Fashion cycles are faster than ever before, with fast fashion chains restocking their stores up to twice a week with new designs. It’s changed our relationship with fashion, and driven a desire to update our wardrobes with the latest trends constantly.
Amongst this feverish snatch and grab for the newest pieces on the rack, luxury brands are making a quiet renaissance. The must-haves of fashion remain unchanged – a Louis Vuitton handbag, a Cartier watch – and the most sought-after houses have their flagship product which drives their success. Here’s how four of the world’s biggest luxury brands have endured the rise and fall of endless trends, and how their best pieces remain the ultimate objects of desire.
Cartier – the watch
Amongst the cluster of high-end French jewelers and watchmakers, Cartier stands out as the ultimate celebrity fashion accessory. Adorning the rich and famous in magazines, television and online, Cartier is considered one of the ‘coolest’ retails brands for teens, rare for luxury goods, and is in high demand across the globe. Cartier remains on top of the fashion world by consistently producing watches that are both classic in shape and silhouette; will match any outfit, and is unique enough to stand out as recognizable Cartier pieces. Aspiring fashionistas across the world crave the star power and iconic ‘it’ factor that no other watchmaker can emulate.
Hermés – the Birkin bag
The French manufacturer of leather goods and accessories began in a Paris workshop in 1837, and its most iconic product is its Birkin bag, a handcrafted purse which costs tens of thousands of dollars. The popularity of the Birkin bag lies in its mystique – nobody knows how many bags are produced and sold each year, and the waitlist is a closely-guarded secret. Only those who have a history with the company, either as a long-time customer or an associate with a Hermés insider, are even allowed to request the bag, making it the ultimate exclusive accessory for envious would-be consumers.
Louis Vuitton – the tote
While Hermés is possibly the most exclusive luxury handbag on the planet, Louis Vuitton is without a doubt the most ubiquitous. The visibility of Louis Vuitton is the secret to its ongoing success – the instantly recognizable gold crest stamped on brown leather has featured on countless handbags, wallets and purses for over a century. Its iconic tote is a long-time wardrobe staple, and has helped make it the most valuable luxury brand in the world.
Burberry – the trench coat
Thanks to a recent digital marketing push, Burberry is riding a new wave of popularity as a top luxury brand. Despite their commercial reinvention, however, their must-have staple piece remains the iconic trench. The double-breasted coat is the ultimate statement of functionality and fashion, with a century-long history on the silver screen. Burberry offers the choice of heritage and runway versions of the iconic coat, but it’s the classic tan trench with the soft tartan lining that is most coveted by fashion-forward buyers.