As Theory & J. Crew Prove, Accessible Luxury Is Doing Just Fine

J. Crew in China and Jing Daily

Despite consumers’ increasing high-low polarization when it comes to fashion, the research firm Euromonitor has some interesting — and hopeful! — findings when it comes to the accessible luxury middle ground.  Both secondary lines from high-end designers and more expensive offerings from the fast fashion mainstays are globally on the rise.

Prada is planning outlets in China (and why not in the U.S., we ask?), J. Crew is moving into China, Theory is growing in Europe, Michael Kors’ secondary line Michael is doing bang-up business, and so is H&M’s higher-priced new chain, & Other Stories.  A number of well-made, mid-priced French labels, like Vanessa Bruno, Maje, and Iro, are growing around the world.

That’s quite the contrast from the fears of recent years, which implied that shoppers were either springing for Uniqlo or holding out for the rare high-end purchase.  For what it’s worth, the consumers driving the current trend toward the middle aren’t those in the U.S.’s and Europe’s established markets (for the most part).  It’s Brazil and China where accessible luxury is hottest.