As our world becomes increasingly cluttered, with more people, more technology, and more advertisements hitting us at every moment, the idea of good “style” has undergone a renaissance. Naturally, what’s currently “stylish” is always fluid, and changing every moment. But more and more, society has been casting aside past notions of unneeded complexity, frilliness, or notions that “it just ought to be this way, because people say so,” and progressing toward a more fact-based, solid, and functional style, based on what works.
We’re big fans of this aesthetic, as you can see: The Ridge is stylish because it is functional, not despite it. It’s simple, sturdy, and straight to the point, which is what the world wants these days.
As corporations across the world struggle to figure out the Millennial generation, we think we understand them quite well. Though media outlets have spent the last few years constantly slamming Millennials as being cheap, entitled, or lazy, largely because the generation is breaking historical norms by waiting longer to have children, not buying houses, and not buying cars.
These media franchises, and these corporations, aren’t getting the hint: Millennials are a generation that grew up in an economic recession, and are still struggling beneath the weight of student loans. They’re not “cheap.” It’s just that if they buy something, it needs to work, and it needs to last. They’re willing to pay more for a product if it seems like a strong investment that will truly benefit them, and they don’t throw their money away on stupid things.
That’s the reason a product like The RIdge appeals to millennials, and it’s also the key thing that so many companies don’t understand about modern style. While past generations might’ve gone for a type of “stylishness” that was more gaudy, frilly, or complex, Millennials care about what works, what will last, without the frills. They’re careful with their money, and their style shows this.
A product that has good form, function, and no bells and whistles beyond the necessary comes across as being true to its spirit, honest, and practical. A jacket that has a lot of unnecessary straps hanging from it might seem silly: however, a jacket that has straps on it for practical reasons, reasons which actually make the jacket more useful, is stylish. Every element of good style today is based on function and practicality, and good aesthetics are second to that—though still important.
Millennials want products that feel genuine, not artificial, forced, or unnecessary. Compare it to the current popularity of facial hair, these days: a beard that looks meticulously sculpted can come across as phony, whereas a “natural” looking beard is all the rage.
Whether it comes to clothes, furniture, or wallets, strong functionality is the key element of today’s stylishness. People want to buy a product that works, a product they don’t need to buy again, and they want to know why it costs the amount that it does. The sooner that companies understand this, the more they’ll begin to tap into the burgeoning Millennial zeitgeist.
We talk about style and function in the context of The Ridge wallet, but we've grown into a lot more than purveyors of minimalist wallets. From pocketed phone cases to phone-charging backpacks, The Ridge is expanding to host a suite of functional products.