I visited a client in Shoreditch the other day and something felt distinctly different – and looked different – were hipsters on the wane?
They certainly weren’t in the bare brick, natural wood and copper-clad eatery so favoured by them that my client and I were in? Nor were they visible in any great numbers in the streets outside around Old Street at the height of lunchtime.
So suitably intrigued I did a bit of digging and it transpires that the Millennial men of Shoreditch are shaving off their hipster beards and turning their backs on the austere environments that were once their favoured places to eat and drink.
What has caused this shift? Are they being influenced by their younger siblings and colleagues or is there something else at play?
Generation Z – those born between 1995 and 2014 – are more fond of ‘elegant connoisseur’ design. According to interior design company Modsy, this boils down to a slicker, more glamorous look – expensive-looking vintage rather than Millennial kitsch; bold splashes of colour and slick design pieces like Barcelona chairs.
If this trend were to gather momentum, it could see swathes of London food service businesses frantically re-design their interiors, re-thinking their food and drink offer and it could also throw their long-term online youth advertising strategies into disarray.
And whilst Instagram’s popularity endures, according to tech experts, facebook are struggling and twitter even more so.
It appears that Millennials are starting to tire of constantly taking selfies and hashtagging photos. And perhaps being constantly hip is becoming a strain, just as it did in the 60’s.
However, it is also clear that rather than a defined group, the hipsters have hugely influenced society in recent years and many of the trends of today owe it to their passion and lack of fear of being vocal – the increase in veganism being a key example which has led not just to meat free days but the invention of the phrase flexitarianism.
After the rise and fall of clean eating, flexitarianism has emerged as a much more achievable alternative to going full vegetarian or vegan.
And Meat Free Monday has become a brilliant excuse to focus on the incredible variety of veggies out there – the flavours, textures and wonderful dishes that can be created.
With studies showing that cutting down on meat has a number of health benefits including reduced risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease, flexitarianism gives individuals a way to improve their health without giving up burgers and steaks for good.
So it appears that it’s not only beards that are getting cut, its social media consumption and meat too.
And perhaps hipsters are on the wane too.
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