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Over two thirds of techies says they are “image conscious”

Tom Bottomley
27 February 2020

New research has turned the idea of the unfashionable techie nerd on its head, as data shows that on average 67% of UK tech workers describe themselves as “image conscious.”

Global audience intelligence consultancy EntSight has identified what it describes as a largely untapped market of style conscious techies, worth a potential £1.6bn in the UK alone. It also reveals that they are more interested in purchasing new clothes regularly than the national average.

Nicknamed “geek luxe”, the consultancy says this 12m strong group of both men and women is not currently catered for by mainstay fashion brands.

EntSight founder, Edward Bass, commented: "For years the narrative has been that techies are happy to dress casually in Star Wars T-shirts, but our data suggests that’s not at all the case.

"We have identified a surprising trend - that workers in the technology space, from young developers to corporate salespeople are much more image and fashion-focused than expected."

“Combine this with the fact they’re in the higher income groups and what we see here is an exciting consumer opportunity for fashion brands.”

Cambridge-based EntSight uncovered “geek luxe” during a partnership project with fashion startup DressCode, which makes tech-inspired designer shirts, including the CashCuff – a £135 men’s shirt that’s also a contactless payment device with a chip concealed within its cuff.

EntSight's research found that all four of DressCode's customer groups over-indexed for smartwatch ownership - they were seriously into wearables.

"This was not surprising, considering their tech credentials," said Bass. “But what we found much more unexpected was discovering the strong love of fashion - and in particular tech-inspired fashion innovation - that characterises their market.

"It turns out they were less niche, way more fashion conscious and more willing to spend on clothes and accessories than we had previously imagined. Partnering with DressCode led not only to the creation of CashCuff, but also to the discovery of an under-explored market, geek luxe."

Bass said that few brands are currently targeting the market for premium fashion which reflects the identity and passions of tech types.

"Only a handful of companies have already cottoned on to this market. Levi’s and Saint Laurent working in partnership with Google are examples, and Tommy Hilfiger and Under Armour have recently introduced technology enabled clothing, showing that were also early anticipators.

"We expect this trend to see success through the direct to consumer space and, for bigger brands and the high street, within the next three years."

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