In the world of fashion, we’ve all heard the term “out with the old, in with the new”; while that’s not always the case, there is an inevitable shift when it comes to trends, tastemakers, and, of course, the buzziest brands. This “changing of the guard” can be triggered by shifts such as consumer demand and societal events (looking at you, COVID).
Currently, we’ve been watching the reinvention of the “it bag” and brand signature details – becoming the more popular choice to the all-over logo alternative that used to reign supreme. And what makes this moment of time even more interesting, affordable luxury is cool once again with brands like Telfar and Staud offering coveted products at a welcoming price-point, fit for the post-COVID consumer’s budget.
Given what we know about our current retail climate, this can be an exciting yet intimidating time to polish brand image – and these brands offer a blueprint to becoming the fresh new faces of status accessories.
Telfar: The New Way to Logo
Although overall interest in the concept of logos has certainly declined over the years (currently landing at only 16% of introduced handbags last month), Telfar makes us want to sport one once again. The secret isn’t in the logo itself but the brand story; founder Telfar Clemens has been a strong advocate for inclusivity and supporting small business and young creatives (just to name a few of his missions); plus, the brand sustainably releases products in limited drops. All in all, this is a brand value proposition that makes the modern-day consumer want to support (and spend). (Price-points range from $150 - 257 for handbags).
Jacquemus: The Must-Have Media
Jacquemus is basically the darling of social media; who can forget their SS20 and SS21 shows in luscious French countryside fields? With that, the decade-old brand has become increasingly influential. Not to dock their beautifully constructed apparel and accessories, but their digital-savvy approach to marketing (they’ve actually introduced “see now, buy now” for Fall 2021 ) has undoubtedly transformed this brand from up-and-comer to household name. They’ve even convinced us to opt for pretty impractical micro bags – and we can’t get enough (check it out in our Trend Report here . (Price-points range from $500 - 1000 for handbags).
By Far: The Less is More Approach
In the new wave of status accessories, less is certainly more when it comes to design. Consumers are gravitating towards clean, architectural silhouettes in punchy hues rather than the heavily embellished or logoed options of the past. By Far is a label that’s encompassed this design notion into their brand’s DNA and it shows from their handbags to footwear. This aesthetic is certainly in-demand as it reached a high of 24% in sold out products at influential retailers this past spring 2021. (Price-points range from $320 - 835 for handbags).
Cult Gaia: The Modern Detail
When thinking of Cult Gaia, the first thing that comes to mind is “details”. From their original Ark bag to expanding accessories categories and introduction of apparel, the brand has integrated modern, architectural details that uphold a strong brand image. The details are eye-catching and unlike much of what we’ve seen in the market, such as the spherical heels to expertly woven accessories (check out the Trend Report on it here) – and they’re even pretty practical, too. (Price-points range from $238 - 698 for handbags).
JW Pei: The New Material
JW Pei is another newcomer to the affordable luxury scene. Their differentiator? An extremely affordable price-point and a strong marketing approach to highlight its buzzy vegan material. When checking out the brand’s verbiage, the use of “vegan” stays consistent. In our industry that’s consistently moving towards sustainability, vegan material at an accessible price-point is an easy way for consumers to get involved in the movement. Even amidst COVID, our data indicates vegan handbags were an important part of retailer’s assortments, reaching 32% of introduced products during 2020, compared to 18% in 2019. (Price-points are typically under $100 for handbags).
Stay up to date with what else is working in the accessories market by keeping up with our Trend Reports here.