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Opinion and Insight

2018 Gift Guide: A Futurist’s Take

Need gift-giving inspiration? Look no further than next year’s trends from Mary Cass, futurist at JWT's Innovation Group

2018 Gift Guide: A Futurist’s Take

Our annual The Future 100 report rounds up the top 100 consumer trends to look out for in the year to come. Trends span technology, beauty, culture, food & drink and more—meaning there’s a little something for everyone on your list. 

For last-minute shopping or the most in-the-know person on your list, consider these gift options inspired by The Future 100: Trends and Change to watch in 2018.

 

A trip to Detroit

Stay at the Detroit Foundation Hotel, set inside a refurbished firehouse. Or the first-ever Shinola Hotel, from the Detroit-based watch and bicycle brand, opening in 2018. It’s all part of a fresh take on downtown Detroit—which is far from the only small city enjoying a rebirth. Second city renaissance (#23) shows Xennials and millennials leapfrogging the suburbs to reinvent second cities. In 2017, home search company Nestpick published a list of “Best Cities for Millennials” that named Amsterdam, Berlin, Lisbon, Vancouver, and Austin as top picks. For affordable urban getaways with artisanal coffee alongside a thriving start-up scene, think small.

 

A subscription to Brandless

Launched in 2017, Brandless is a cross between an online dollar store and an upscale private label brand. Each product costs $3, with values like organic, fair trade, and gluten-free on display. A $36 annual membership lowers the threshold for free shipping to $48. Brandless is hoping to appeal to cost-conscious millennials who care more about a product’s quality than its labeling, echoed by products like The Ordinary’s no-frills makeup line. Brandlessness (#31) is a novelty for the online generation—and a trend marketers should take note of.

 

Anything in Gen Z yellow

According to Haley Nahman, digital editor at Man Repeller, “Gen Z yellow (#96) is the natural evolution of Millennial Pink…It’s both nostalgic and modern. It has zest, energy, optimism.” Bonus: it’s gender neutral. This year, Gen Z celebs like Zendaya and Millie Bobbie Brown rocked bright yellow looks on the runway, while artists like Petra Collins used the hue in photography. Next year, look for this shade to make a colorful splash in fashion, branding and our everyday landscape. For the person who always knows what’s next, Gen Z Yellow will help them stay ahead of the game.

 

The Offset shaving brush

Men’s grooming products are in need of a serious overhaul. In April, men’s skincare was named one of the year’s top beauty trends by Google. Yet beauty brands too often view male customers through outdated stereotypes. Enter New wave men’s grooming (#58), the rise of high-end design cues in men’s skincare products. The Offset, a minimalistic line of shaving accessories launched in June from Follicle & Limb and designer Benjamin Hubert, appeals more to the Apple shopper than the man cave.

 

A stay at the Ned Hotel

In London, Soho House meets a five-star hotel in a historic building in the financial district. The Ned Hotel, a joint venture between the Soho House Group and the Sydell Group that opened in April 2017, blends hip amenities with elements of old-school luxury, reflecting a new form of luxury with a hip design aesthetic and laid-back attitude. It’s the perfect example of hipster luxe (#77), a trend that echoes beyond travel into homeware, travel and more. As the millennial generation ages, its tastes are evolving as well.
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