Gucci Leads as Top Handbag Brand for Chinese Women

    A new survey finds that Gucci dominates for handbags and Chanel wins as a favorite clothing brand for wealthy Chinese women.
    A Gucci store in Shanghai. (Shutterstock)
    Liz FloraAuthor
      Published   in Fashion

    Gucci maintains its spot as the number one handbag brand of choice for Chinese women this year, according to a recent survey that found it just barely beat out Chanel and Prada.

    A report by RBC Capital Markets based on a survey of 411 Chinese women found that Gucci came in first as the handbag brand they most intended to purchase within the next year, listed by 50 percent of respondents. A total of 70 percent of those surveyed said they own between two and five high-end handbags. It dominated the shoes category as well after being named by 70 percent of respondents. The Italian brand also came in first for last year’s survey by the firm, which questioned 303 Chinese women planning to spend at least US$750 on a handbag in the coming year.

    The top factors influencing their decision were design, brand reputation, and fashion appeal. In addition, shopping experience and price were listed as secondary concerns. The optimal price listed was between US$1,900 to $2,850, according to the report.

    Gucci’s new design direction and extensive marketing efforts in China have prompted a comeback in recent years. At the New York Times Luxury Conference in the spring this year, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri said that the Gucci logo was still stylish for Chinese consumers despite a general "logo fatigue" trend in the market. “The Chinese are buying back into Gucci after many months of decline. No one is ashamed to show a GG belt,” he said.

    As part of Gucci’s creative turnaround, it sponsored an exhibition at the Minsheng Art Museum in Shanghai in 2015, where it displayed Gucci products alongside Chinese contemporary art. Luxury brand-sponsored art exhibitions and collaborations with artists have been a popular way for brands to increase their cachet in China.

    Chanel came in a close second place for handbags, with 49 percent listing the French label, but came out on top for ready-to-wear clothing (55 percent). Meanwhile, Prada was second for shoes and Gucci was the runner-up for clothing. The additional three handbag brands in the top five were Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès, respectively. Louis Vuitton came in third for shoes, followed by Miu Miu in fourth and Salvatore Ferragamo in fifth. Third, fourth, and fifth for clothing were Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Giorgio Armani.

    While these brands dominated overall, consumers under the age of 34 surveyed had a very different top five list for handbags: Mulberry, Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, and Givenchy. Out of those surveyed, 90 percent were between the ages of 25 and 44.

    In an earlier 2016 survey by the Hurun Report on Chinese HNWIs’ luxury preferences, Chanel took the top spot as the favorite label for both fashion and accessories for women.

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