September 19, 2023
Women Own This Summer
Women Powering the Hottest Summer Trends: From Barbie to Beyoncé
As summer comes to an end, we’re taking a look back at some of the hottest trends of the season. Spoiler alert. It was a very Hot Girl Summer.
From Barbie to Beyoncé to Taylor Swift, women took center stage and we’re here to explore just how women revolutionized the summer with their creativity and authenticity, increasing representation and empowering women around the world to be themselves.
The SHEconomy Reigns Supreme
According to a recent article by The Wall Street Journal, women are increasingly flexing their financial muscles, driving consumer trends and fueling economic growth. Now earning 77 cents on the dollar, women are contributing, “significantly more to household income than previous generations and remain the primary shopper for most households” solidifying that their influence has grown in nature and degree says U.S. Retail Equity Analyst, Lauren Cassel.
A recent study from Morgan Stanley found that in the coming years women will, “drive the economic conversation from both the inside—as a workforce propelling better company performance—and outside, as consumers powering discretionary spending and GDP.”
While there is still a long way to go before women can drive the same financial impact as men, cent by cent, women are finding their financial agency in a consumer-centric world.
The influence of women in the entertainment industry has reached new heights this summer, demonstrating their power not just in terms of earnings but in shaping cultural narratives. This empowerment is exemplified by figures like Taylor Swift, Greta Gerwig, and Beyoncé, who have used their creativity and influence to make an indelible mark on the summer of 2023.
Consumer Spending and Representation
Yes, women are earning more and thus spending more, but if this summer has proven anything, it’s that women spend when they see themselves in products and entertainment. Women are buying into representation.
Taylor Swift’s Musical Resurgence
With that in mind, today’s most influential women are using their platforms to take creative risks and speak to their audiences directly. They’re creating safe spaces for women to feel seen and empowered. For Taylor Swift, that meant embracing her decade-long discography to bring together new and old fans of her music. According to CNN and TIME, this will result in a record-breaking $2.2 billion dollars in ticket sales and $5 billion in consumer spending. But, it didn’t stop there. On August 31st, Taylor announced her tour was coming to the big screens at AMC, leading to $26 million of presale tickets sold on the first day.
This has led marketers to reimagine their approach and find ways to better connect with both loyal fans and a new generation of listeners. This musical revival resulted in staggering ticket sales and consumer spending, solidifying her status as one of the most influential artists of our time.
Greta Gerwig’s Barbie: A Cultural Phenomenon
Right on the heels of Swift, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie was released and became an instant cult classic and was the biggest debut of a film directed by a woman. With a star-studded cast, including Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, the film surpassed other blockbuster movies, such as The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, in worldwide earnings. Barbie has become Warner Bros.’s highest-grossing film at $1.34 billion dollars in sales worldwide (as of August 28, 2023), dethroning the seventh installment of the Harry Potter franchise.
Her directorial masterpiece took the world by storm, becoming an instant classic and the most successful film directed by a woman to date. The film’s cultural significance can hardly be overstated, as it challenged traditional norms and empowered women to be their authentic selves.
Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour: A Fashion and Cultural Movement
Then, there’s the Queen. Beyoncé’s much anticipated Renaissance Tour kicked off this summer and fans were more excited than ever to express their creativity. Inspired by Beyoncé’s wardrobe of silver, gold, and chromatic tour looks, women, men, and young girls everywhere flocked to stores, online shops, or to DIY some of the best fashion looks of the year. According to Boardroom, one fan said, “…it’s the closest thing any of them will get to the Met Gala.” On social media, influencers showcased their recommendations, while retailers across the country followed Bey’s lead, pushing out silver, metallic, and chrome looks faster than ever before.
Beyoncé’s influence extended beyond music and fashion, encouraging her fans to express their creativity freely and embrace the SHEconomy movement.
The Unintended Impact?
The unintended impact of this woman-led summer of entertainment extended to the business world. Statistics reported by Fast Company showed that women of color were responsible for opening 89% of all new businesses in 2019. Fast forward to the summer of 2023, and many of these enterprises experienced exponential sales growth, thanks in part to the cultural shifts initiated by these powerful women.
Beyond the Money, This Summer Women Made a Statement.
Whether it was Beyoncé asking her fans to ‘release the wiggle’, Barbie empowering women to be who their true selves, or Taylor Swift causing a Ticketmaster revolt, this summer women had something to say and they demanded to be heard. And the people listened!
Their impact not only transcends industries, it’s global. From entertainment, retail, and even transportation, women have revitalized local economies across the globe, using the summer to redefine womanhood, inspiring the next generation to dream bigger, express their creativity, and embrace who they are.
Women truly powered the hottest trends of the summer, leaving an enduring legacy of empowerment and representation.