The Hermès Scrunchie Signals an Understated, Accessible Approach to 2021’s Ultra-Luxury Fashion Trends

Walking hand-in-hand with the more understated approach that ultra-luxury fashion has tilted towards over the past several years is the rise of second-hand eCommerce plays that bring older luxury goods to a market that possibly couldn’t afford them when they were new but can purchase them in a secondary market.

The only problem with this from the standpoint of an ultra-luxury business is that they do not get a cut of that second sale. But putting less expensive products out into the market risks diluting the brand, something no high-end fashion label would ever want to do. Perhaps that’s why Hermès latest sensation is such a novel approach to the eternal balancing act of access and exclusivity.

A Gen-Z sensation that exploded in popularity thanks to an Instagram post by K-Pop group member Lisa of Blackpink, the Hermès scrunchie, more formally known as the Claudia maxi tie, is pointing the way towards a style of luxury that both meets the current needs of rising fashionistas as well as their aspirational followers. A traditional scrunchie cut from the cloth designed and used by Hermès in their scarves, these ties come in around $225 and, despite their size, pack a huge statement punch when it comes to power accessories. Most importantly, however, is that this price point preserves Hermès’ sacred brand name while also inviting a new cadre of clients into its fold.

Acclimating the consumer into ever-increasing prices for items is one way that many industries have used for time immemorial to secure their futures and now Hermès is showing the world of ultra-luxury fashion how it can do the same. In fact, many fashion industry watchers have compared Hermès’ latest move with their classic product, their scarves.

Long considered an entre into the larger rarefied world of Hermès goods, the scarves of yesterday had become somewhat passe over the years resulting in one classic standby becoming yet just another product in a sea of also-rans. The reimagining of the magic of an Hermès scarf in the Claudia maxi both honors the tradition established by the house while looking forward towards the future. Even the usage of the maxi tie is different than what one would expect from that product.

Traditionally used to hold back hair in a pony tail or otherwise, the Hermès maxi is specifically marketed as an accessory for the wrist. To be sure, it is capable of pulling double duty in its traditional format but the highlight and focus here is on using it in a new and novel way.

This also draws market attention to the general importance of accessories for the ultra-luxury market as both a way to maximize revenues as well as bring in new customers. If old standards can be reimagined in new formats, that takes much of the innovation work so hard and necessary for interpreting the “future” of fashion out of the equation. Above all, Hermès is demonstrating that innovation and novel approaches to old product lines could be the key to realizing growth as well as welcoming in new cohorts in the immediate future.  

https://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/article/hermes-scrunchies

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