Black elite demand the best

THE BEST: Well-heeled black women willingly buy top branded handbags.
THE BEST: Well-heeled black women willingly buy top branded handbags.

Most South Africans go for Fong Kongs, but the black elite and aspirational  are sparing no expense when it comes to luxury handbags.

According to Euro Monitor International’s latest market research, the demand for expensive designer handbags is driven by the black elite and wannabe socialites who view a premium handbag as a sign of status and wealth.

Jeremy Nel, of Luxury Brands, agrees.

“The black elite is a fast-growing and well-educated market that is very luxury-brand-savvy.

“Their brand knowledge is mature, they appreciate the fundamentals of proper craftsmanship and they are uncompromising in what they demand.

“The sense of satisfaction in acquiring a luxury item lies not necessarily in the actual acquisition, but rather the alignment with the brand and what it stands for,” he said.

Fakes were reserved for a more aspirational and less discerning clientele.

Euro Monitor researchers predict that the bags and luggage industry in this country will register slow growth as more go for cheap imports and fakes.

Bhavna Reddy, a stay-at-home mom, has been selling “knock-offs” via Whats-App for the past two years, with profits between R2 000 and R4 000 a month.

“My clients cannot afford to spend thousands of rands. They are willing to spend R220 for a look alike and are happy with what they receive,” she said.

Anina Malherbe-Lan, of Vivid Luxury, which over the years has represented Gucci, Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Fabiani, Max Mara, said fakes were never found among the black elite.

“But among the aspirational market, you will see a lot of fakes.”
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