Trends in the Luxury Goods Market

handbagWhile some makers of luxury goods, including handbags, have experienced declining sales due to economic slowdowns in China and Europe, others are growing.

Prada saw declining sales in 2013 in important markets, including China and Italy. Unfavorable exchange rates also played a role in the fall in sales, especially in the third quarter of fiscal year 2013. Prada’s shares fell throughout 2013. The company’s fiscal 2013 report suggested that sales are not improving and that the company will have to take steps to deal with the economic slowdown. Prada is opening new stores, increasing its manufacturing capacity, and expanding its menswear and Miu Miu brands. The company expects its sales and operating margin to improve in 2015.

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton experienced a 9 percent growth in its fashion and leather goods earnings in the first quarter of 2014. The company has hired a new creative director, who introduced the well-received new models for the Monogram line. The company also opened two new stores, and Loro Piana, which LVMH bought last year, fared well. LVMH has also experienced challenges in Europe and is focusing on developing its brands and keeping costs down.

Michael Kors has experienced phenomenal growth of late. The company has seen dramatic growth in both North America and Europe due to brand awareness and increasing demand. Michael Kors has become synonymous with “affordable luxury” that leads to repeat customers.

Research firm Altagamma anticipates that the sale of luxury goods will grow by 3 to 5 percent from 2015 to 2016.

How to Clean Your Designer Handbag

handbagIf you have invested money in a designer handbag, you want to keep it looking its best. Here are some tips on cleaning a designer bag.

If you have a leather handbag, use a soft brush to remove any dirt. Then rub a small amount of leather conditioner on the surface. Wait a few minutes for it to be absorbed, and then wipe it off. This will keep the leather soft and prevent it from cracking.

You can wash a leather handbag in the washing machine with Murphy’s Oil Soap and then put it in the dryer for 10 minutes. Use delicate settings. You should not do this with an expensive designer bag.

 If you get an oil stain on your handbag, cover it with baby powder and allow it to stand overnight. The stain should be gone by the morning. If not, repeat until the stain is gone.

To remove dirt from a suede handbag, remove the crust from a slice of bread, let it become stale, and then gently rub away dirt and stains with the edge of the stale bread. To get rid of scuff marks, use an eraser or a nail file.

Keep your cosmetics in a makeup bag. If you keep makeup loose, things can break and ruin your handbag. If blush or bronzer explodes in your bag, use pre-moistened makeup removing wipes to clean up the powder.

If you get gum stuck in your handbag’s liner, remove it with a toothpick. If you have a large handbag, you can remove crumbs, lint, and dust with a small dustbuster or vacuum suction tool.

Do not store your designer handbag in a room that is too hot, cold, humid, or sunny because extreme conditions can cause suede, fabric, and leather to fade and scratch. When you are not using your handbag, keep it in the dustbag it came in when you bought it. If you don’t want to keep your handbag in a box or bag, place it on a shelf or hook with breathing room between it and other handbags.

Do not overstuff your handbag. That can change the structure, stretch the leather, and break the zipper.

If you follow these suggestions, you can keep your designer handbag looking like new for years.

Mansur Gavriel Handbags Have Become a Sensation

mansur gavriel bagMansur Gavriel’s bucket bags have sold out since debuting in stores last June. The bags are hand-crafted with vegetable-tanned Italian leather and are designed to hold all the essential items one could need.

The bucket bag is an ideal solution for someone who needs to carry a lot of things and needs a large handbag, but doesn’t want to compromise on style. A bucket bag is versatile and trendy, making it both functional and fashionable.

A bucket bag expands to fit all sorts of items, including a water bottle, wallet, cosmetics, shoes, and anything else one may need. Since a bucket bag is malleable and does not have a fixed shape, it can hold many items that would not fit in a traditional handbag. It is roomy without appearing oversized. It cinches at the top, unlike other handbags with clasps that may be a challenge to close if the bag is full.

The handbags are available in a variety of shapes and styles and in a wide assortment of colors and sizes. Bucket bags are so versatile that they can go well with any type of outfit. The Mansur Gavriel bags are different colors on the inside and outside.

Mansur Gavriel was founded by Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel. The two friends have been working on the bags since 2011 and designed them by corresponding via email. They wanted to create a line of handbags that would hold a lot of necessary items, but would be more affordable than other handbags on the market.

Mansur and Gavriel began sourcing in 2012 and had the bags manufactured in China. They will produce the next set of bags in Italy to reduce the amount of transportation necessary and the company’s carbon footprint.

The designers attribute their success to their aggressive marketing strategy. They emailed pictures of their products to buyers, who were eager to sell the handbags.

