Do you remember that video? first ‘Luisvi’; it was so viral that it’s almost part of the (new) digital popular culture. And although much has already been said about the subject, it continues to crystallize very well the fascination of the young generation Z, Y and even the Alpha (the successors of the Z, born after 2010) for the universe of luxury, a market that, despite the recession and the socioeconomic turmoil that is taking place, is far from lowering its growth estimates. according to the 21st study of the luxury market by Bain & Company and Altagammait grows 21% in 2022 and reaches 1.4 trillion euros, led by the aforementioned generations.
The first is the first: why does luxury seem alien to the general, inside a shiny bubble? Simply because it has always been so. Even in gruesome times, the elites have managed to maintain a standard of living that is the engine of the luxury sector, understood as travel, fashion, accessories, jewellery, watches, gastronomy, art and diverse experiences that cover the glossy and glazed pages of the journals. The presentation of results of conglomerates such as Kering or companies like Herms do nothing more than demonstrate that, although with some caution, the desire they provoke is strong enough so that people do not hesitate much when investing with them. And it doesn’t hurt to mention those names, because, according to the Italian study, “The personal luxury goods market registers rapid growth in 2022, reaching 353,000 million euros.”
The forecast continues to be favorable for next year, “even if the world economic situation deteriorates”, standing at between 3 and 8%. “By 2030, the market value is expected to amount to around 540,000-580,000 million euroswhich represents an increase of 60% or more compared to 2022″. Some encouraging numbers in which young people have a lot to do.
As stated in the study, “generational trends are a powerful engine, since Gen Y and Gen Z continue to lead growth this year, with Gen Z and Gen Alpha spending growing about three times as fast than other generations until 2030, when they will represent a third of the market. By a mere evolution of the market and age, it is logical: they will be those who are 20 and up. Come on, those who like to buy and do it as soon as they can since, in general, they are at an age without resaleable economic burdens. At least, those who spend in luxury.
Young people are released before their elders
It is one of the most remarkable data from the study: these generations have a more “early” attitude towards luxury. Specifically, they appear to be three to five years ahead of millennials (“at 15 years old, compared to 18-20”) when making your first purchase within the tinsel domains. So prominent is this trend that, in fact, some are already defining it as the ‘new wave’ in the sector.
Julia P., 25 years oldFor some time now, she has had three pieces that she considers luxury in her closet, and that’s not counting Isabel Marant because, for her, it doesn’t fall into that category: a Gucci bag, a Loewe beach carrycot and shoes from Manolo Blahnik. One of them was given as a gift, the other two were purchased, ones that “I had always had in mind.” “The third came as an opportunity to get a good discount,” she emphasizes. “For me, they are infinite pieces; In the end, the luxury that I have bought is totally timeless. and I think it’s an investment as a wardrobe item, that one day my children will be able to have”.
When thinking about what to invest in, Julia P. takes into account both the history of the firm and “that of the piece in particular”, as well as “its print or its fabric”. On the other hand, she does not allow herself to be carried away by what they will say or by the appearance: “Fashion must be consumed thinking of oneself.” But compared to those who value history, the baggage of a brand, there are those who let themselves be carried away by conspicuous consumption as if we were in the 80s, that is, buy just for looks and social status that gives the luxury product. It is what he confesses, not without a flash of shame and a mischievous smile, xina asian twenties what is it on vacation in Paris with a friend.
They got up early to queue at one of the Louis Vuitton stores from Galeries Lafayette and, even so, they have to wait: when the doors opened, several dozen people ran into the shopping center (literally) to bet on both the doors of the Maison and those of Chanel and, beware, Cartier. “We want something from Louis Vuitton and we knew there would be a lot of people”, account in English. The what, exactly? 30 second silence with smile included. “Well… I don’t know, something. What we can, a bag, a wallet… Also whatever there is. And for our family and friends”. There is no specific wish list, there is not a piece that they dream of: everything that the famous Monogram wears will do. Given that indecision, why were they clear that this brand instead of any another? “Because it is a little more accessible than the rest”, they comment.
It is my hobby and I have always been very clear about it: I prefer to invest in fashion than in anything else; For me, buying luxury is a long-term investment, because I have bags that I bought at a price that has doubled in five or six years.
The average entry price to the luxury sector is important and influences purchasing decisions, especially for those who are just starting out: it is not the same to pay the more than 8,000 euros that the classic Chanel bag costs right now than the 800 euros for a wallet or the 360 of a pair of glasses; all from the same brand. In this sense, leather goods and accessories such as sunglasses are one of the gateways par excellence, but the role of sports shoes and logoed T-shirts in recent years should not be underestimated either. “You have to have purchasing power, but honestly, I don’t think luxury is totally inaccessible to young people”, comments Cristina L., 26 years old. “In the end, generation Z and the younger ones are the ones who are raising the sector, and that is because it is a little more accessible.”
Why do young people buy luxury?
The raid on the metaverse, the sometimes unbridled activity on social networks, the announcements that are produced earlier through them than through press releases; notices by mail… The attempts of luxury firms to get closer to the ecosystem of the youngest they do not escape anyone, despite the fact that stores are recovering their role.
It should be borne in mind that “in the coming years, the boundaries between single-brand and e-commerce will further blur, which will increasingly push brands to adopt an omnichannel approach, enabled and enhanced by new technologies.” Wow, what do you have to be present in all possible places and, above all, where the most interesting generations are. But beware: It is not worth questioning its essence.
“There are very few luxury firms that maintain their original spirit, like Balenciaga or Loewe, who have done a brutal rebranding, and have little or nothing to do with what they were”, reflects Cristina L. “I like the novelty, but I’m sorry that this essence is lost, because nowadays it has more to do with the creative director of the house and how they are carrying the brand. That’s what I focus on.”
For this young woman, who maintains that Dior is perhaps her favorite brand because “it is one of the few that have maintained its essence from start to finish, adapting to new times, generations and trends”, investing in fashion is something natural as long as she has always been passionate about; I have ah one of the main reasons for him.
“I have studied Law, but my heart is divided in two because I have always been passionate about fashion; in fact, I have also studied fashion business because it seems to me a super interesting industry that is extremely difficult to enter”, says Cristina. And this is a way of belonging like any other. “It is my hobby and I have always been very clear about it: I prefer to invest in fashion than in anything else; for me buying luxury is a long-term investment, because I have bags that I bought at a price that has doubled in five or six years. It’s like everything else: there are people who prefer to invest in art and for me, investing in luxury fashion is investing in art, because they are still highly valuable artisan pieces that are revalued”.