic. According to Teen Vogue's media kit, the median age of its readers are 23, and 59 percent are employed, which begs the question, "Why are so many 23 year olds so fond of Forever 21"? Of course, the brand offers countless style options, varying sizes and outrageously low prices. However, its merchandise is rather poor in quality, its return policy is about the crappiest one yet (at most Forever 21 stores, you can only return items for store credit), and let's not get started on the controversy. Nevertheless, girls, It Girls particularly, love Forever 21 and other top 50 brands, working hard to transform $19 jeggings and 5 for $25 boyshorts into major bucks for retailers.