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Three trends that will dominate Gen Zs’ festive wishlists in 2021

Some gen z gifts

Gifting season is approaching at a rapid rate. But what festive items are Gen Zs lusting after in 2021? Here are our top three predictions. 

Collabs are king

Gen Zs love it when brands team up with each other. It shows a willingness to bend rigid brand personalities and create something unique – plus the products that come out of collabs are often limited edition, so highly sought after. 

We have, in part, luxury fashion to thank for Gen Zs’ love of collabs – Gen Zs in China have long been championing collaborations in the luxury space, and because this generation is globally-minded, the trend quickly found roots across the world. 

Since then, collabs have served as Gen Zs’ conduit into the luxury market, and an innovative way to discover new brands via one-off pieces. Certain collabs (E.L.F and Chipotle, Crocs and KFC) are more on the bizarre side – which in turn appeals to Gen Zs’ characteristic weird humor. 

This festive period, we predict that cross-dimensional collaboration will really take off. No, we’re not kidding. Balenciaga recently collaborated with Fortnite to include in-game customizable options, and Sims has a long history bringing homewares and fashion brands into its virtual universe. Gen Zs will only increase their appetite for cross-universe collabs – with a healthy appreciation for non-gaming-related crossovers, too. 


Is it really a surprise to anyone that Gen Z will be getting their gifting inspo from their favorite app? Our research does show that Instagram is still their top place to get ideas of things to buy – that said, there’s a growing interest in TikTok as the starting point for Gen Z purchase paths. 

But #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt might not be what you’d expect. A quick scroll through the hashtag reveals an array of inexpensive “life-hack” products – much like Gen Zs themselves, they are no-nonsense and practical. Think cleaning products, rechargeable candle lighters, vegetable choppers and lint removers. They don’t call them “generation sensible” for nothing. 

Many products that have debuted in the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt channel can be traced back to one of TikTok’s many subcultures. This is where cult beauty products are launched, under-marketed books find global readerships and cleaning enthusiasts share their dream detergents. We predict it’s also where Gen Z will get their festive gifts. 

Keeping it custom 

Personalization will be huge for Gen Z this festive season – and it’s something that we’ll start to notice across all verticals. From DIY clothes reworked from luxury pieces to tech that adapts to your preferences and responds to your needs, customization is the future. 

There’s a real social element to customization – particularly when the consumers are the ones doing the customizing. Many fashion brands might have initially baulked at Gen Zs’ desire to switch up their existing garments rather than buying new. But by making Gen Z DIY-ers your brand champions, you’ll build a lifelong relationship with a demographic that’s notoriously hard to keep on side.  


Customization is all about the journey one of your products might go on – which means that Gen Zs might “finish off” their festive gifts themselves, giving them a unique twist. Of course, there’s still a strong market for more traditional customization – the major sneaker brands have long offered build-your-own options. But brands should expect – and embrace – Gen Zs putting their spin on things. 

Something festive is brewing here at Student Beans – and you don’t want to miss it. Find out more here.

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