If you’re one of our readers who has marveled incredulously at the meteoric rise of Mansur Gavriel‘s simple, traditional bags, some new research may help explain the phenomenon a little more clearly. According to a study performed by NPD Group and e-commerce firm Stylitics, younger consumers are much less interested in big, traditional luxury brands than their older bag-shopping counterparts.

The two companies set out to determine what influences young consumers to invest in a new bag, and according to their results, the way millennial shoppers view buying a new bag “seems closer to buying a car than to buying clothing.” Consumers under 35 do more preliminary research, much of it on social media, retail sites and elsewhere on the Internet, before purchasing either online or in a brick-and-mortar store, and that’s true regardless of price point.

Perhaps the most interesting finding, according to Fashionista, is that millennial shoppers listed quality and style as the most important factors in their handbag-purchasing decisions, which outpaced the rate at which older shoppers favored those criteria. As Fashionista points out, that leaves a wide-open space for brands with little name recognition but a strong value proposition to win customers, and that’s good news for buyers of all ages.

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