Which luxury emerging brands have driven noticeable market changes and why?

The team here at Giant Leap Digital keeps a close watch (pardon the pun) on the luxury market, including rumblings from emerging brands. 

And looking at these emerging luxury brands, there’s a recurring thread: sustainability and environmental impact. 

We recently wrote about this in our article on the evolution of consumer spending in the luxury market, which highlights the growing demand from consumers for luxury brands to demonstrate their ESG credentials.  

The global wealth transfer over the next 10-15 years will see substantial amounts of wealth – around $68 trillion will transfer, along with art, collectables, houses, wine/spirits  etc.  But we also know the next generations have different values and priorities. So will the inherited wealth maintain the status quo, or will the luxury market see a shift in tastes and preferences?

Millennials and Gen Z consumers are more inclined to support brands that share their values, including those that place a high value on sustainability, social responsibility, and environmental consciousness.

Companies such as Sourcewhere are growing in popularity, making access to new and pre-owned luxury items easier than ever. Brands such as these offer more sustainable and eco-friendly products, which might be an attractive option for younger shoppers. 

But we’re also seeing some of the bigger fashion houses appealing to the Gen Z market, offering more personalised experiences with their products and services, tapping into their desire for unique and exclusive experiences and propositions. 

So which new luxury brands are the ones to watch?

AMBUSH was developed in 2008 as an experimental jewellery collection, but it launched a ready-to-wear collection in 2015, which has seen a meteoric rise for the brand due to its unique and innovative designs. AMBUSH’s distinctive style is a combination of bold colours, geometric shapes, and industrial materials. With a unisex concept, it appeals to the emerging gender-fluid generations more than ever.

Among its celebrities are Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Pharrell Williams. The brand has a cool and edgy aesthetic, and its products are often seen as status symbols.

Ancuta Sarca – In 2019, Sarca was selected to join Fashion East and became the first designer to focus solely on accessories at London Fashion Week’s SS20 season.

Her shoes – predominantly upcycled trainers and vintage kitten heels – are made out of deadstock, which are then elevated with upcycled materials.

Her approach to sustainability is making her stand out, which greatly appeals to the extremely environmentally conscious new generations.

Her designs have caught the attention of many luxury retailers who are eager to carry her collections.

Batsheva began her journey in 2016, and has become increasingly popular among luxury shoppers; a very different style to the industrial looks of previous designers. A lot of Batsheva’s dresses are inspired by vintage looks akin to Laura Ashley designs, but they have an edge, with corseted waists, puffball sleeves, and extra ruffles, making them appealing to women who want a feminine, folky, yet fresh look.

While playful, the collection is also sophisticated and luxurious. Fashion-forward women will love this choice. Batsheva’s clothes are available at some of the world’s most prestigious retailers, including Net-a-Porter, Matchesfashion, and Bergdorf Goodman.

Bode is a menswear brand based in New York known for its ethical and sustainable practices. A great inspiration for up-and-coming female designers and entrepreneurs, Emily Adams founded her brand in 2016 and was the first female designer to show at New York Men’s Week. 

Her brand uses recycled and vintage materials in order to make unique and stylish pieces. And as a result of the fluid fashion that we see today, think Harry Styles, her timeless and decadent pieces have growing appeal. 

Christopher John Rogers launched in 2016, shortly after one of his coats was worn by Cardi B, giving this new brand immediate attention. He is not afraid to take risks with his designs, and his clothes are always show-stopping, bright colours, and bold patterns. 

Christopher John Rogers is a breath of fresh air in the fashion industry due to Rogers’ ability to make women look and feel their best. 

EÉRA In 2019, Romy Blanga and Chiara Capitani founded EÉRA, the duo having both come from a fashion background took a simple hook they found in Japan and played with designs bringing together an industrial and playful style, which gives the wearer multiple ways to style their jewellery, allowing individuality.          

Their jewellery has been spotted on Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Dua Lipa. The brand has also been featured in major fashion publications, such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle.

