There are so many definitions that try to answer what fashion is. In the beginning of this review, let us agree to start from one of the definitions of fashion taken from Malcolm Barnard’s book, Fashion and Communication – starting from body armor, with the times flow, fashion is now a form of self-identification. This definition is in line with what Desmond Morris opinion that clothing can communicate cultural affiliation. Thus, it is possible that clothing can show who they are, from which social class the come from, and how their economic situation is.
Recently, Jakarta, especially the SCBD (Sudirman Central Business District) area, has attracted the attention of many people, likely on the weekend. Towards the weekend, the SCBD area usually changes its function, which is usually busy with vehicles, into a sports and recreation area for Jakarta’s residents and its surroundings. From this condition, millennials and gen z from satellite areas around Jakarta, such as Citayam, Bojonggede, Depok, Bekasi, and others enliven the SCBD area in an interesting way.
By wearing eccentric, unique clothes, and wanting to look gorgeous, teenagers or the youth who fill the SCBD area look their best as if they know that many cameras are aiming for their best side. The sidewalks, zebra crossings, and several other areas they pass through are considered as their catwalk stages. Confidence radiates from the faces of these youths, as if to tell that fashion like this is their identity.
Citayam Fashion Week, this phenomenon is so interesting to be discussed deeper. According to the sociologist at the State University of Jakarta, Ubedilah Badrun as published on tirto.id – this phenomenon shows the existence of a class bias that has been built so far, cosmopolitan is identical to certain classes, usually the middle-upper class and CFW breaks all of this, and creates a new subculture. The Governor of DKI Jakarta Anies Baswedan and Deputy Governor of DKI Jakarta Ahmad Riza Patria have the same opinion, in that they invite anyone to enjoy the space but they also need follow the existing rules.
Seeing and knowing this, Citayam Fashion Week seems to be a trend from some time to come and it is possible that there are various new things that could potentially emerge from this phenomenon. The outermost layer of Citayam Fashion Week may just show a group of the youths enjoying the elite space in Jakarta with their fashion. But, what is in this phenomenon?
Brands and various other related parties need to be more careful to see this phenomenon. Various interesting insights that will be an opportunity for brands to get closer to their target audience can be found in Citayam Fashion Week. StratX KG Media sees this phenomenon as an action that is very interesting to know more deeply, so we conducted desk research and found various points that brands could later use as a basis for their communication strategies. Please follow this discussion to the end.
What is Inside CFW?
The development of CFW can be easily monitored from various social media platforms, such as TikTok, Instagram, Youtube, and others. From the content circulating in the digital ecosystem, various pros and cons have emerged about CFW. Starting from the youths’ behavior like littering, and appearing CFW’s icons, has gathered many comments.
Icons that have sprung up such as Roy, Jeje, Bonge, and Kurma, have been pacing on several Youtube channels. Maybe this is what they are looking for too. Fame, has many followers, and has the potential to get product endorsement – so, really – what is inside CFW? One thing that clear enough is some youths are hang out, spend time at several points in the SCBD area, one of them are Dukuh Atas.
One of the accounts on Instagram that often shares content with the theme of financial literacy is finfolkmoney – one of their contents with the CFW as the topic, the content says that the presence of these youths makes ‘starling’ or traveling coffee sellers experience an increase in turnover. The boost is quite significant, in the content it is stated that these coffee sellers usually get only Rp. 200.000 per day, but within this phenomenon – they can get at lease Rp. 700.000 per day. This observation shows that they youth actually have a strong purchasing power.
Along the way this phenomenon happened, instead of just hanging out, a few weeks ago, on the weekend, the Dukuh Atas area was used as an area for the catwalk. Reporting from Kompas.com – the area around Dukuh Atas MRT station became a stage where several teenagers showed their skills to walk like famous fashion show models. Every time those teenagers walk and show their fashion styles, some of the audience shouted at them. Obviously, this makes the area get more attention from its around. This activity starts at 7 pm.
CFW is so interesting to be discussed in more detail. Regardless of what activities take place in it, CFW is like a cultural movement that needs to be facilitated. Ranny Rastati with her writing on theconversation.com – shows that CFW is not really a new thing. She revealed this by telling us that the Blok M (Melawai) area in the 80-90s was also a hangout place for the youths.
