Global Overview | Consumer Update | 2017/2018

The market and consumer trends setting the agenda

Disruption within the Global Luxury market is set to change the way consumers spend over the next five years. Consumers will begin to seek out luxury in a less obvious, transparent way than before. Simplicity and time are key buzzwords for the future luxury market as consumers’ lives are increasingly filled with appointments, as well as annoyingly useful digital devices. Together with the concept of gender fluidity and the fact that luxury customers are jetting from winter to summer from one day to the next, the future is in genderless, seasonless and durable collections that do not launch within the fashion cycle norm.

The Mindful Neutralist

Genderless - Nonconformist - Individualistic

Vetements SS 2017 (

Gender and sexual fluidity have flourished into one of the most integral shifts in youth culture today. Both Millennials and Generation Z share the underlying principles of a more expansive view of gender than any generation before them. The Mindful Neutralist group seeks out brands that treat them as equals, void of a gender or sexual labels, and as individuals who truly stand for their generation’s open, free-spirited mindset. Forward-thinking fashion designers show males and females dressed in a juxtaposition of menswear and womenswear.

The Mindful Neutralist is demanding change within the accessories market, shifting the focus to the product’s innovation and alternative concepts that both genders will appreciate. Their attitude towards jewellery is born from craving non-specific shapes and colours that don’t stereotypically identify with either male or female. Geometry, and alternative materials such as rubber or leather, and minimal, organic forms speak to this group.

The Affluent Midult

Independent - Playful - Luxurious

From left: Yoko London earrings, MCM sunglasses (

The Affluent Midult is about to take centre stage as the most dominant generational subculture of our time and redefine the definition of ”middle-aged”. This group consists of savvy, sceptical, and self-reliant females between 35 and 55 years of age. According to new data, The Affluent Midult has more spending power than any other generation. Luxury retailers should begin to adapt their strategies to cater to the Affluent Midult, as opposed to sticking to youthful concepts.

The Affluent Midult seeks out brands, entertainment and role models that celebrate midlife with humour and honesty. In fashion, The Affluent Midult craves for brands to ditch the tired assumption that age is a barrier to style. They aren’t afraid of high price points and like to treat themselves. There is a desire for playful luxury and nostalgia that is easily applied to the jewellery sector. Pearls, mixed media, and diamonds are applied to modern designs with influences from the Baroque period to 1920’s Art Deco. Products that show their cheeky side yet are still sophisticated attract this group of consumers.

The Single Globalist

Adventurous - Jet-Setting - Opulent

The Single Globalist is curious, borderless and reshaping the luxury sector to fit their nomadic needs in countries and cities situated far from their original homes. Situated at the elder segment of Millennials, moving into Generation X and Boomers, this opulent subculture is blending their work and professional lives on the move. They instinctively utilise on-the-go mobile technology to plug into and explore the possibilities of their next adventure, seeking out the quirkiest, most Instagrammable places to spend their hard-earned cash.

The Single Globalist, the ultimate seeker of stimulating experiences, needs luxury brands to excite. There’s a desire to explore niche, local concepts that have their own, unique flavour with undiscovered luxury brands. The Single Globalist’s accessories and jewellery tastes devour global cultures, resulting in a mix-and-match aesthetic. Vibrant clashing prints and widespread religious references satiate this consumer’s hunger for expressing their peripatetic lifestyles. The Single Globalist’s jewellery looks are bold, filled with vintage references of bygone cultures and religions.

The Digital Minimalist

Connected - Idealist - Aware

Joanna Laura Constantine (

Millennials’ values are set to change dramatically. A new wave of young people are leaning towards a cleaner, brighter and less risqué lifestyle. Alcohol-free bars, yoga raves and meditation are replacing the old bar and club format. The Digital Minimalist focuses on transforming into the optimal human being, provoking a need for wearable accessories that monitor their progress. Having grown up in the dawn of the age of digitalisation, this group embraces technology and stays constantly connected. Millennials are also repeatedly found to be the most stressed-out generation, and a desire to slow down, live in the moment, and ultimately increase productivity is driving new, more mindful attitudes.

In fashion and accessories, they lean towards a futuristic minimalism with a digital twist. The 1980’s and 1990’s also evoke feelings of nostalgia within this group in which they dwell scrolling through Tumblr posts with hashtags such as #vaporwave. Coloured metallic surfaces cover items like bags, shoes, and iPhone cases. In jewellery, pixels and circuit patterns are the main sources of inspiration.