In a layman's language a luxury product is a thing which is not of an essential need, but it's really not possible to define luxury because a thing of need for one person might be a luxury for a person who has a lower income than that of person.


Luxury is very subjective in nature and its definition varies from person to person. Despite the substantial body of knowledge accumulated during the past few decades, researchers still have not arrived on a common definition. Several efforts have been made to define luxury, based on the parameters of price and quality. It also states that any expensive product, in its category, can be classified as luxury.


For example, using good fragrance perfume might be a need for a marketing employee but it is thing of luxury for a peon.


It is very well said that clothes and shoes determine a person's status and class. So, the people are getting more conscious about what they are wearing and also about what the other person is wearing.


Rise in standard of living


Nations across the world are striving for economic development which has led to an increase in the per capita income, especially in the developing nations. This has led to a rise in the purchasing power and more number of people can now afford to buy an expensive and designer piece of dress or accessories.


In certain countries there is a huge disparity between the rich and poor and the rich are becoming richer which has given a boost to the sales of luxury brands. Due to this, the party and the red carpet culture have also flourished. In such parties and events repetition of a dress is considered as a stigma on the personality's social status. So there is a never-ending demand for branded, unique and sophisticated stuff in this class.

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Constantly developing countries are seen as an opportunity for example; designers Paris Hilton and Roberto Cavalli launched their exclusive stores in India in 2012 and claim them to a success.


Japan, China, UK, USA, Taiwan, Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Brazil, Spain and Switzerland are considered to be the top twelve markets for luxury goods. These countries account for 83 percent of the total market for luxurious apparels. Japan was leading luxury market when China surpassed it in 2012.

A report by Korea Customs Office, in February 2013, stated that there was an increase of 2.93 percent (compared to 2011) in the imports of luxury and branded clothing, handbags, cosmetics, watches etc. In 2012, imports of nonessential goods in South Korea went up to US$ 8.6 billion.


Sales statistics of luxury apparels


The luxury goods market has been on an upward climb for many years. It is expected that the sales of luxury market will be up.


Louis Vuitton has been named the world's most valuable luxury brand. It recorded revenue of €28.1 billion in 2012, an increase of 19 percent compared to 2011. This includes the integration of Bulgaria as of June 30, 2011. Organic revenue growth was 9 percent. The company once again recorded double-digit revenue growth during the year.


The annual sales of luxury brand lingerie brand La Perla rose from €155 million in 2009 to more than €250 million in 2012. Luxury lingerie although is a thing which is not meant for display or show off but women get a feel good factor. According to La Perla Managing Director, Mr. Andrea Bonardi, "It is a product for pure self indulgence that is bought by very sophisticated customers who have already gone through the scale of luxury and look for something more fulfilling from a personal point of view".


There was an increase of 4 percent in the turnover of Roberto Cavalli, an Italian house of luxury apparels. Its total turnover was 185 million euros in the year 2012. A growth of 72 percent was observed in its directly operated stores and 23.4 percent sales growth in mono-brand franchises.


French luxury group Hermes has posted a 16.4 percent rise in 2012 sales. Revenue of Hermes grew 18.5 percent in the last three months of the year, marking acceleration from 15.7 percent growth in the third quarter and 13.4 percent in the second.


Constant changing fashion


Fashion has become a synonymous to change and this is one of the most inspiring factors for the leading players in the luxury garments and accessories sector. There are fashion designers who are round the clock engaged in creating something new and once they create something new and a master piece they make sure that it gets a good publicity and a good market value.


Due to the advancement in technology, textile industries are producing many varieties and shades of fabrics and this has provided apparel designers with more choice to experiment. One successful experiment on a fabric soon becomes a trend and as soon as the other experiment is successful the trend is replaced.


As exclusive and designer garments can be said a luxurious commodity, the people who don them have to keep up with the trend.

Growing Cultural Exchange

Today, people are interested in knowing about other cultures all around the world. People celebrate all the festivals with enthusiasm. The western party culture has got space in the upper class of Indian society. The demand of fancy and luxurious western gowns goes up during the wedding and Christmas season India.


Similarly, many saree traders in India have been exporting the Indian national dress in bulk to UK, USA, South Africa and certain Gulf countries. There is demand for rich and expensive sarees out of India.


Rise in income levels, constantly changing fashion trends and increased influence of other cultures has led to an increase in demand for branded and expensive clothing in the market. With the sales statistics of many luxury brands indicating a growth, there is huge scope of expansion. The international 'Luxury Bazaar' is blossoming and the leading players are expecting a better and fruitful year ahead.


References:

  1. Rediff.com

  2. Timesofindia.indiatimes.com

  3. Bain.com

  4. Wikipedia.org

  5. Cpp-luxury.com


Image Courtesy:

  1. Robertocavalli.com

  2. Dressale.com

  3. Cpp-luxury.com

  4. Hermesbirkinsalebags.com