Looking at the latest financial figures in the fashion industry, a lot of luxury brands are doing really well right now. But many people seem to overlook the fact that most of these houses are actually the ones that are mainly focused on accessories. Does this mean that fashion is being reduced to objects rather than outfits?
Gucci is one of the examples of brands relying strongly on their lines of accessories. The luxury house was founded selling fine leather goods. And even though the brand has a much wider focus nowadays, it’s the accessories that still make sure the brand reaches almost 10 billion euros in annual sales for the Kering group.
And the same goes for Louis Vuitton, founded as a brand for travel bags. Nowadays, Louis Vuitton sells a wide assortment of products, ranging from clothing to timepieces. But the shoes, bags and scarfs continue to be their best-sellers. And the stories of Prada and Bottega Veneta seem to be similar, both founded as bag companies and still relying on these products heavily.
It seems like a luxury brand just doesn’t do so well without their best-selling bags or shoes. The popular sneakers by Balenciaga are the perfect example. They were created by Demna Gvasalia, Creative Director of Balenciaga, who has made name as a distinct clothing designer. But even with his impressive resume, it’s the sneakers (selling for 900 dollars), which are most popular amongst their customers. And like Balenciaga, also Yves Saint Laurent is focussing all their time and energy on their best-stelling high-rise yeti boots.
The question that remains: is fashion being reduced to objects rather than outfits? Luckily, not in all cases. Hermès, known for its signature bags, has been working hard to rebuild their clothing line. And with success. Other than most luxury houses, Hermès is not only relying on the familiar accessories, but exploring different categories such as jewellery as well.
While most brands push their accessories, other brands might look at Hermès as an example of growth without the usual suspects. It’s not easy though.