America’s Fashion Conscious: Single, Coastal Women Using Amex

February 24, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Magazines | Retail & E-Commerce | Women

Fashion-conscious consumers in the US are overwhelmingly female, live on the east or west coast, and are more likely to use American Express for their purchases, according to an analysis by Experian Simmons that was conducted to coincide with last week’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York.

The research, which defines fashion-conscious consumers as those who read fashion-related magazines, examines several of this demographic’s characteristics as they relate to shopping behavior and decision-making, as well as the stores in which they are likely to shop, the products they are apt to buy, and the method of payment they most often use.

Key research findings about fashion-conscious consumers:

  • Women, in overwhelming numbers vs. men, rely on fashion magazines to help them determine their shopping lists.
  • Fashion magazines appeal to all ages and there is near equal distribution among age groups. However, consumers between ages 25 and 54 (20% of 25-34, 18% of 35-44, 18% of 45-54)? are slightly more interested in fashion magazines.


  • Those who aren’t married are 14% more likely to be fashion-conscious.


  • Those residing in the West and Northeast are more likely than the average adult to consult fashion magazines to help them decide the clothes they buy.
  • Younger consumers use a number of magazines to help with their decisions, while somewhat older shoppers tend toward INSTYLE and Glamour.
  • The fashion conscious consult the internet for their shopping. On a list of their top 10 online activities in the last seven days, online shopping and gathering information for shopping are at the top.


  • Jackets accounted for four of the top five apparel/accessory items the fashion-conscious were most likely to purchase in the last 12 months.
  • In the past 12 months, American consumers who use fashion magazines to decide what clothes they buy were 220% more likely to have purchased GUESS? brand jeans.


  • The preferred payment method of the fashion-conscious is American Express: Four of the top five credit cards used in the last 30 days were Amex cards.

Preferred Stores for Fashion Conscious

Experian Simmons also conducted an analysis of which stores the fashion conscious were most likely to shop at based on a series of attitudinal statements.

Key findings:

  • The fashion conscious who say they like to “make unique fashion statements,” are most likely to shop at Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Nine West, Hot Topic and Burberry.
  • Fashion conscious who “experiment with new styles” are most likely to shop at The Limited, Maurice’s, Sephora, Mandee’s and Nine West.
  • Those who say they “wear clothes that have stood the test of time,” are most likely to shop at Nordstrom Rack, Pamida Stores, Shopko and Lord & Taylor.
  • Fashion-conscious consumers who have “a conservative dress style” tend to shop at L’Eggs/Hanes/Bali/Playtex Factory Outlets, Naturalizer Shoe Stores, Sports Authority, Kohl’s and Talbots.

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