Greubel Forsey is relatively new in the world of watches. However, when Greubel Forsey’s debut watch, the Double Tourbillon 30°, launched, it was quickly heralded as the “modern master of tourbillons”.

A luxury watch brand known for its quality and innovation, Greubel Forsey is primarily known for its limited number of watches, only producing around 100 per year, each one being constructed by a single watchmaker from start to finish,

Jacquemus began its journey in 2009 with French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, known for his oversized silhouettes, playful designs, and accessories, being responsible for the ‘mini bag moment’, which had a big moment on socials in 2019.

His collections are popular among Gen Z consumers, helped in part by his strong social media presence. 

Khaite was established in 2016 by fashion industry rising star, Catherine Holstein. The designs of Holstein’s brand are elegant and effortless; they’ve quickly become a favourite of celebrities and fashionistas alike. Known for its luxurious materials and combining ‘girl next door’ with subtle sex appeal, Khaite appeals to those wanting understated and timeless fashion. 

Marine Serre made her debut in 2018. She is a young French fashion designer who is known for her sustainable, futuristic designs, and hybrid collections, which have propelled her status.  

Her couture-like approach to upcycling, her runway collections which have air pollution, climate change, and extinction as recurring themes, and the fact that Beyonce wears her designs, make her one to watch.

MB&F was founded in 2005 by Maximilian Büsser, with the vision of pushing the limits of horology.

This is a brand that’s changing the way people think about luxury watches, clocks, and music boxes. 

Well known for its high-quality artisanry, exclusive materials, and innovative designs, MB&F’s products are more than just timekeeping devices or works of art. They are conversation pieces that evoke emotion and inspire the wearer, innovation pieces that appeal to those wanting something that takes them away from the ‘classic Swiss watch’.

The Row was founded by the Olsen Twins in 2006, so much more established compared with our other emerging brands. But in recent years, with the rise of ‘Quiet luxury’, The Row’s collections have become one of the most esteemed brands and have stayed true to their original ethos.

Their clothes are understated and elegant, incredibly well-made and luxurious, known for their clean lines, focus on quality craftsmanship, and the ability to appeal to women of all ages.

1017 ALYX 9SM Born in 2015, this label has gained notoriety in its own right with its luxury streetwear appeal. The fashion designer, Matthew Williams, previously worked as a stylist for Kanye West and Lady Gaga, before founding 1017 ALYX 9SM.

Known for its innovative designs and high-quality craftsmanship, the “aggressively elegant“ street style is a popular brand among celebrities and high-profile individuals.

As we’ve mentioned, there’s a significant cultural shift taking place, With consumers increasingly concerned about the impact of their purchases on the planet and society. This cultural awakening has spurred a demand for products that are not only high-quality and stylish but also ethically produced and environmentally friendly.

But it’s not just consumers who are piling on the pressure for brands to demonstrate their eminence in this arena. Various regulations and policies have been introduced by the EU and US to promote sustainability and ethical practices within the fashion world. Transparency in the supply chain, eliminating waste, and reducing the use of harmful chemicals in production are among the objectives of these regulations.

Failure to comply can result in your operations grinding to an unexpected halt (did you hear about the significant cotton shipment being held by US customs?). And of course, conscious consumers are looking well beyond brands’ disingenuous attempts at greenwashing. 

Compliance with these regulations has become vitally important for brands seeking to operate in these markets, leading many companies to adopt sustainable practices in order to satisfy the requirements and expectations of regulators and consumers alike. 

We’re proud to be a part of this change, having joined the Positive Luxury – Impact Network. However, to see these emerging luxury fashion brands lead the charge in this arena, prioritising sustainable materials and practices, will undoubtedly bring a step change to the market.

We’ll observe with a keen eye, the impact these conscious brands have, not only on their own market share, but on the practices of other brands within the luxury market.

If you want to know more about marketing for emerging luxury brands or want to find out more about support for ESG goals then please get in touch.

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