Posts tagged with "Gen-Zers"

Is this the perfect pedi? Nail enthusiasts ditch local salons for medical pedicures.

November 10, 2023

When putting your best foot forward, your local mani-pedi salon may be a step behind. Women hoping for the perfect pedicure—and, perhaps, “Barbie feet”—are ditching their neighborhood nail spots and turning to an unlikely, less glamorous destination: med spas, reports the New York Post.

Rather than a simple soak, file, and paint, New York City beauty are instead opting for medical-grade foot services.

Medical pedicures have typically been a specialized health service for people who suffer from serious health issues such as diabetes and arthritis. However, the foot service—which typically costs $200—has gained the popularity of a younger crowd seeking the best pedicure of their lives.

Medi Pedi NYC in Midtown has seen a 75% uptick in younger customers—from 18 to 30—looking for rejuvenated feet.

“A lot of people were calling us and asking for availability,” Enajeona Carrero, an employee of Medi Pedi NYC, told the Post. “We were kinda confused but realized viral TikTok videos were the reason.”

The high demand pushed the medical spa to hire two additional nail technicians and expand its facility from three to five rooms to accommodate demand. Carrero said the viral videos have kept the med spa booked and busy, with some clients having to wait nearly four weeks to be seen for an appointment.

The TikTok-loving generation discovered the foot service when influencer Cat Quinn posted a TikTok review of her medical pedicure experience at Medi Pedi NYC, saying it helped her achieve the “perfect Barbie feet.”

A “medical pedicure” addresses issues such as athlete’s foot, corns, calluses, cracked heels, nail fungus, ingrown toenails, and nail discoloration. The non-invasive treatment bridges podiatry and basic nail care with a focus on assessing and treating foot issues.

Quinn’s now-viral clip with nearly 5 million views—not to mention, #medicalpedicure has over 160 million hits on TikTok—grabbed the attention of many Gen Zers, who were ready to book their appointments.

Medi Pedi NYC’s CEO Marcela Correa told the Post that she has applauded the uptick in younger clients since she advocates for anyone striving for healthy feet.

“It’s something that people get bullied for, so they don’t want to share their feet with anybody or be seen by anybody,” the licensed medical nail technician said. “People are always laughing about other people’s foot conditions and 90% of the time the condition is not even foot related.”

More people say they’re leaning toward the foot service at med spas over nail salons because medical pedicures are more keen on the details of the feet and nails. A medical pedicure’s process involves extensive cleaning, sanding, buffing, shaping of the nails and removing dead skin.

Correa encourages more people to keep up the appearance of their feet because sometimes it could be a warning sign of a more serious health condition such as heart disease or osteoporosis.

“Foot care is the most important part of your body,” she said. “If you take care of your mouth and you don’t take care of your feet, you’re not gonna smile with those teeth because your feet hurt.”

Finally, while Medi Pedi NYC is merely a medical spa, it often refers clients to podiatrists when the issues need special treatment.

Research contact: @nypost

Why own a diamond ring when you can rent one?

November 28, 2022

“Diamonds are forever,” if you were to ask James Bond–or just for a couple of weeks if you question Millennials and Gen-Zers.

Indeed, when it comes to younger consumers’ views about owning and purchasing jewelry, they are increasingly likely to treat precious sapphire rings and diamond pavé earrings the size of an almond like the latest “It” bags and decide to rent rather than invest in a purchase, reports WWD .

Jewelry rental services have been popping up here and there over the past few years—think Beekman NYCHurrRocksboxVivrelle, Switch, HauteVault, and more. They service an audience of women—and some men—seeking statement pieces to wear one night or day only, be it for charity galas or their bestie’s wedding ceremony.

Yet compared to their fashion counterparts, which have become somewhat mainstream, the jewelry sector—especially in the higher end of the product spectrum—has remained more niche.

The occasion-based model, emotional connection to jewelry, insurance nightmares, higher logistics costs, and lower margins are among the hurdles the category faces. But consumers’ appetite for more responsible business models and mindful spending is unlikely to wane.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of reinventing ownership and the sharing economy—why can’t we access amazing things for shorter periods of time?” questioned Victoria Prew, founder and chief executive officer of Hurr, a U.K.-based rental platform focused on fashion and jewelry.

“As a Millennial myself I’ve witnessed the monumental rise of sharing platforms such as Uber and Airbnb. As consumers, we rent our cars, we rent our houses; so my “lightbulb” moment came when I considered our wardrobes. Why can’t we rent those, too? There is no doubt in my mind that circular fashion is the opportunity that digital was 10 years ago,” she said.

