• Premium brands and masstige brands are not that different in terms of assortment. Outerwear is the only category that is more represented in premium fashion as compared to masstige.
• Pricing is one of the key differences with premium prices being on average four times more expensive than masstige.
• Premium brands on average use more synthetic fabrics than masstige brands. They account for almost a quarter of the fabrics used in premium brands.
There is a fine line between luxury and premium fashion brands. In the case of luxury, key elements that make them distinct are storytelling about the brand, its heritage, scarcity, and quality. Some of those elements can also be found in premium but, most of the time, when we think about premium we think about “worth our money”. But is it really?
Why do we invest in premium brands?
Premium brands represent the first step towards luxury fashion. Brands like Sandro, Ba&Sh, or The Kooples are more affordable than luxury brands and still have that feeling of “exclusivity”.
These brands tend to have a “unique” style that helps them being distinguished from mass-market brands. For instance, Sandro and The Kooples are known to represent the Parisian style. And for fashionistas who dream about this popular style, French premium brands are a must.
Also, the quantities are more scarce than in mass-market, and boutiques are also often placed in luxury streets.
What is the real difference between Premium and Masstige brands?
Masstige brands are part of the mass-market segment due to their price positioning and availability but, still, have a prestige feel. For instance, COS, Massimo Dutti, and &Other Stories fit perfectly into this description.
From a pricing perspective, they are way more affordable than premium brands. One would say that because they are mass-market, their style is for everyone. Thus, no “personality”, no uniqueness.
However, what we can observe is that they still have their own style and DNA like premium brands do and are distinct from mass-market brands.
Is there a difference in terms of the offer?
According to Retviews data, we have observed that in terms of the number of articles, masstige brands have around 37% more offer but some brands like the Michael Kors, The Kooples and All Saints have even more articles than Massimo Dutti. Therefore, we cannot really say that, in terms of articles’ variety, there is much of a difference.
When we look at the assortment mix, we can observe on the graph above that outerwear holds a way more significant share for premium brands than masstige, as well as dresses and knitwear. As mentioned in the beginning, we buy premium brands because of the style, because of what it represents.
When we look at the style, there are a lot of similarities, but the price is far from being similar. The dress from &Other stories, Saharian style in an hourglass shape costs €79 while the one from Sandro costs €245 (now on sales at €122.5). Both are made of 100% cotton, and the Swedish brand even uses sustainably sourced fabrics.
Better quality, better fabrics?
One of the main reasons why we are willing to pay the price for premium brands is because we have this perception of higher price, better quality. And by quality, we mean fabrics quality and finishes.
Thanks to Retviews data, we see that more than half of the fabrics used for premium brands are Cotton and synthetic fabrics like Polyester, Elastane, and, Nylon. In comparison, masstige brands use less than 20% of synthetic fabrics, and we observe that they use a lot more cotton. Retailers like The Kooples, Ba&Sh, and Michael Kors use a lot of silk compared to French Parisian brands like Sandro and See by Chloé but it still only accounts for less than 10% of the fabric mix used.
Therefore, one question can be raised, do you really get a product that was worth its price?
Premium is a fashion statement
Like for luxury fashion, we buy premium brands for what they represent: a fashion statement. Some people wear Sandro because they only swear by Parisian style, some Ba&Sh for the French bohemian look, or even The Kooples for the Parisian rock chic attitude. Fashionistas do not look at the price tag on that case, and that is why those brands will continue to thrive for years and years to come.