Death of the ‘it’ bag
So the time has finally arrived. The celebrity-driven ‘it’ bag business is about to suffer a backlash, according reports. The days of emulating A-list celebrities with the latest designer bag seems, well, so very last season. In a report by consumer intelligence analysts Mintel, British women are expected to turn their backs on expensive, celebrity-endorsed handbags this year, with sector growth slowing in the coming five years in favour of more reasonably priced high-street bags.
Although UK sales of high-end handbags are set to hit £553m ($1.11bn) this year, up 18% on 2007, overall sales grew 139% in the five years to 2007, thanks mostly to the success of the must-have It bag, endorsed by celebrities. Over the last three years, the market has seen 30% year-on-year growth to reach £468m in 2007, according to WGSN.
“Women have become more cynical about celebrity-endorsed products,” said Katrin Magnussen, senior fashion analyst at Mintel. “Many will no longer be as quick to spend hundreds, even thousands of pounds on a bag just because the likes of Posh Spice have been snapped with one… especially when these days the must-have looks are quickly translated to the high street.
“Also, in light of the uncertain economic climate, women may well need to tighten the purse strings and so less expensive handbags will help them satisfy their appetite for a new handbag,” she added.
“Although concerns about cheap labour and environmentally unfriendly practices are only just starting to impact the accessories market, there is a clear emerging green effect here. We are increasingly seeing bags that are made from eco-friendly, natural and recycled materials,” added Magnussen.
Mintel aims to analyse consumer data and deliver it using the latest technology. The company provides its clients with insight into their markets, consumers and products, and creates a tangible impact by challenging established concepts and having a positive impact on profits.
Image: Louis Vuitton accessory ad
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