Chart from Label Networks%uFFFD Hispanic Youth Culture Profile Report 2009: Top T-shirts by Gender

Each year Label Networks creates a separate Hispanic Youth Culture Profile Report covering what’s become the fastest growing youth culture demographic in the Untied States. As we’ve tracked over the last 9 years, what this genre of the youth population prefers and how they react to various influences provides key new understanding about the changes, trends, and market opportunities for many brands working in youth culture markets.

Fresh from our upcoming Hispanic Youth Culture Profile Report 2009 (available for free for Premium 2009 subscribers), in this story we take a look at the top preferences in T-shirt brands among this demographic within the ages of 13-25-years-old and by gender. As one of the most important components of youth culture fashion, knowing where things stand in the T-shirt marketplace also indicates many trends and changes in top brands and stores in general.

Overall, when asked “What is your favorite brand of T-shirt?” among the Hispanic population of 13-25-year-olds based on thousands from a representative sample across the United States, the top brand is American Apparel. But unlike the results of the general youth population from our North American Youth Culture Study 2009, when it comes to looking at results by gender and further down the list, American Apparel is clearly preferred among Hispanic females at 20.6% compared with 11.1% of males. Basically, this is a higher percentage among Hispanic females, indicating a strong marketplace for American Apparel as a brand and retail chain.

What’s interesting to note also is that the fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 ranks second among females within this demographic at 11.1% followed by Hot Topic at 10.2%, them Urban Outfitters at 5.4%, and Volcom at 4.9%. To compare over the past few years, brands such as Urban Outfitters and Volcom have greatly increased among Hispanic females where as old favorites such as Old Navy, American Eagle, and especially The Gap, have dropped considerably. Other brands to note among Hispanic females are that Hollister remains relatively strong whereas this brand has dropped overall among females in general if compared with the North American Youth Culture Study 2009. Glamour Kills is another important brand to note. Their messaging, styles, and neon colors continue to attract youth culture in general but particularly Hispanic youth culture as indicated by their percentages.

Other aspects to note by gender are that many action sports-inspired brands are within the top preferences for T-shirts within the Hispanic youth marketplace, whereas overall from our North American Youth Culture Study, many have dropped significantly (Quiksilver having the largest drop). For example, Roxy, Volcom, Hollister (which many consider surf or action sports-inspired), Vans, Famous Stars and Straps, Hurley, and Billabong are all within the top 20.

Among males, other top brands to note other than American Apparel include Hot Topic at 7.8%, Hanes at 6.9%, Volcom at 6.6%, and Hurley and Famous Stars and Straps both tied at 4.5%. Famous Stars and Straps has been high on the radar among Hispanic males in the past two years of our study and continues to attract this demographic for many reasons including it’s association with music (it was launched by Travis Barker from Blink 182) and its adoption by many influenced by motocross, car culture, skateboarding, BMX, and the after-market car market scene. Because this brand crosses over into so many realms, it’s been successful across the board within more demographics than most other brands. However Hot Topic should also be noted among Hispanic males for increasing greatly, especially because of the brand’s association with band merch and the various accessories the stores carry. The other aspect to note is that Urban Outfitters continues to move up the radar among both genders in the Hispanic Youth Culture Report indicating that the retailer, which many also consider a brand and therefore should be noted for that reason also, has tapped into the market potential of this growing demographic.

In many ways, those brands that do attract the Hispanic youth marketplace often have a better opportunity at longevity as this demographic continues to increase more rapidly than many other ethnicities and will continue to influence many other aspects of youth culture in general in the future.

For more information about the Hispanic Youth Culture Profile Report 2009, the North American Youth Culture Study 2009, or Premium Subscription, email; (323) 630-4000.