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Our most recent guest blogger is Hannah Romaine, 16, from Walpole, MA. We asked Hannah a few questions about her shopping habits and brand preferences, and what she believes the future has in store. Here are her answers to our questions: What type of the shopper do you consider yourself to be? I consider myself a shopper that always has something in mind. This means when I'm shopping I don't necessarily go into the store not knowing what I'm looking for. I always have a style or outfit in mind. I do have stores that I shop at frequently and ones I would never shop at but I'm not necessarily picky. The main thing I look for is comfort. If I find something I like but it's not comfortable, I won't buy it. I also try to be reasonable with pricing. It's easy to find cute clothes that are affordable. The quality of the clothing is also something I keep in mind. Overall I consider myself to be a good shopper that doesn't spend too much, and knows what she is looking for. What do you look for in the brands you use? I look for good quality clothing and prices. I want to be able to pay for what I get, not spend too much money on something not worth it. If something looks really cute but is made out of cheap material I wouldn't buy it. The quality of the clothing is really important because you want to be able to wear it a lot, and you want to look good. I hate when I wear something once and it comes out of the wash with a rip, or already shrunk. However, it is all about looking good, and having something cute. Before, my parents used to buy a lot of my clothes, and now I am buying a lot more of my clothing, so price has become more and more important to me, and I do not have a lot to spend. There is a point where something becomes just too much money. I prefer prices at Forever 21, but I would save up to buy something designer because I feel like it would be better quality. What types of things do you spend most of your money on? Most of the money I spend goes toward shirts. This is because there are several different types that can be styled different ways when worn. A lot of my money also goes to shoes. There are so many different kinds of shoes. You need a few pairs for every season, and not all of them run cheap. It's good to have nice shoes, because they'll last longer. I hate when I have a pair of shoes that I wear a lot and they get worn out quickly. I want them to be able to last. Most of the money I spend really goes in to the things I need most, with the best quality. What item that you have purchased best represents your personality? I have many items that express my style and personality. One item in particular is my purse. It's a mono sling that is made out of earthy tones, and several patterns and patches. It's not too flashy or extravagant. I feel this represents me because it's a lot like my own style. I don't wear anything too flashy, and I like to dress in earthy tones. It's a very casual bag, so I bring it almost everywhere. Like my personality, I'm not too fancy. If you had $2,000 of your own, what would you do with it once it was saved? If I had $2,000 saved up, I would probably use a little of it for necessities, and save the rest. I think it's a good idea to save your money, but also important to have some for emergencies. One thing I would not do is spend it all. Continuing to save up the money would help you out in the future. So I would not go waste it on some expensive clothing or shoes. I'm not the type of person that gets over excited when they have a large amount of money and tries to spend it. I buy what I need, and do my best to save the rest. What do you want to be when you grow up? I'm not sure what I want to do when I grow up, but I have several things that interest me. My dream job would have to be working for a magazine. Or anything along the lines of that. I would love to go into something involving fashion. I also love art, so any job that really fits those descriptions would be amazing. How do you think the brands and products you buy will change when you get older? (30 years old) When I'm older I think most of the brands I shop at now will become less popular as more brands come into the picture. I also think that as new things are introduced they will become extremely pricey. It will all be about brands competing against one another, because brands are getting a little less important as they used to be. Nowadays, it is becoming more and more about what something looks like, and style, opposed to where it comes from. However, there will always be those brands everyone loves, and will pay a lot for. I think that those brands will get pricier, and pricier because people will still pay for them. It depends on how much people value the brand. However, I think things like Forever 21 and places like that will become more common because they produce styles that everyone will buy for less money.
For the past week it feels like every day I've encountered new ways to contribute to the relief efforts for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Today, I made my tiny difference. I put forth $44.60 as I shopped at my favorite (that's an understatement) fast fashion retailer ' Forever21. The Forever21 brand is donating 100% of every dollar spent on Forever21.com today to the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. We're used to hearing that a percentage of proceeds will go to a cause, but when was the last time you heard that a brand would give up everything it earned? Forever21 has broken the mold when it comes to bringing fashion trends from the runway to the real way, and now the brand is breaking the mold again with a powerful model of giving. Millennials ' Forever21's most frequent and valued consumers ' are looking for strong, solid relationships to be built between themselves and the brands they buy. Millennials will support brands that tackle a cause and make a difference based on ideals similar to their own. They praise brands who position themselves authentically. "What you see is what you get" is a must in this generation's mind. Brands that profess to understand who Millennials are and what they want, fail. Brands that do understand these things, succeed. Millennials love brands that just 'get them.'? Today Forever21 'got'? me and four of my Millennial coworkers as we bought fashion that will support Japan. We pooled our purchases to reach the free shipping mark ' $50 of merchandise ' and spent $96.98. We donated almost $100. Frankly, that's awesome. Today, Forever21 really is forever. It doesn't get more authentic than that.