The last time we mentioned Louis Vuitton’s exclusivity problem, you guys had a lot to say, and much of it was demonstrative of the challenges that Vuitton faces going forward – how does a company whose incredibly recognizable logo bags have become ubiquitous maintain its air of exclusivity for top-tier customers? And if those top-tier customers leave, will customers at the lower tiers go looking for their little slice of luxury elsewhere? Is this a problem that Louis Vuitton has waited too long to fix? Based on the double-digit dip that the company’s value took last year, things could be better at LVMH’s flagship brand.

The Millward Brown BrandZ Top 100 (which sounds made up, but is not) ranks the 100 most valuable luxury companies in the world every year based on their total value, and although Louis Vuitton is still at the top of that list, the brand is down 12% year on year. Given that Louis Vuitton acknowledges it has an image problem, it’s probably not an unexpected dip, but worrisome all the same for a conglomerate with a handbag brand as its backbone. Meanwhile, competitors Prada and Gucci surged 63% and 48%, respectively. According to Business of Fashion, the stark difference in the performance of the three brands can be pinned on the fact that Gucci and Prada “are better managing the trade-off between exclusivity and affordability.”

The performance of Gucci in particular might show a way forward for Louis Vuitton – the company has put increased emphasis on its fine leather and exotic offerings in recent years, including some of the most expensive pieces available on the mass market today, while still offering plenty of recognizable, logo-covered canvas handbags and accessories for entry-level customers. Vuitton’s strategy includes both expanding its upper-echelon offerings and increasing prices across the board to discourage “downmarket” customers from coming on board and scaring away the apparently very sensitive rich folks, and only time will tell if it’s too little, too late.

In the meantime, tell us – the top four luxury brands are Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Gucci and Prada, in that order. If you had to bet on one long-term, which would it be?

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

Now Trending

Featured Articles

Closet Confessionals
Closet Confessionals 17: The Bag Lover Who Plans to Have No Debt Within the Next Year
She and her husband are paying off their mortgage in full, so right now she’s saving – but she still has a vast bag collection
A Closer Look at the Dior Book Tote
The bag that swept social media also has my heart
Closet Confessionals
Closet Confessionals 16: A Genetic Scientist Who Prefers Pre-Owned Over New
And plans to get her Chanel painted with butterflies!
Join 135,000+ enthusiasts and sign up for our newsletter