However this price increase has led to the development of a gap in the market, which is now being filled by an influx of mid-market or affordable luxury labels, such as Michael Kors, Tamara Mellon and Nicholas Kirkwood. Now, more and more designer labels and brands are eager to join the ‘300 club’ - with 300 pounds being celebrated as the magic price tag for consumers, bridging the gap between luxury and attainability.
Designer brands eager to join the '300 club'
This new spot within the fashion market, which includes brands like Tory Burch, Chloe and Ralph Lauren, have witnessed a wave of new consumers coming into contact with the brand. which have been lured in by products which cost around the 300 pounds threshold. The idea behind the concept lies within the magical price tag - it is an attainable amount for the majority of consumers to save up to in order to buy into a piece of luxury from a designer brand, without having to break the bank. The price tag also remain high enough not to harm the brands image, still offering a luxury idea of a product whilst still distinguishing the labels from lower-market brands.
“Our bags are not meant to sit on top of the wardrobe looking pretty,” said designer Michael Kors, to the Sunday Times. His eponymous label was reportedly the most searched for designer brand online in 2014, according to a study from search engine Bing and with over 17 million fans on social media accounts, it becomes clear why his label has become the front leader of the 300 club.
Michael Kors bestselling handbag for the year (so far) is the 310 pound Dillion tote, which has been spotted being carried by celebrities such as models Miranda Kerr and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as well as the average office manager. "The details are right: the gold studs on the base, a practical touch so that you can rest the bag on the floor; a printed silk lining; a phone pocket,” wrote the Guardian on the Michael Kors it-Bag in 2014, the Selma. “But the most important detail is very, very simple: the magic 300 pound price tag.”
Even established luxury labels such as Mulberry, who previously attempted to raise its status by increasing the price of its handbags - a decision which ultimately back fired on the brand, and Coach have introduced new mini handbags this season which retail close to the 350 pound mark, highlighting the pulling power of the 300 club.
“This market is catering for the mass market, which didn’t happen before,” commented Karen Kay, fashion writer to the Mail. “A lot of women now think nothing of spending 300 pounds on a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes. Ten years ago that would have been absurd for anyone to spend that much other than fashion people. It’s a combination of social media and celebrity and selfie culture.”