Why are younger generations becoming increasingly invested in luxury consumerism?
Most of us strive to be able to afford the finer things in life, the glistening new car you’ve been dreaming off or the designer handbag that’s so on-trend. It’s something we see as a luxury that comes later in life, after years of hard graft. However, millennials and generation-z are buying more designer fashion than ever before.
In 2019 the luxury personal goods market was worth around £230 billion, according to consumer data provider Statista, and it is estimated that the market will grow 2.7% annually. With luxury brands now being found on Net-a-porter, Depop, Vestiaire and other online shopping sites, purchasing designer brands are more accessible than ever before. You can even acquire designer goods on Amazon Fashion using a prime membership.
Technology has been changing societal values for decades and as a result, influencer culture has drastically changed the retail industry, as it has become increasingly vital for young people to have the latest of high-end fashion. Now, it seems that young people are acquiring designer goods to fit the influencer image that is being pressured on them.
Fashion bloggers such as Lissy Roddy and Gemma Talbot use their Instagram accounts with thousands of followers, as a way to showcase their supremely styled outfits. Whilst working with brands to promote their clothes, they often feature prominent designer names such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton. These posts are having an influencing effect on the young people that they engage with, leading them to feel the need to possess designer bags and shoes.
According to a survey conducted by BCG and Vestiaire Collective, the second-hand market plays a significant role in initiating an interest in designer goods. In the survey, 62% of participants said that their first luxury purchase was pre-owned and that they would purchase from that designer again. The idea of buying discounted designer goods seems appealing, however, the trend then persuades the consumer to further spend on that brand.
Now, buying into designer labels is an investment, as years down the line that same product could potentially be worth twice as much money. The Hermes Birkin bag, starting around £10,000, is increasing in price by 14% every year. The highly sought after bag has a waiting list of six years and has become a collector’s item due to only being sold in limited editions. This is just one of the numerous luxury items that are increasing in value and being viewed as a collectable, impelling young people to invest.
The introduction of technology and social media to the retail world has had a massive impact on the expectations of fashion. Millennials feel a pressure to look a certain way and this is massively portrayed through fashion and trends. Now, with influencer lifestyles the hot topic, the luxury market is booming.