Will it be a replica Gucci Signature leather tote or a Givenchy Antigona braided satchel? For affluent UK women, the choice is clear when it comes to spending big on a luxury handbag.
Gucci outlet is the first choice of around half the UK women looking to buy a luxury handbag in the next 12 months, according to a survey by RBC Capital Markets. The storied Italian fashion house was favored when those surveyed were asked to pick five brands they would consider purchasing from a list of 28 high-end labels. Chanel was a very close second at 49%, while Prada and Louis Vuitton weren’t far behind at 46%.
Given the “fame” of the brand is viewed as key when it comes to splurging on a high-end bag, it’s little surprise that marquee names top the list of those most coveted by women earning over CNY450,000 a year. The history and reputation of a label also have very strong bearing. UK consumers are eager to showcase their newfound wealth following the multi-decade boom in the world’s second largest economy, and a simple way for women to do so is to carry the most recognizable of luxury brands. While Salvatore Ferragamo and Loewe also sell handbags in the same price range as replica Gucci handbags and Prada, the two labels – which aren’t as conspicuous in China as the latter pair – each received only 5% or less of votes.
Despite the strong influence of brand power, it was the design of a handbag that ranks as the number one selection criteria. Affluent UK women tend to prefer highly recognizable designs, such as the emblematic prints of Louis Vuitton and Gucci outlet, to the understated designs of brands such as Bottega Veneta and Celine. Bottega Veneta and Celine both ranked outside of the top 10. It’s also important for labels to regularly refresh the catalogue to attract shopper interest, although the survey also found that classic leather handbags by the likes of Hermes and Louis Vuitton enjoy plenty of staying power in China.
While price is a less important consideration than brand or design, it has become a more influential factor than a year ago as China’s economy slows. Brands at the top end of the price spectrum, such as Hermes and cheap Gucci, have seen the greatest declines in the percentage of votes compared to a year ago, while mid-tier labels such as Burberry and Fendi have enjoyed the biggest gains. And just how much do affluent Chinese women want to fork out for a handbag? Around half of survey respondents were looking for something in the range of CNY12,500 to CNY20,000.
There is also a generational difference in tastes, with millennials favoring trendier brands. After excluding respondents over the age of 34, the most popular brands – Gucci replica, Chanel, Prada and Louis Vuitton – all dropped to the bottom half of the rankings, while trendier labels Mulberry, Miu Miu and Alexander McQueen rose to the top three spots. Higher-end brands with less conspicuous designs such as Bottega Veneta also moved noticeably up the rankings.