We never had a summer of ’67, where we tuned in and dropped out, nor a May of ’68 or March of ’89, where we seriously challenged the social order. Instead, our tender sails were rigged on self-esteem culture, and were launched amidst the collapsing scenery of the Great Recession. So we delayed home-ownership, marriage, and children; moved to the city; and spent our first decade’s harvest on our experiences: travel, careerist-festivals (SXSW, Art Basel, TEDx), and second-wave artisanal coffee—but not stuff (and not golf either, for some reason). We traded boomer materialism for a new kind of lifestyle consumerism.
On the art scene, we socialized, gossiped, and Instagrammed, but never actually bought many pictures—until now. A new survey of high-net-worth collectors by my company, U.S. Trust, reveals that our latency period is finally ending. Millennials are settling down, finding our financial footing, and beginning to collect.