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    Move over Louisville hipsters, there is a new group of trendsetters in town. And they are called the “Yummies” according to a March 25 report by the global investment bank HSBC.

    “Rise of the Yummy”, a 100-page report, asserts that Yummies—an acronym for “young, urban males”— are reshaping the retail landscape for luxury goods, thanks to their penchant for trend-chasing and, by the looks of accompanying stock photo,  bowties, unisex designer sunglasses, and hair products.

    Richard Cope, from the global market research firm Mintel, is cited in the report, explaining that more young men now are getting into “yoga, beauty goods and the act of shopping itself”—especially in recently gentrified urban areas.

    Being curious, I had to go out in search of this ersatz demographic. I began my quest trying to identify their natural habitat: find where in Louisville these creatures would congregate. It didn’t take me long because there was only one logical place to start:


    Once parked on East Market, I was a tad overwhelmed.  Where would one check first for Yummies? The art galleries? The upscale Southern cafes? Why Louisville?

    But then I remembered another quote by Cope from the report: "Taking pride and taking greater confidence from maintaining a well-groomed appearance now defines what it is to be 'a man' in today's society. Rather than being in a minority, men who buy grooming products to boost self-esteem or feel more attractive are now in the majority." Thus, I made my way to Market Street Barbers, where they promise “sharp cuts for sharp guys.”

    And there I came into contact with my first cluster of Yummies. They sat on the black and cream upholstered bench that accents the oaky, intentionally distressed interior of the barbershop, most tapping at their Apple products or scribbling in their Moleskin journals. Did these unsuspecting men know that they are lumped into a new acronym, and are now part of a group whom CNBC reports could save the $1 trillion luxury landscape? Come to think of it—did the Burberry satchel-toting man munching on a Please & Thank You chocolate chip cookie know that, in addition to eating a Yummy, that he is one?

    Will Louisville retailers take note of this marketing trend? Though the term itself is seemingly arbitrary, luxury sales are expected to grow up to 9 percent this year, and men already represent an impressive 40 percent of the high-end brand market. Perhaps we will see more local boutiques targeted specifically to males, rather than simply relegating menswear and accessories to a dank corner in the back of otherwise lovely Louisville shops. 

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    Ashlie Danielle Stevens's picture

    About Ashlie Danielle Stevens

    I am a freelance food, arts and culture writer. Among other publications, my work has appeared at The Atlantic’s CityLab, Eater, Slate, Salon, The Guardian, Hyperallergic and National Geographic’s food blog, The Plate.

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