In the fashion world that we know all too well, there’s luxury (think $13,000 Chanel tweed jacket), and then there’s accessible luxury, when you can splurge on a designer name without spending your life’s savings (we’re talking $300 Kate Spade handbag). While you may have noticed heritage luxury brands like Dior stir excitement at events like NYFW and Cannes Film Festival, accessible luxury brands have also generated significant buzz, tapping celebrities and influencers alike for an array of Insta-worthy campaigns. Here’s a look into five top-performing accessible luxury brands that have made a statement in 2019:
Calvin Klein Speaks the #Truth
Calvin Klein, the brand that keeps the underwear ad fresh, ignited conversation this year with a host of activations starring several famous faces. In April, the brand premiered its Calvin Klein x Coachella edit, featuring limited-edition, festival-ready apparel, at the Coachella music festival. #CKCoachella netted $3.7M EMV from 66 influencers, including Toddy Smith (@todderic on Instagram) and Kendall Jenner. Jenner also participated in the brand’s #MyTruth campaign in May, which invited several A-list celebrities like Shawn Mendes and Billie Eilish (@billyelish) to share their “truth.” The hashtag garnered $6.7M EMV as Calvin Klein’s No. 2 tag behind #MyCalvins ($17.2M EMV). Mendes and Jenner, who have been consistent partners of the brand, proved the top two content creators between January and June, driving a respective $3.2M EMV and $1.9M EMV. In all, Calvin Klein generated $56.4M EMV between January and June.
Ralph Lauren Strengthens Brand Family Bonds
Did someone say Polo? Ralph Lauren generated buzz this year when it debuted its Spring 2019 collection at NYFW, curating an intimate show at Ralph’s Cafe, a quaint eatery in the brand’s NYC flagship store. A total of 127 influencers mentioned the brand in posts tagged #NYFW, which garnered $1.4M EMV. Model and longtime brand ambassador Taylor Hill (@taylor_hill on Instagram) created effusive content about opening the show, calling Ralph Lauren “a huge influence in my career and an inspiration to me in the fashion industry.” Hill ranked as the brand’s top EMV-driver between January and June, with $2.4M EMV across 33 posts. Ralph Lauren also sparked content creation around Mother’s Day with its second annual #LeadLikeAWoman ($526.0k EMV) campaign, championing female empowerment. The brand paired the campaign with the release of its Woman Intense fragrance, a new iteration of its classic Woman scent. Overall, Ralph Lauren accrued $38.8M EMV between January and June.
Tommy Hilfiger Goes ’70’s With Zendaya Collab
Remember Tommy Hilfiger’s much-hyped collaboration with Gigi Hadid in 2018? This year, the brand added a new name to its list of famous collaborators—Zendaya. The actress and activist partnered with Tommy Hilfiger to create a groovy ’70’s-themed capsule collection, which debuted in March with a memorable Paris Fashion Week show featuring an all-black cast of models. Thanks to this collaboration, Zendaya proved one of the brand’s top content creators, driving $1.5M EMV across 21 posts. Many star influencers, including models Winnie Harlow and Gigi Hadid, took to social media to congratulate Zendaya and support the collection, helping #TommyxZendaya garner $5.0M EMV as the brand’s top hashtag. Zendaya also teamed up with Tommy Hilfiger in May, turning heads at the 2019 Met Gala with an innovative Cinderella ensemble. Powerhouse content creators like Zendaya, Harlow, and Hadid contributed 63% of the brand’s total $29.6M EMV between January and June.
Michael Kors Enjoys Met Gala Hype
Michael Kors posted $24.7M EMV between January and June, with much of the label’s top-earning content stemming largely from the Met Gala. #MetGala drove $1.1M EMV from 82 influencers, ranking as the brand’s No. 3 hashtag behind #MichaelKors ($2.4M EMV). Gigi Hadid was the brand’s top earner after boasting a Liberace-meets-Daisy Buchanan creation at the event. Hadid thanked Kors, who accompanied her on the red carpet, for being “the CAMP KING date of dreams,” and drove a total of $878.7k EMV for the brand across five posts. Michael Kors also celebrated Pride Month in June with the release of its #MKGO Rainbow capsule collection, with proceeds from the line benefiting non-profit God’s Love We Deliver. Mentions of “Pride” garnered $127.9k EMV for Michael Kors in June.
Tory Burch Wins With Micro-Influencers
Although Tory Burch enjoyed support from celebrities including Kerry Washington and Mindy Kaling this year, the brand featured heavily in content from micro-influencers (those with fewer than 100k followers). These smaller-scale content creators drove 30% of Tory Burch’s $19.4M EMV total between January and June, while powerhouse influencers (influencers with over 1M followers) generated just 22%. In comparison, powerhouse content creators contributed at least half of the EMV for brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. Tory Burch also enjoyed an average of 4.3 posts per influencer, which proved higher than the averages of the other brands mentioned in this article. Micro-influencer Heather Coates (@heatherpoppie on Instagram), for example, ranked among the brand’s top 10 influencers during this time period, driving $182.9k EMV across 24 posts tagging her Tory Burch handbag.
Whether or not you think these brands are worth spending just a little extra for, we think we can agree they’re worth talking about! To stay up to date on the latest fashion trends and find out which brands are winning the earned media game, download our Tribe Top 10 reports here.