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The overall market for luxury goods has grown steadily since the end of the recession, but the biggest luxury brands in the world are still worried about logo fatigue. According to the Washington Post, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada are struggling as wealthy customers continue to favor less ostentatious accessories.
"I think as customers have begun to notice changes in their own income and the income of others, they begin to feel a little bit of yuppie guilt around purchasing the logos," Charles Lawry told the Post. Lawry is an assistant professor at Pace University who studies luxury marketing. "It’s the idea of not wanting to seem as if you’re trying to brag about the products that you own."
Johann Rupert, chief executive of Richemont, is concerned about how income inequality will affect the luxury business. "This is really what keeps me up at night," Rupert said at a conference last week. "Because people with money will not wish to show it. If your child’s best friend’s parents go unemployed, you don’t want to buy a car or anything showy."
The desire for logo purses is fading in China too, as the economy slows and the government cracks down on corruption. Olivier Abtan of consulting firm BCG told the Post: "What took maybe 20 to 30 years for consumers in the U.S. — for the Chinese consumers, it took only two or three years."