Nasty Gal, Nars and Others Climb Among Young Women's Top Brands

But Forever 21 Is No. 1 in a Surprisingly Steady Top 10

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What brands do young women want? Apparently a pretty steady mix, according to the third annual survey on the subject by Teen Vogue and Goldman Sachs.

In a new survey of over a thousand Teen Vogue readers aged 13 to 29, gauging factors including awareness and favorability, the top 20 brands were Forever 21 at No. 1, followed by Victoria's Secret Pink, Victoria's Secret, Nike, Sephora, MAC, H&M, Converse, Urban Outfitters, Target, EOS, Bath and Body Works, Sephora Collection, Urban Decay, Vans, Maybelline, Louis Vuitton, Steve Madden, Marc Jacobs and Free People.

"The top ten brands have almost the same for the last three years," said Jason Wagenheim, Teen Vogue's publisher and chief revenue officer. (Conde Nast said Friday that he is leaving the company after Thanksgiving as the magazine begins reporting to Vogue Publisher Susan Plagemann.)

Five brands made it for the first time to the top 50. They are: Adidas (No. 31), Calvin Klein (No. 37), Nars Cosmetics (No. 45), Tiffany & Co. (No. 46) and Nasty Gal (No. 48).

They took the place of Sally Hansen, Sperry, Clean and Clear, Charlotte Russe and Vera Wang.

"There is definitely an athletic trend, and we see footwear legacy brands like Timberland, Birkenstock and New Balance that are doing pretty well," said Mr. Wagenheim.

Many of the brands, both new and old, help themselves among young women with sophisticated use of social media, especially Instagram. "It was good to see that you don't have to be a startup to figure out how to do it," he said.

Female millennials also seemed to favor brick-and-mortar stores with a good online presence, with Nasty Gal being the only digital-native retail brand in the index. This, according to Mr. Wagenheim, also reflects the fact that for young women, the mall is still is a shopping destination – over 90% do their shopping both in physical stores and online.

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