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Key points included

  • What are the main changes happening in designer fashion?
  • What are the opportunities for driving sales of designer fashion?
  • How can the luxury sector tap into demand for experiential retailing?

Covered in this report

The way these young consumers shop is changing and they are more likely than other demographics to buy designer fashion that has good reviews and that they have seen on social media. Luxury brands are having to review the way they promote themselves and where they advertise. In an effort to target these young shoppers, several designer brands including Burberry and Ralph Lauren have launched campaigns on social media site TikTok in 2019, where the focus is on using video content to promote entertainment and authenticity rather than hard selling

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Tamara Sender, a leading analyst in the Consumer sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The designer fashion market is experiencing major changes as the sector embraces the shift towards shopping more online and the higher visibility from social media. As Millennials drive sales of luxury fashion, they are putting pressure on designer brands to be more ethical, inclusive and diverse. They are also changing the way these brands promote themselves and where they advertise, with a bigger focus on content that embraces entertainment and authenticity Tamara Sender
Senior Consumer Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Overseas visits and spend drop
              • Figure 1: Total spend by overseas residents in the UK, 2008-19
            • Companies and brands
              • Luxury brands focus on own-branded websites
                • Growing interest in second-hand luxury fashion
                  • Louis Vuitton spends the most on ad campaigns
                    • The consumer
                      • Luxury streetwear drives demand
                        • Figure 2: What designer fashion items consumers have bought in the last 3 years, August 2019
                      • Gifting key purchase driver
                        • Figure 3: Who designer fashion items were bought for in the last 3 years, August 2019
                      • Department stores first choice for designer fashion
                        • Figure 4: Where designer fashion items were bought in the last 3 years, August 2019
                      • Over-45s want designer fashion that keeps its value
                        • Figure 5: Designer fashion purchasing behaviour, August 2019
                      • Demand for better quality
                        • Figure 6: Attitudes towards designer fashion purchasing, August 2019
                      • Millennials want more ethical designer fashion
                        • Figure 7: Issues related to designer fashion purchasing, August 2019
                      • Appealing to those who can’t afford luxury
                        • Figure 8: Reasons for not buying designer fashion, August 2019
                      • What we think
                      • Issues and Insights

                        • What are the main changes happening in designer fashion?
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • What are the opportunities for driving sales of designer fashion?
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • How can the luxury sector tap into demand for experiential retailing?
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                          • Wealthy individuals in the UK decline
                                            • Changes in the population structure
                                              • Overseas visits drop
                                                • Average spend per visit is highest for Middle Eastern countries
                                                • Market Drivers

                                                  • Real wage growth and inflation remain healthy
                                                    • Figure 9: Real wage growth – Average weekly earnings vs inflation, 2016-19
                                                  • Future consumer confidence begins to wane
                                                    • Figure 10: Consumer financial confidence, January 2017-September 2019
                                                  • Wealthy individuals in the UK decline
                                                    • Figure 11: Number of HNWIs in the UK, 2008-18
                                                  • Changes in the population structure
                                                    • Figure 12: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2019-29
                                                    • Figure 13: Breakdown of trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2019-29
                                                  • Value of Sterling remains low
                                                    • Figure 14: Selected international currency exchange rates, annual averages, 2003-19
                                                    • Figure 15: Sterling exchange rate versus selected currencies, annual averages, 2014-19
                                                  • Total overseas visits drop
                                                    • Figure 16: Total overseas residents’ visits to the UK, 2010-19*
                                                  • Downturn in spend by tourists to the UK
                                                    • Figure 17: Total spend by overseas residents when visiting the UK, 2008-19
                                                  • Average spend per visit declines
                                                    • Figure 18: Average spend per visit to the UK, 2010-18
                                                  • US overtakes France as top visiting country in 2018
                                                    • Figure 19: Top 20 markets, by volume of visits to the UK, 2018
                                                  • Americans are top spenders when visiting the UK
                                                    • Figure 20: Top 20 countries, by total amount spent when visiting the UK, 2018
                                                  • Average spend per visit is highest for Middle Eastern countries
                                                    • Figure 21: Top 20 countries, by average amount spent per visit in the UK, 2018
                                                • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Luxury brands focus on own-branded websites
                                                    • Luxury department stores invest in technology
                                                      • Luxury brands target young with social media
                                                        • A year of collaborations
                                                          • Growing interest in second-hand luxury fashion
                                                            • Louis Vuitton spends most on ad campaigns
                                                              • Focus on digital campaigns
                                                              • Online

