From Coach to Hermes: The Luxury Handbag Market

Battle of the brands!—what does it take to be at the top of the hierarchy? As shopaholics, browsing for luxury goods may seem like a mindless indulgence and a great visual treat. But according to a recent Business Insider article, the appeal behind luxury brands and their goods is actually very strategic and calculated. As certain brands become more accessible in the popular imagination, some consumers are trying to purchase bags and goods from higher levels of the “luxury hierarchy”.

While price and quality are factors in the luxury hierarchy, perceived exclusivity is the determining factor behind a brand’s prestige. In other words, consumers want a bag that is less frequently seen not only because it is more unique, but also because of the category it is associated with and the statement this makes about wealth or status.

The Cycle

  1. Regardless of price, consumers save up for upper tier bags
  2. Brands that were once more exclusive become more accessible, and move down the pyramid
  3. Connoisseur or wealthier consumers look for less flashy and less recognizable bags in higher tiers


All money talk aside, what are the consequences for bag trends and fashion??

The luxury hierarchy reflects how consumers value goods and the fashion status quo. Much like was mentioned in our Anti-It bag post that spiraled great discussion, bags with prominent and identifiable labels are losing their touch with handbag aficionados. Brands such as Louis Vuitton are accessible, and would be lower on the luxury hierarchy.

PurseBop wants your take on the luxury hierarchy… are ultra high end, ‘Anti-It’ bags the future (until they lose their spot on the coveted hierarchy)?

Comment below, let’s talk…

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Published: April 17th, 2015
Updated: May 27th, 2017

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6 Responses to “From Coach to Hermes: The Luxury Handbag Market”

  • I don’t completely agree with the rankings . . . sorry my friend. Yes, Hermes is in a class by itself . . . followed by Chanel . . . and these two rank the same on the retail and resale market. Delvaux doesn’t yet have enough recognition in resale, though the retail prices no doubt compare. And in my resale experience, BV plummets. As for everyday luxury, I actually think PS should be higher – based on retail pricing. Coach, Kors Michael Kors and MG are roughly the same – generally under $500, though they inching higher. MK, the higher line, is in fact more expensive.

  • I agree both that PS should be bumped up, and that Delvaux doesn’t hold it’s value on the resale market. You know your bags!!!