Bespoke Handbags for Life on the Go

Marcus BagsMany people find it difficult to fit everything they want to carry with them – keys, glasses, makeup, wallet, cell phone, tablet, chargers, medicines, etc. – into a typical handbag or tote bag. Florida designer Mark Arnold has created a solution.

Arnold’s company, Marcus Bags, creates strong and durable bags constructed with nine-ounce leather and carbon fiber support beams to give the bags shape. They can also be crafted with lighter-weight materials.

Arnold began designing the handbags when he was working as a consulting engineer. He worked in locations where he was away from his office, and he found it difficult to organize all of the items he needed to do his job. He began to design the bags using his background in furniture making and his appreciation for the durability of western saddles.

Marcus Bags sells Engineer and Reporter lines of bags, but they also create bespoke bags that are designed for specific customers. He discusses needs with a customer and creates a unique design with storage spaces measured to the exact specifications desired and a design that the customer helps to create.

The bags are produced in a workshop in Tampa, Florida. Hardware, such as clasps, tips, and other fitments, is attached with machines.

Arnold believes his bags can be integrated with wearable technology, which is expected to become more popular in the future. He wants to create handbags with custom cable paths and power sources.

Arnold is currently selling his bags to local Florida retailers, as well as through his website. So far he has sold his bags to musicians, engineers, and salespeople, but he is hoping to expand to a broader market. He also wants to develop branded or signature bags for specific merchants.

Christie’s Auctions Off Designer Handbags Online

Hermes bagThis season, Christie’s plans to auction off a series of vintage clothing, handbags, and accessories. The auction house began the sales with an online-only auction of luxury handbags and accessories.

The sale includes over 125 lots produced by famous designers, such as Hermes, Chanel, and Christian Dior. Many of the vintage handbags for sale are in bright and vibrant colors.

In 2007, Louis Vuitton created a group of handbags to honor petanque’s 100th anniversary. The light and portable handbags were produced in limited numbers and were given to Vuitton’s top clients as gifts.

Hermes created a set of limited edition handbags in 1997 for the designer’s exhibition in Japan. The bags were decorated with the words “A Trip to Wonderland” (written in French) and were given as gifts to VIP guests.

One of the most exotic bags that is expected to command a high price is an amethyst crocodile Birkin bag.

The Hermes Sac a Malice was created in 1988 and has an unusual design with a beach theme. It has never been sold before at a Christie’s auction.

The sale also includes several unusual colored Kelly bags, such as a Menthe leather handbag, as well as a vintage 1960s black crocodile Kelly handbag that is in excellent condition.

Christie’s is also auctioning off a limited edition fuschia pink Chanel Ladybug Charm Flap Bag made in 2003 or 2004.

Online bidding on the vintage handbags began on March 18 and will continue until March 27.

A.L.C. Launches New Line of Handbags

alc handbagAndrea Lieberman, the former celebrity stylist who created the successful ready-to-wear line A.L.C. five years ago, is expanding her business into the area of accessories and handbags. Her new line of bags, which was launched in February, includes clutches, totes, and satchels. She says she wanted to create products with a classic, timeless look as well as an edge.

Lieberman believed there was a need in the marketplace for handbags that were chic and classic. She wanted to create a line of versatile handbags that could be worn while dropping children off at school, going to work, or going out to dinner in the evening. She saw the expansion into handbags as a natural progression from her work with ready-to-wear clothing.

The handbags are made of both soft, classic Napa leather and smooth and stiff leather to create structure. Some of the handbags are made with suede or leopard calf hair. Lieberman believes those materials will get better with time.

Lieberman said she wanted to create a line of handbags that could be worn for many years, not ones that would go out of style after a single season. She wanted to create enduring, classic styles that customers could carry for years.

The six styles of handbags are intended to complement A.L.C.’s line of clothing. The handbags are not overly branded and feature relatively simple designs without lots of hardware. Lieberman said she wanted the line of handbags to be luxurious, functional, and stylish with subtle details.

The Latest Handbag Trends Modeled at Paris Fashion Week

Dior handbagDesigners, models, fashion reporters, buyers, and celebrities descended on Paris from February 25 to March 5 to attend 93 shows featuring the newest designs for Fall/Winter 2014. Paris Fashion Week featured many innovative designs in both clothing and accessories. Here are some trends in handbags this year.

Models on the catwalks in Paris carried their purses at hip height. The look created a new silhouette to compliment the trendy clothing worn by models strutting down the runways. Carrying handbags at hip height is expected to become a trend this year.

Some handbags were medium-sized and classic shapes, making them both fashionable and functional. Classic, boxy-shaped purses, bags with both shoulder straps and top handles, and oversized envelope clutches were popular on the runways in Paris.

