“Luxury basics sales self performance tends to be more stable [than more fashion-focused luxury items,]” Wu said. “You have less risk to have to any potential fashion missteps. It’s a safer look and it’s a safer investment.”
Kapelman added, “Certain things are always in fashion–your favorite sweater, scarf or gloves.” And it’s these categories that are more popular than ever with luxury consumers. See: Why accessories have become the most profitable sector of the fashion industry.
It’s not just the luxury market that’s trending towards higher-premium basics. According to Businessweek, “fast-fashion fatigue” has set in among Millenials. Now, young consumers want better-quality items that will last more than a season, even if it means paying more.
“American culture has been ‘Give me more for less,’ and I do think that’s shifting,” Robin Lewis, a New York-based retail consultant, told the weekly. “It’s being driven by young people today, Millennials. They are over time reversing, and quality is beginning to trump quantity.”
“There’s a great opportunity now for quality basics that are very, very well-priced,” David Wolfe, creative director of the Doneger Group, a New York-based trend forecaster, added.
It’s an opportunity that’s not gone unnoticed. According to Businessweek, Gap and Uniqlo are charging more for premium basics, while Zara and H&M are chasing more discerning consumers with up-market brands Massimo Dutti and COS, respectively.
Of course there will always be those individuals who prefer a more over-the-top, trend-focused aesthetic (Anna Dello Russo we’re looking at you), however interest in well-made, higher-priced every day pieces is definitely on the rise. And that means we can expect more brands like The Elder Statesman and like The Row, to emerge as major players in the industry.