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3 Luxury Business Trends to Watch

Here's what's winning in the world of very, very nice stuff.
A Louis Vuitton purse on the runway. Photo: Pascal le Segretain/Getty Images

A Louis Vuitton purse on the runway. Photo: Pascal le Segretain/Getty Images

On Thursday, Bain & Company released its annual report on the luxury landscape, a state of the union address for those who like numbers and leather goods in equal measure. Last year, the big points were the dominance of tourist spending, the rise of shoes as a more powerful accessories business than handbags, and the dual successes of mono-brand stores offline and multi-brand stores offline. 

Some of the same trends have carried through into 2015, like footwear winning out over leather goods, while others are just coming to the surface. Here's what you need to know now.

Men's is outperforming women's

The men's ready-to-wear market is still on the rise. Though casualwear is growing in the low single digits and formalwear is suffering, certain trends really had a good year. Those include outerwear, denim and cashmere, with fur and shearling making steady gains, too.

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Incidentally, Google also released on Thursday morning a study dealing with beauty trends. The biggest finding from that? Men's hair care searches outstripped women's for the first time in 2015. The dudes, it seems, are investing more and more in their appearances.  

Fragrance shoppers are gravitating toward artisanal and customized juices

We've known for some time that niche fragrances are becoming more popular with shoppers, a trend coupled with the fall of the celebrity perfume. According to Bain's research, exclusive and artisanal brands are currently outperforming the rest of the sector, with customers demonstrating a curiosity toward personalized scents. That can be a deep luxury product — when I talked to Byredo founder Ben Gorham in June, he put the price of a custom fragrance at $32,000. That's attainable for some, sure, but brands that create tailor-made scents for significantly less could win big here — although that will probably involve mixing and matching a preset selection of notes, rather than creating a totally unique blend.

US beauty brands are looking to acquire Korean competitors 

Following an explosive year for Korean beauty products, Estée Lauder announced this week that it has taken a stake in Dr. Jart+'s parent company. Estée's investment in the space won't be the last.