In China, the Devil doesn’t wear Prada

on September 17 2013 | in Daily Headlines Trending | by | with No Comments

The Devil, it seems, wears anything but Prada in the eyes of Chinese bloggers determined to expose corrupt government officials flashing luxury labels way past their pay grades.

Prada is among a few premium brands reporting solid growth in the world’s second largest luxury market even as a government campaign against conspicuous spending and gift-giving hurts firms with instantly recognizable brands like LVMH, Compagnie Financiere Richemont and Kering SA.

The logos on Prada’s deluxe leather handbags, wallets and shoes are, by and large, low-key and these days, discretion is key in China.

LVMH’s Louis Vuitton and Kering-owned Gucci, which won over legions of fans with their visibly branded products, have recently moved away from the logo-look and are now offering more upmarket leather handbags.

The shift away from in-your-face luxury brands is most prominent in big cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, where many companies have their biggest stores and where customer tastes are rapidly evolving.

Logos, however, are still very popular in China’s vast interior, where luxury labels are still a novelty, analysts say.

“Prada really offers an alternative to Louis Vuitton and Gucci from a customer’s choice perspective. They are a third choice, an understated choice for people who stay away from logos,” said Franklin Yao, CEO of Shanghai-based consultancy SmithStreetSolutions.

Another plus factor for Prada is its pricing – many handbags and wallets are less expensive than the equally discreet offerings by Kering-owned Bottega Veneta, whose woven leather goods are also gaining popularity in China…

 

Read more at CNBC

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