Still with Ranny’s writing – she also told that Harajuku Station in Japan became the center of eccentric styles, from punk to Lolita which was popularized by young Japanese people in 1964, which is now the forerunner of one of the world’s major subcultures, namely cosplay.
Apart from what is in the CFW mentioned earlier, the interesting thing that needs to be emphasized is the anxiety behind this phenomenon. The need for a public space that can be enjoyed by all groups is the first concern that can be recognized easily. The next concern is related to the results of KG Media’s research on Indonesian youths. It should be noted that the number of the youths, such as millennials and gen z, is starting to dominate. From the 2020 Population Census data, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) shows that 270 million people in Indonesia, millennials are 25.87%, gen z are 21.88%, and post gen z are 10.88%. With this data, in the next few years, the voices of the youth can determine the fate of the nation.
The survey that KG Media conducted in 2022 gathered 3.224 respondents aged 17 years and over from Sabang to Merauke. As many as 49% of respondents came from Java Island, 21% from Sumatera Island, 11% from Sulawesi Island, 8% from Kalimantan Island, 6% from Bali and Nusa Tenggara Island, and 5% from Maluku and Papua.
This survey captures the various concern of the Indonesian youth, what makes them confused and what makes them upset. Broadly speaking, the problems of Indonesian youth based on this survey are divided into two big areas: economic and non-economic problems.
In terms of economic problems, all regions simultaneously stated that financial and difficult to get a job were their big problems. Then, from non-economic issues, all regions also simultaneously stated that careers and quarter life crises (identity and self-development) were difficulties that they also faced at the same time. Seeing this reality, it is not surprising that those youth, especially in Java Island – to be precise in the suburbs of Jakarta – who have such anxieties express, move and inadvertently create CFW.
Regarding the occurrence of CFW from research on the aspirations of Indonesian youth in 2022, there are some interesting findings related to the CFW phenomenon. CFW seems to occur because Indonesian youth, especially in Java, really like to hang out or socialize.
Instead of spending time on some places, one of our other interesting findings is that CFW also occurs because of the youth concern.
Data from this research shows that the youth’s anxiety such as their fear of establishment/success, career and work, as well as unfulfilled dreams become engines with great energy for the implementation of CFW. From this data research and its relation to CFW, they simulate the image of success they know, fashion. The style of dress like the people in SCBD is an indicator of success according to them.
Another interesting finding is that the Indonesian youth also have anxieties such as difficulties in socializing, building relationships, and making friends – where this anxiety is also a big force for them to organize CFW.
Insight Insight Insight
Knowing the various explanations above – it can be concluded that CFW is not only about fashion. Maybe the catwalk is only a small part of what is visible from the surface, the various icons that appear are mere decorations, because it turns out that CFW is anxiety, confusion, and fear of failure of Indonesian youth.
Like a cause-and-effect relationship, behind CFW – of course there are concerns that can be investigated more deeply, and turned into opportunities for brands and other parties to take part in developing this phenomenon.
Knowing the various findings above, there are lots of brands or related parties that can be done, to accommodate or at least help the Indonesian youth to resolve their worries and anxieties. These steps can be arranged neatly so that the brands can still get its various goals.
Next Action for Brands Are…
There are several actions that brands can take right now. But it needs to be underlined – those in the CFW ecosystem are millennials and gen z who live in satellite cities. This means that social class tends to go into the middle-low – where if the brands want to get closer to them, there is a communication strategy that need to be adjusted.
Therefore, the first step that brands can take is to know their profiles in detail. StratX can help brands in this fundamental step by conducting surveys, or IDI, and FGDs – to get deeper and sharper insights. Their input will certainly affect the strategy that the brand will implement next.
After knowing how their profiles are, the brands or related parties should be ready to support and help what their concerns and needs are. Instead of being a sponsor, brand can:
- Brand can provide more proper public spaces with all the facilities for CFW actors.
- In organizing CFW in a new place, brands can give them the opportunity to form new connections or relationships.
- Brands can help them by providing outlets to be a solution to all their worries.
There are many more actions that brands can take. The part that needs to be emphasized is how this cultural movement can create a new industry, which can make benefit for many parties. To find out more details and continue with the discussion, please contact us at stratx.id.