The Most Popular Brand, According To Teens, Might Surprise You

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Teens and their fashion choices — it's a never-ending popularity contest, and what's deemed cool in the hallways of any given high school can differ plenty from region to region (not to mention week to week). But the hottest brand with the demographic these days has actually been on top of the heap for some time now: Nike is the most popular brand for fall 2015, according to teens surveyed by research firm Piper Jaffray, and that's been the case since 2011.

It makes sense that the world's most valuable athleticwear brand would trump more traditional fashion retailers. To wit: leggings are making a comeback as an acceptable stand-in for real pants; the athleisure thing doesn't show any signs of tuckering out, and denim sales are getting dwarfed by yoga pants and other Spandex-packed garb. Plus, Nike has built the kind of formidable global marketing power other brands would kill for — you'd recognize that swoosh anywhere.

Forever 21 is also successfully grabbing the affections (and that hard-earned babysitting cash) from teens; the retailer came in second in the study, followed by American Eagle, Ralph Lauren, and Urban Outfitters, respectively. The bottom five brands on Piper Jaffray's top 10 are PacSun, Free People, H&M, Vineyard Vines, and Nordstrom, respectively. The four highest-ranked brands were the same in the firm's spring 2015 study, and Urban Outfitters moved up a notch for fall versus spring, taking Victoria's Secret's No. 5 slot. Victoria's Secret doesn't even rank on the fall 2015 findings, interestingly.

Business Insider reports that Action Sports Brands held the top spot from late 2008 to 2010, according to Piper Jaffray's findings. The company is comprised of Volcom and Electric, and it's owned by Kering (perhaps best known for its luxury portfolio including Gucci, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen). Hollister was the hottest name among teens from 2005 to early 2008, following parent company Abercrombie & Fitch's reign from late 2001 to 2004. Before that, Gap topped the list in early 2001.

That's quite a winning streak with younger shoppers for Nike, and it wouldn't be surprising if that swoosh continued to be a lusted-after emblem of cool in the classroom for a nice while longer.

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