Between January and June 2017, retail analytics firm Edited has examined sales at 30 major U.S. retailers. Full price sales of luxury handbags increased 22% in the period, sales of scarves and hats rose 20% and 83% respectively, while full price clothing sales have decreased by 34.5%, according to the report. The shift toward accessories among millennials has been largely attributed to the continued rise of fast fashion, according to Jeff Staple, founder of e-commerce site Staple Design. “Whether you bought the Céline piece from the runway or the Zara knockoff piece a few days later, it doesn’t matter because it’s not immediately noticeable”, he explains.
As retailers such as Zara continue to replicate luxury looks, the millennials are said to feel less compelled to spend money on a designer blouse, for example, when they can get a similar style for cheaper. The way to stand out from the crowd is to invest on luxury accessories.
According to the Edited report, Gucci handbags were reported to be the most purchased brand by millennials, among luxury the brands; +595% growth in the first half of 2017. Other popular brands included Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana.