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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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Tinsley Proust

    Older shoppers are more concerned with brand loyalty, I feel. Millennials haven’t had the time to develop that.

    • Lisa

      I agree. It takes time and experience to develop brand loyalty. Most of us probably started our bag collections at a much lower price point and gradually become more interested in the top tier’s history, craftsmanship etc.

      This is also not especially surprising, given that most millennials are at the beginning of their careers and are spending money on other things, e.g rent! You have to reach a certain level of disposable income before you’re going to splurge on the most expensive designers.

  • Ruby

    Generational change often means definitively eschewing the styles of their elders. This, especially, when it comes to luxury goods that are associated with outdated mores and values. High end name brand bags are in many quarters, emblematic of One Percenters and reality celebrities.

    Is saying “Millennial Handbag Buyers are More Interested in Quality Than Brand Names” another way of saying they don’t think traditional designer bags are worth it? I would also be interested whether the shift away from real leather and leather goods has impacted the millennial market?

  • Sandy

    I agree that the younger generation for the most part has yet to reach the income level that allows Chanel and Hermes to be an option.

    • Rada

      I’m not sure how much of that applies in the SF Bay Area and other places with booming economies. So much young/tech money.

      • Sweet baby

        Bubble is bursting as we speak. “So much young/tech money” will be a thing of the past quite soon.

    • Ruby

      I think you’re missing the point. The point is that they’re not interested in those brands. They’re not aspirational to them.

  • Rada

    I’m not sure how much that applies in the SF Bay Area. So much young tech money..

    • aznEmma

      True, although it’s mostly white men (as a woman in tech….do NOT get me started on the diversity issues within Tech right now!!) who are working there and how many of them are interested in fancy bags etc.? ^__~

  • I love this post! Millennial women are understanding the value of their dollar, as opposed to simply buying something for the name. Great read!

  • Sparky

    I think this is connected to widely available customized products we have access to. Never before could we acquire such a huge range of personalized (and inexpensive( things. From M&Ms to Converse to high end fragrances, almost anything is available online. Millennials have grown up creating their fashion. They don’t have to wait for a brand to tell them what they like. They are also much more playful about purchases willing to try out new designs. As stated above, great opportunity for independent designers. Go for it!!!

  • lavinia

    I agree, do you know why? Once (20 year ago?) you went to the brand to assure you quality and you had very good quality, exclusivity. Now you go to the brand and you buy for $ 2000 faux leather! (an example? Stella McCartney, I do hate what she does). I do not want to pay faux leather like precious leather (at the local market I can get it for few $). You as a brand have to guarantee me the quality I deserve. Otherwise there are so many very good quality bags of unknown designers that I can pay for less (in Italy we have a big offer).

    • Aurore de La Gorce

      I agree with some things you said, but please, don’t give Stella McCartney as an example of cheap quality -expensive item, especially since you’re not being objective as you said you hate what she does.
      Personally, I do not like the designs but I feel the intention is great, and I know people who own her bags and tell the quality is unbelievable. For having tried the bags on, I believe the quality is way better than the recent Prada bags.
      Besides, it’s not faux-leather, it’s made of recycled materials. It would not make sense to make them in faux-leather since faux-leather is nothing else but oil.
      Peace, though ;)

  • Maya

    I know that as far as I’m concerned, I will get the bag I like, not the bag that’s currently popular, proving anything socially is the least of my concerns. I tend to go towards interesting designs, new and upcoming designers because in the end I have to enjoy the bag I’m carrying:)) Finally, I find the constant price increases from all the major brands ludicrous at this stage, so I’m staying at a safe distance!!

  • Guy23

    As a millennial I have to say I agree with the article personally. As a millennial I/we have to work a lot harder to get jobs and we are graduating with more debt. It doesn’t make sense for a new graduate , even with a 60k a year job to go a buy a Prada bag with all the quality issues they’ve been having when they could get a mansur for $500 that will last longer. It’s also effecting me in the resale market. Even now that I have disposable income I can’t justify the “entry level” pricing for most companies, and I am a slut for designer items but really why would o spend $900 for an entry level Saint Laurent bag when for $900 I could a nice vintage resale Gucci and Louis Vuitton bag that has already proven it’s quality lasted time. maybe in a few years when all my debt is paid off I’ll start considering more expensive boutique purchases but with all the price increases it feels like a lot of bags I would like to get are further and further away

  • psny15

    This is all relative, for anyone who lives in New York knows that everyone millennial is carrying a chanel, goyard or hermes bag (these bags are not “it bags” but they are classic staples

    It is aspirational for those who are not from a higher socioeconomic class and this is why there are so many resale stores

    i view Mansur Garvel as a contemporary brand like Tory Burch or DVF!

  • Lindsay He

    agree..chanel should pay attention. I am fed up after purchasing many bags from them only to have stitching come off, chain issues, lock issues, leather issue. err. Never had this problem with fendi, lv, ysl and many other brands. Step up seriously…