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The NEXT 20: The Brands and Cultural Pioneers Shaping Youth Culture


Since the global COVID19 outbreak hit most countries in March, every single aspect of our lives has been disrupted. So too in all creative industries where physical events, launches, and gatherings have been fundamental marketing moments for brands and artists. While it’s true that influence, both its meaning and who’s driving it, has been changing for years, the speed at which this change is happening is accelerating faster than ever before.


The most innovative leaders of tomorrow embrace this change, it fuels them. They even saw it coming long before their industries were disrupted and the world moved online. It’s what’s always distinguished them from the old gatekeepers of authority — traditional media, big retailers and celebrities — who no longer hold the same power they had before.


Surpassing third parties to directly speak with their audiences, and using localization caused by the global pandemic to their advantage (yet broadcasting new projects globally online), are simply a few tactics The NEXT 20 brands and cultural pioneers — an emerging group whose power is their authority, not necessarily their reach. And who are the first wave to drive culture forward — are adopting to stay ahead. Those that can innovatively shift our time, attention and subsequently our dollars towards their new launches, by driving real change that benefits the greater good and makes us grow as individuals, win. The rest will fade.


As seen in our past two editions of The NEXT 20, the innovators in the list define youth culture at this point in time in the style space, whether it be through fashion, music, entertainment, art, activism, or other creative disciplines.These emerging personalities and brands write their own rules and serve as an early look into where society is heading culturally.


By no means conclusive, it’s them who Highsnobiety and Lyst — world's biggest fashion shopping platform — celebrate in The NEXT 20, an in-depth quarterly report ranking the next-generation brands and cultural pioneers on the rise. The core mission of this project is to improve the way forecasting in the fashion industry is done. To do this, we gave the power to the public, through global data collection, and enlisted external industry experts to go beyond the personal opinion of our editors alone.


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