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The New Era of Designer Bags: Redefining Leather Goods

BoF’s guide to the $72-billion category examining how brands can refine their strategies around brand elevation and pricing amid the growing spending power of the Chinese consumer, the entrance of new mid-tier players and the rise of resale and rental.

Bags and small leather goods are the foundation of many of the world’s top luxury businesses and remain one of the industry's biggest and most profitable categories. But the landscape is crowded and volatile.

InThe New Era of Designer Bags: Redefining Leather Goods, BoF Insights provides its outlook on designer bags and small leather goods in the US and China, the two most important global markets for this category. The report features proprietary consumer data in both primary and secondhand markets to reveal what, why and how consumers are buying in the category, which is set to grow at a rate that will outpace that of designer apparel to be worth $100 billion by 2027.


Publication Date: July 2022
Length: 105 pages
File Format: PDF File

Table of Contents

  • Ranking of Sales Contributions by Bags to Major Designer Brands
  • Timeline of Key Shifts in Designer Bag Landscape 
  • Case Study: Burberry Turnaround
  • Case Study: Saint Laurent Customer Acquisition
  • Growth in Designer Bags Vs. Designer Apparel
  • Global Category Growth to 2027 
  • Primary Markets of the US and China
  • Growth Drivers in the US and China
  • Engaged General Consumers and HNWIs
  • Heritage Brand Mapping
  • Contemporary Brand Mapping
  • Three Forces: Accessibility, Casualisation and Sustainability
  • Pricing Architecture for Ten Key Bag Brands
  • Fashion Forwardness Correlation with Colourways
  • Tactics for Brand Elevation
  • Chanel Price Increases
  • Balancing Core Vs. Novelty
  • Copycat Designs of Bestsellers
  • Case Study: Mansur Gavriel’s Ownership of the Bucket Bag
  • Engaged General Consumers and HNWIs
  • General Consumer and HNWI Budgets for Designer Bags
  • Gen-Z and Millennial Spending on Designer Bags
  • 2019-2022 Average Price Increases for Designer Bags in the US
  • HWNI Reactions to Price Increases
  • Most Desired Designer Bag Brands 
  • Key Brand Attributes that Influence Purchasing
  • Preferred Bag Shapes in the US
  • Preferred Bag Shapes in China
  • Small Leather Goods’ Pricing
  • Womenswear vs. Menswear Small Leather Goods
  • Emergence of Mini Bags
  • Resurgence of Belt Bags
  • US: Key Attributes for Regular Use Bags
  • US: Canvas Totes Replacing Designer Bags for Regular Use
  • US: Key Reasons for Using Reusable Canvas Totes
  • US: Key Attributes for Special Occasion Bags
  • US: Generational Preferences for Bag Attributes
  • US: Case Study: Telfar and Identity
  • China: Key Attributes for Regular Use Bags
  • China: Key Attributes for Special Occasion Bags
  • China: Generational Preferences for Bag Attributes
  • Preferences for Gender Neutrality
  • Case Study: Rimowa’s Push into Lifestyle Via Bags
  • Sustainability: What US Consumers Care About
  • Sustainability: What Chinese Consumers Care About
  • Digital Empowerment for Consumers
  • Three Forces Shaping Consumer Journeys
  • Chinese Shopping Preferences by Platform
  • Chinese Preferences for Livestreaming
  • Growth in Livestreaming to 2023
  • US Investment in Livestream Shopping
  • Attitudes toward Bag Resale and / or Rental
  • Global Luxury Resale Market Size and Forecasts
  • Why Designer Bags are Conducive to Resale
  • Preferred Brands for Browsing and Buying Via Resale
  • Resale Impacts on Consumers
  • Resale Impacts on Brands
  • Case Study: Resale of Luxury Timepieces Foreshadowing Market for Designer Bags
  • Rental Market Players

Why Buy this Report

  • Analyses the global market for designer bags and SLGs from premium and luxury brands, with a minimum retail price of $250 / 1,500 Chinese yuan
  • Features proprietary research with consumers and HNWIs in the US and China, revealing the most in-demand brands and styles, budget by demographic group, the psychology behind purchases, and consumer attitudes towards channels like resale and rental
  • Provides executive guidance around tactics for brand elevation, including pricing architecture
  • Includes concise case studies on Burberry, Saint Laurent, Mansur Gavriel, Telfar and Rimowa, as well as strategic analysis of key brands positioned across the price spectrum like Bottega Veneta, Coach, Gucci, Hermès, Jacquemus, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, Mark Cross, Off-White, Prada and Stella McCartney
  • Outlines how the concurrent forces of accessibility, casualisation and sustainability are expanding the definition of luxury while assessing how technology is impacting consumer behaviour and product portfolios

Research Inputs

  • Four surveys:
    • A demographically balanced general population consumer survey in the US
    • A nationally representative general population consumer survey of the online population in Tier 1-3 cities in China 
    • A panel conducted by Altiant LuxuryOpinions® on behalf of BoF Insights of HNWIs in the US, who individually have a median value of $2 million in investable assets 
    • A panel conducted by Altiant LuxuryOpinions® on behalf of BoF Insights of HNWIs in the China, who individually have a median value of $1.5 million in investable assets 
  • 24 interviews with executives from brands and retailers, rental and resale platforms, influencers and consultants in the US and China
  • 10 in-person store audits and pulse interviews conducted at designer bag brands and luxury retailers in Chicago, London and New York
  • Companies featured in the report include: Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Coach, Gucci, Hermès, Jacquemus, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, Mansur Gavriel, Mark Cross, Off-White, Prada, Rimowa, Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney and Telfar.

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