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No logo: Why un-branded luxury goods are on the rise

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A scroll through Instagram can become a costly experience for Aadil Seedat, a search market executive, as his shopping list of luxury goods grows.

But it’s not the presence of branding or logos which informs these purchases, rather the desire to “replicate (the) lifestyle” of the influencers he follows, as he explained to CNBC via telephone.

According to recent market research, Seedat is typical of today’s incarnation of a luxury goods consumer, looking past visible branding and instead relying on nouse to identify quality. This is all with the intention of mimicking a way of life as a whole, rather than ownership of a specific product.

More consumers are opting for luxury handbags with little or no visible branding. Statistics released last month revealed that one third of the handbags purchased in the U.S. in the year ending June 2016 did not have a visible logo, according to data from The NPD Group, an information gathering firm.

“Consumers want to be one in a million, not one of a million,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group told CNBA via telephone. For Cohen, the data revealed that consumer tastes are now more “personalisation-oriented,” favouring “products that are more modular.”

The anti-branding trend pans across generations. Sales of handbags with no visible logo were highest amongst those aged 50 and older, but the phenomenon gained the most traction with Generation Z – those aged 17 years and under – whose unit sales of handbags with no visible logo rose 8 percent year on year.

According to The NPD Group’s data, older millennials, aged 25-34, and Generation X, aged 35-49, also increased their purchasing of designer bags with no visible logo.

The style has been pioneered by luxury brand Céline, as well as Giorgio Armani and Hermes amongst others, said…

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