Here’s the hierarchy of luxury brands around the world
A model at Milan Fashion Week.Photo: REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
Brands are the best way to show off wealth, and there is a flood of new millionaires around the world who like showing off.
“The brands bought are actually more important than the level of money earned,” HSBC managing director Erwan Rambourg writes in his recent book, “The Bling Dynasty: Why the Reign of Chinese Luxury Shoppers Has Only Just Begun.”
Rambourg created a brand pyramid to show how major brands range in accessibility from everyday luxuries like Starbucks to ultra-high-end luxury like Graff diamonds. This is the luxury power ranking:
“The Bling Dynasty”
Brands or products associated with luxury of any kind can benefit from increasing affluence around the world.
Still, brands that become too accessible are less appealing to superrich buyers. Louis Vuitton, for instance, is considered a “brand for secretaries” by many wealthy Chinese.
“Louis Vuitton has become too ordinary,” a billionaire woman told China Market Research Group managing director Shaun Rein in 2011. “Everyone has it. You see it in every restaurant in Beijing. I prefer Chanel or Bottega Veneta now. They are more exclusive.”
Gucci is similarly suffering from a reputation problem, while bespoke goods and less-well-known European labels like Bottega Veneta are soaring.