Yet the scalability of jewelry rental services and subscriptions remains a mixed bag.

“The jewelry rental market continues to find its most success around events and occasions, where meaningful moments are elevated by pieces typically outside of consumers’ price range,” said Brielle Saggese, an insight strategist at consultancy WGSN.

“I would suggest that clients that are looking for occasion-driven pieces would be more inclined to embrace jewelry rental. That client might not invest in a particular piece, but if it is for an occasion, it might be worth the splurge, again for this brief indulgence, a moment of excess, which is a wide-spanning cultural sentiment, heavily infiltrating into the fashion and jewelry industries,” echoed Anush Mirbegian, director of accessories at trend forecasting firm Fashion Snoops.

Wedding-related rentals are an established category—from the venue to dresses and tuxedos—and the same increasingly applies to other formal or special events and even to vacation dressing, with pieces rented and packed just for the duration of getaways, as Hurr’s Prew explained.

But those aren’t enough to rely on for a significant business. Scalability comes with bigger audiences, more frequent rentals, and higher margins. It’s especially important as these platforms are being backed by investors—who are closely watching and crunching sales numbers.

For example, Rocksbox was acquired by Signet Jewelers last year; Vivrelle secured a $35 million Series B funding round earlier this month that included the likes of Lily Collins, Nina Dobrev, and entrepreneur Morgan Stewart McGraw.

So how can the sector engage customers monthly and make them return, beyond just parties and ceremonies? A strong offering in the right price range and speedy, high-end service all contribute to turning the experience from once-in-a-while rental to a monthly treat to oneself.

“When we first launched Switch, we expected that it would mainly be event-driven, but we quickly learned that wasn’t the case,” said Adriel Darvish, cofounder and CEO of U.S.-based Switch.

“Most members use Switch to borrow pieces for weeks or months at a time as a supplement to their everyday wardrobe. In response, we’ve invested in more timeless, wearable and versatile pieces. That’s not to say that there aren’t members that use Switch for events — for a number of members, that’s the primary purpose. Those members tend to gravitate toward funkier statement pieces and switch them out far more often,” he noted.

A data-driven approach to curation has helped Switch to assemble the right selection of pieces—often based on social media, and magazine and runway insights, to deliver high-end brands and elevated styles that could easily be part of daily outfits.

Platforms offering subscription models, such as Rocksbox, benefit from that model, engaging clients tempted to making a big impression for as little as $21 a month. Its edit of fashion and costume jewelry, which was enhanced last year with the addition of a demi-fine selection, caters to younger demographics. These represent the age group most likely to embrace rental versus ownership.

“Most of our members are jewelry lovers who wear jewelry daily and want to keep their jewelry wardrobes fresh every day. They also turn to Rocksbox as an option for their special occasions,” said Rocksbox President Allison Vigil.

When it comes to more expensive pieces, the average demographic also skews young—especially as global economic headwinds and the recession are shifting consumers’ purchasing behavior.

“With the impending recession, consumers’ mindsets are already shifting in terms of value, luxury, ownership, and access; where many will find true worth in both owning and renting for different purposes … they will more likely have both rented and owned pieces sitting in the same jewelry box,” Saggese said.

“We believe that macroeconomic factors are also in our favor,” noted Switch’s Darvish. “While we would never root for a recession, current economic conditions are leading to people becoming more thoughtful about how they spend their money. Rather than splurging on a single item, Switch provides a better bang for the buck, unlocking an infinite trove of accessories at a fraction of the price.”

He said the platform’s core clientele is aged 22 to 40, lives in metropolitan cities and appreciates the “convenience, efficiency and attentiveness” of the service.

Switch now has  a core membership subscription priced at $45 a month and will introduce a premium tier, called Switch Select, which will allow customers to rent jewels and handbags with an average value of $4,000. The waitlist for it, Darvish said, is already in the thousands.

But while convenience and the ability to experiment with different types of jewelry are attractions for potential customers, there’s a sentimental aspect to wearing—and owning—jewelry that could represent a challenge for rentals and subscription boxes.

“Consumers often attach more personal meaning to their jewelry than other items .… Rental services can’t replicate that kind of backstory. For younger consumers especially, jewelry trends are often about celebrating their individuality .… The nature of rental doesn’t allow for that kind of relationship, so services will need to reconsider how rented pieces can still act as a token of identity,” Saggese said.

Research contact: @WWD