A couple weeks ago, Vlad and I were in Texas for SXSW and attended the conference’s panel on Global Digital Trends for the Luxury Consumer. It wasn’t a fashion-specific panel, but during the talk, one of the presenters mentioned a recent Business Insider article about consumer perceptions of Louis Vuitton in China. According to one expert who spoke with BI, top-tier consumer tastes are shifting away from the French luxury giant.
Ewan Rambourg, author of The Bling Dynasty: Why the Reign of Chinese Luxury Shoppers Has Only Just Begun, claims China’s elite are increasingly interested in a more subtle version of luxury, and the perception in the market is that Vuitton can’t provide it. Rambourg says China’s luxury consumers are turning toward more expensive brands and bespoke goods, with less focus on logos and more focus on the quality of the product. One quote in particular has been a subject of hot debate on our PurseForum: many Chinese consumers think, “I can’t buy Vuitton, I’ve seen it too much, it’s a brand for secretaries.”
While Rambourg and the Business Insider article didn’t expand on whether or not this trend is reflected in other global markets, China is an important consideration for all global brands that hope to grow–Euromoniter’s most recent rankings put it as the 5th largest luxury market in the world, and although the Chinese market has slowed this year, global consulting firm Bain & Company still expect the nation’s important rising consumer class to double by 2017.
Do your perceptions of Louis Vuitton match or contradict the changing tide in Chinese consumers? Let us know in the comments.