                                                                • Online gains share of total fashion spend
                                                                  • Multi-brand pureplays
                                                                    • Farfetch
                                                                      • Yoox Net-a-Porter
                                                                        • MatchesFashion
                                                                          • Luxury brands focus on own-branded sites
                                                                            • Luxury department stores
                                                                              • Online retailers’ competitive strategies
                                                                                • Boosting customer experience
                                                                                  • International expansion
                                                                                    • Social media
                                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                      • Collaborations
                                                                                        • Acne Studios and Mulberry reveal ‘Friendship’ collection
                                                                                          • Figure 22: Mulberry X Acne Studio ‘Friendship’ collection, 2019
                                                                                        • Victoria Beckham X Reebok Spring 2019 collection
                                                                                          • Fendi X Nicki Minaj in a futuristic collaboration
                                                                                            • Inclusivity
                                                                                              • Ralph Lauren PRIDE polo
                                                                                                • Fenty becomes first LVMH brand headed by woman of colour
                                                                                                  • H&M collaborates with Italian couturier Giambattista Valli
                                                                                                    • Figure 23: H&M X Giambattista Valli, 2019
                                                                                                  • In-store experiences
                                                                                                    • Burberry launches its first video game
                                                                                                      • Flannels opens first London flagship
                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Flannels Oxford Street store, 2019
                                                                                                      • Selfridges new menswear floor
                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Selfridges skate bows on its menswear floor, 2019
                                                                                                      • Harrods new menswear department
                                                                                                        • Second-hand luxury fashion
                                                                                                          • Selfridges launches second-hand clothing concession
                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Vestiaire Collective at Selfridges, 2019
                                                                                                          • Farfetch teams up with second-hand clothing platform Thrift+
                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Farfetch X Thrift+ service, 2019
                                                                                                          • Ralph Lauren and Depop
                                                                                                            • Sustainable fashion
                                                                                                              • Stella McCartney collaborations
                                                                                                                • Prada’s Re-Nylon bags
                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Prada’s Re-Nylon bags, 2019
                                                                                                                • Ralph Lauren’s Earth Polo
                                                                                                                  • Max Mara upcycles eco padding for coats
                                                                                                                    • Pop-ups
                                                                                                                      • Fenty to open first UK pop-up at Selfridges
                                                                                                                        • Balmain pop-up at Selfridges
                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Balmain pop-up at Selfridges, 2019
                                                                                                                        • Harrods and NSPCC designer charity pop-up
                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Fashion Re-Told at Harrods, 2019
                                                                                                                        • Dior opens Harrods pop-up
                                                                                                                        • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                          • Advertising spenders
                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on fashion by selected leading designers, 2014-19
                                                                                                                          • Press remains the biggest media channel although slowing
                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on fashion, by media type, 2014-19
                                                                                                                          • Key campaigns in 2019
                                                                                                                            • Inclusivity
                                                                                                                              • A cinematic approach
                                                                                                                                • A natural backdrop
                                                                                                                                  • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                    • Luxury streetwear drives demand
                                                                                                                                      • Rising demand for designer bags and jewellery
                                                                                                                                        • Gifting key purchase driver
                                                                                                                                          • Rise in online purchases
                                                                                                                                            • Department stores first choice for designer fashion
                                                                                                                                              • Over-45s want designer fashion that keeps its value
                                                                                                                                                • Demand for better quality
                                                                                                                                                  • Millennials want more ethical designer fashion
                                                                                                                                                    • Luxury brands look to be more diverse
                                                                                                                                                      • Appealing to those who can’t afford luxury
                                                                                                                                                      • What They Buy

                                                                                                                                                        • Luxury streetwear drives demand
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: What designer fashion items consumers have bought in the last 3 years, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                        • Trend for designer trainers
                                                                                                                                                          • Rise in purchasing of designer jewellery
                                                                                                                                                            • Handbags are a growth area
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: What designer fashion items consumers have bought in the last 3 years, August 2017 and August 2019
                                                                                                                                                            • Focus on menswear
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: What designer fashion items consumers have bought in the last 3 years, by gender, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                            • Young are keenest designer shoppers
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Profile of consumers who have purchased any designer fashion item in the last three years, by gender, age and household income, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                            • Millennials buy most items
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Repertoire of designer fashion items consumers have bought in the last 3 years, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                          • Who They Buy For

                                                                                                                                                            • Gifting key purchase driver
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Who designer fashion items were bought for in the last 3 years, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                              • Women treat themselves to designer fashion
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Who designer fashion items were bought for in the last 3 years, by gender, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                              • Rise in designer childrenswear buying
                                                                                                                                                              • How and Where They Shop

                                                                                                                                                                • Rise in online purchases
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: How designer fashion items were bought in the last 3 years, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                • Department stores first choice for designer fashion
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Where designer fashion items were bought in the last 3 years, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                  • 25% of under-25s buy pre-loved designer fashion
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Consumers who have bought designer fashion items second-hand in the last 3 years, by age and gender, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                    • Men aged 16-44 shop at designer outlets
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Where designer fashion items were bought in the last 3 years, by age, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Where designer fashion items were bought online in the last 3 years, by age, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                      • Older Millennials shop around
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Repertoire of where designer fashion items were bought in the last 3 years, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                    • Designer Fashion Shopping Behaviours

                                                                                                                                                                      • Designer fashion that will keep its value is key
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Designer fashion purchasing behaviour, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                      • Good reviews encourage purchasing
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Consumers who are most likely to buy designer fashion that has good reviews, by age, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                      • Social media is an important part of the buyer journey
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Consumers who are most likely to buy designer fashion that they have seen on social media, by age, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                      • Males want designer fashion that looks different and exclusive
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Consumers who are most likely to buy designer fashion that only has a limited amount of pieces available, by age and gender, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Designer Fashion

                                                                                                                                                                      • Demand for better quality
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Attitudes towards designer fashion purchasing, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumers care how brands act
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Attitudes towards designer fashion purchasing, by gender, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                          • Appealing to new customers
                                                                                                                                                                          • Issues Related to Designer Fashion

                                                                                                                                                                            • Millennials want more ethical designer fashion
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Issues related to designer fashion purchasing, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                              • Demand for luxury brands to be more diverse
                                                                                                                                                                                • Affluent believe in-store experience better than online
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Agreement with statement ‘You get a better experience when buying designer fashion items in-store than online’, by socio-economic group, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Millennials want plus-sized designer fashion
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Designer Fashion – CHAID – Tree output, September 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Designer Fashion – CHAID – Table output, September 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Reasons for Not Buying Designer Fashion

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appealing to those who can’t afford luxury
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Reasons for not buying designer fashion, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Preferring an experience over fashion
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer research methodology

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