Saint Laurent’s new path runs along 3 parallel directions. The luxury brand was the first to take itself out of the standard fashion calendar. It focused its attention on handbags and implemented pricing strategies that made the products more accessible than those of its competitors. The objective: intercepting and engaging young consumers.
The value of leather goods
Product offering and prices. The new path followed by Saint Laurent brings the brand straight to young consumers. The approach was confirmed by Retviews (company specialized in data analysis) cited by Fashion Network. Leather goods’ segment of the French brand is today worth 40% of the overall product assortment but accounts for 71% of the brand’s sales. Apparel, on the other hand, is behaving in the opposite manner, accounting for 21.6% of the assortment but only for 12% of revenue. The data shows a similar trend to that experienced by the brand in the 2020 financial results. Simply put: leather goods account for 74% of overall turnover, footwear for 16% and prêt-à-porter is worth 7%.
Revenue and prices
Saint Laurent’s revenue, which is part of Kering’s consolidated financial results, was of 1.74 billion euro for 2020, and appeared to be pushed by handbags most of all. This category, which includes trendy items such as minibags, functional models to wear across the body (40% of the catalogue’s offer) and shoulder-bags (17%). The pricing strategy is focused on this segment. According to Retviews, the luxury brand has price tags that are more accessible than those offered by its direct competitors. For example: Dior, Chanel and Louis Vuitton have higher price tags, and so Saint Laurent is incrementing its appeal to younger consumers, such as those of GenZ: the most sought-after of the luxury segment.
Saint Laurent’s new path
The product and pricing strategies intertwine with other decisions made by the luxury brand. Starting with the one related to the autonomous fashion calendar that is detached from the fashion system’s standard one. Saint Laurent announced its choice in April 2020 and has, just a few days ago, presented its Fall/Winter 21/22 collection. In the post-pandemic wardrobe, we find hot pants in silver leather, jewelry belts and big hobo-bags joined by shoulder ones. Some outfits though (such as bouclè jackets and tweed dresses) have upset Chanel. The latter’s president, Bruno Pavlovsky, has accused Saint Laurent of “plagiarism”, according to The New York Times. Could he be right?
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