Other designers featured handbags, such as those modeled by Saint Laurent, that were so tiny that they could barely hold anything. Tiny bags are expected to continue to be a trend this year, in addition to larger bags that will also be popular.

Handbags are expected to be colorful next season. Primary colors were popular with Dior, and baby blue was also a popular shade on the Paris runways this year.

Some fashion designers used handbags in unconventional ways in their shows. Balenciaga had models carry three bags each down the runway, while Chanel’s models carried shopping baskets covered with chains filled with their classic 2.55 bags.

Expect to see these new handbag trends featured by celebrities and sold in your favorite stores this year.

Market for Italian Accessories is Growing Around the World

Furla satchelWhile sales of luxury clothing are slowing down in many countries, spending on Italian handbags and shoes is increasing among members of the middle class in many emerging economies. Accessories are expected to continue to be a driving force in the growth of the international fashion market in the future.

Furla is experiencing its most dramatic growth in Japan and Asia as a whole, as well as many locations in Europe that are popular as tourist destinations. Some of the company’s most successful and promising markets include Dubai, Moscow, Singapore, and New York. Some of the most popular items offered by Furla this season include wallets, clutch bags, and satchels with fur trim, pastel colors, and animal print designs. Some of the company’s pastel bags are inspired by Japanese flower prints.

Casadei, a family-owned Italian shoe company, is planning to open two new stores in Beijing and Shanghai and also intends to expand throughout the Middle East. The company sees the potential for significant expansion of its presence in those markets. Most of Casadei’s products are exported outside Italy.

A recent study revealed that accessories are the fastest growing sector of the luxury goods market. Italian brands have experienced the most significant growth in market share in the luxury sector, rivaling French designers.

Casadei, Furla, and other top Italian designers shared their newest offerings last week at Milan Fashion Week, which drew a host of top international designers and fashion industry leaders.

Pretty in Pastel

With the winter months almost over, it is time to start stocking up on spring handbags. Now the question is, “What handbags pink pastel handbagwill be trending this spring?” The answer is pastel! Simple and chic, pastel colored handbags will be trending as the weather starts to get warmer.

Pastel handbags go great with any spring time outfit. With floral designs and soft colors popular trends in the spring for clothing, a pastel handbag will be the perfect complement to any outfit. With brighter days and warmer weather ahead, you will want to have the perfect handbag to go with your spring outfits. With so many styles of pastel handbags, there will be one that fits your personality.

The great thing about pastel colors is that they are soft and bright. A pastel handbag won’t be distracting to your outfit, but it will draw attention. They are perfect for a new work bag, weekend bag, or even evening bag. Everyone from high-end designers to wholesale handbag distributors will be releasing pastel colored handbags for the spring season. If you are someone who needs everything you own with you at all times, opt for an oversized pastel handbag. If you live in the city and are looking for something smaller for your busy nightlife, try on a pastel clutch. If you are looking for something cute and convenient for everyday use, a pastel cross-shoulder bag is right for you.

Spring is a happy season because it marks the end of the winter and the precursor to summer. Pastels will put a smile on your face because they give off that “no worries” vibe. With so many different shades, from baby blue to pink, there will surely be a pastel handbag that catches your eye. If you want to stay trendy this spring you need to have a pastel bag on your wrist or shoulder. No matter what type of bag you are looking for, oversized bag, clutch, or cross-shoulder bag, make sure it’s pastel!

Michael Kors Experiences Rapid Growth

michael kors handbagLuxury fashion label Michael Kors has experienced significant growth over the past year and is cutting into the business of rival fashion designers, including Coach. Michael Kors saw a sharp rise last quarter in comparable-store holiday sales and profit margins.

Michael Kors is best known for its line of luxury handbags, but the label has begun expanding into other types of fashion, including jewelry, accessories, and footwear. Company executives are optimistic about potential profits from its new footwear collection.

Recent stormy weather in the United States did little to affect demand for Michael Kors handbags and other luxury goods. The company’s expenses and inventory increased at a slower rate than its sales. Michael Kors had few markdowns, and they were due to late deliveries, not pressure from its competitors.

Coach has attributed its recently declining sales to design transitioning, a change in leadership, and an increasing focus on emerging markets. However, last month the company acknowledged that competition from Michael Kors was also a factor.

Michael Kors does not directly compete with European luxury companies, such as Louis Vuitton and Prada. However, as Louis Vuitton’s sales have slowed, Michael Kors may be poised to expand its presence in the European luxury goods market.

So far, competition from Michael Kors has not affected the sales of Burberry, which is known predominantly for its coats, but also offers a line of luxury handbags. However, Burberry’s sales are expected to slow, which could allow sales of Michael Kors products to increase.