The top 10 countries ranked by the percentage of residents surveyed who say they buy designer brands.
The fashion-obsessed don't only live in New York, Tokyo, London or Paris these days. As part of its recent Global Designer Brand Survey, The Nielsen Company asked 25,000 consumers in 48 countries if they bought designer brands when they shop. (Neither the term "designer" nor price points were specified to respondents.) While some of the top countries may surprise, it turns out all 10 boast well-known shopping streets and plenty of designer boutiques — including ones for local brands. And most of the countries also hold their own fashion weeks. A word to designers who are looking to expand globally — if you haven't entered these regions already, it might not be a bad idea.
Amount of country's respondents who said they buy designer brands: 46 percent
This Mediterranean country's residents have loved fashion since before the Parthenon was built. "Classical Greek fashion back then — and to this day — has tended to mark social distinction," noted Todd Davis, a Ph.D. candidate in Greek History at Columbia University. "So you could expect greater attention to detail and accessories by upper-class women." Grecian draping has inspired designers worldwide, with Laura Poretzky for Abaeté, Esteban Cortazar for Emanuel Ungaro and Anna Molinari for Blumarine recently featuring the theme in their collections. Greek designer Sophia Kokosalaki, who showed her fall collection in Paris, often incorporates the theme into her pieces. In Athens, shops near Kolonaki Square house both international and Greek designers and include local specialty stores such as Sofos, Ritsi and Jade.
2. HONG KONG 38 percent
From Lane Crawford's flagship in Central to the luxury watch stores on Nathan Road in Kowloon, shopping is a major pastime in Hong Kong. "In Asia, I believe possession of luxury brands has evolved from the occasional indulgence to daily ritual," Yvonne Lum, Nielsen's Hong Kong-based director of retailing research, said. "Owning luxury-branded goods is no longer just to showcase one's wealth, it is also to showcase one's class." Some Hong Kong-based fashion brands include Baleno, Esprit Holdings, Giordano and Shanghai Tang. Coach is putting the finishing touches on a major flagship here, set to be the company's second largest in Asia. The 9,500-square-foot store will span two floors and will be the eighth Coach shop in Hong Kong. The store itself sits to the west of retailers such as H&M, Nike and Esprit.3. INDIA 35 percent
WWD reported last week that Stella McCartney will open six stores in India over the next two years as a result of a new distribution deal with TSG International Marketing Pvt. Ltd. Other entrants into the region: Italian fashion house Etro opened a location last year, while Hermès and Fendi both plan to open a store in Delhi this year. Rakshit Partha, managing director of Nielsen India, said, "The economic boom in India is churning out a large number of millionaires, who are looking at designer brands to advertise their newly found status. Indian designer shoppers prefer well-known brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci, which have an international high-profile image — and also because both these brands have opened up large stores in India in the past few years, making their products more visible and accessible to buyers."
4. HUNGARY 32 percent
"Hungarians are ambitious, they are design- and brand-oriented, even if it's sometimes above their budget," Eva Nevihostenyi, marketing manager of Nielsen Hungary, said. "They think designer brands represent prestige, better image." Budapest boasts a number of shopping streets for those interested in fashion. Malls abound here, like the West End City Center Budapest, which features Lacoste, Marks & Spencer, Gant and Diesel. The Mammut Shopping Center carries Mango, Esprit and Benetton. "Diesel and Calvin Klein are two brands that are well known in Hungary, especially Diesel," Nevihostenyi added.
5. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 31 percent
Designers and retailers are betting big in cities — or emirates, in this case — like Abu Dhabi (currently touted as the richest city in the world) and Dubai. For example, WWD reported last month that Bloomingdale's appears ready to take its expansion overseas — the retailer's first stop could be the Dubai Mall, according to real estate sources. The mall is under construction for a late 2008 or early 2009 opening, and is planned to be the largest in the world: It will encompass about 10 million gross square feet, including 3.8 million for retail, and the world's tallest building — the Burj Dubai, with more than 200 floors and an Armani Hotel at its base. Akash Pal, head of consumer research for Nielsen UAE, told WWD, "People usually come here to live the high-end, luxurious lifestyle. Therefore, consumers here are very image-conscious, and awareness about designer brands is high."6. POLAND 27 percent
The country, located on the Baltic Sea, boasts its very own fashion week in Poznan, Poland's fifth-largest city, located to the west of Warsaw. Meanwhile, in Warsaw is Arkadia, a mall that houses 180 shops such as Tommy Hilfiger and Pierre Cardin, 20 restaurants, a 15-screen cinema and 4,000 parking spaces. In Krakow, one of the oldest cities in Poland, Old Town remains a vibrant hub with numerous landmarks, museums, art galleries, college universities, music venues, theaters and restaurants. The Galeria Krakowska, a shopping center with 270 stores, is located here and houses everything from Versace and MaxMara to H&M and Zara.
7. SOUTH AFRICA 27 percent
Designer Paul Smith has finally come to South Africa: A franchised store opened its doors in October in a 900-square-foot, two-story Cape Dutch-style house in the fashionable Johannesburg suburb of Parkhurst. "Paul Smith is the latest high-end fashion label to set up shop in South Africa," WWD stated. "In recent months, labels such as Missoni, Chloé, Miu Miu, Marni, Stella McCartney, Prada Sport, Valentino Red and Kate Spade have become available in exclusive multibrand boutiques in Johannesburg." Also in October, Cartier opened its first South African boutique in the Sandton City Mall, which houses Miss Sixty, Polo Ralph Lauren and Lacoste. A second Cartier store in Cape Town is in the planning stages.
8. PHILIPPINES 26 percent
"The international luxury community is taking notice of the Philippines," WWD reported in February. "In fact, retail — including the luxury and high-end variety — is alive and well in the Philippines, with its booming economy." Last year, the gross domestic product grew by 7.3 percent. Greenbelt 5, the latest addition to the development of the Greenbelt Mall, based in Manila, opened in October. Tenants include Balenciaga, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Paul Smith, Banana Republic, Rafe and Celestina. In December, London-based market-intelligence firm Euromonitor ranked the Philippines ninth among Asia-Pacific region countries in terms of projected 2007 clothing and footwear retail sales, with $1.5 billion.
9. NETHERLANDS 23 percentLooks as though cheese and wooden clogs aren't the only two items Netherlands residents own. Amsterdam, the Netherlands' capital, is the largest city and features several shopping areas. Pieter Cornelisz (P.C.) Hooftstraat, considered to be the Fifth Avenue of Amsterdam, is home to designer brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Hermès and Louis Vuitton. And Kalverstraat, a pedestrian-only street, houses a variety of chain clothing stores such as H&M, Mexx and Zara. Meanwhile, other retail players are making their way into the region. Levi Strauss & Co. recently opened a location here, while handbags and accessories brand Tumi will open a store here this year. Mikael Schiller, president of Stockholm-based Acne Jeans, told WWD last month that it has plans to enter the region, as well.
10. IRELAND 22 percent
A study conducted last year on the world's most expensive retail locations by Cushman & Wakefield said retail rents on Dublin's Grafton Street averaged $669 a square foot — the sixth highest in the world. Grafton Street houses well-known department stores such as Marks & Spencer and Brown Thomas. Henry Street also features department stores such as Arnotts, along with a variety of popular clothing and footwear stores. The Jervis Shopping Centre is also here, and stores such as Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Bershka can be found. Designer Daryl Kerrigan, who showed her two fall 2008 collections (Daryl K and Kerrigan) in New York, also hails from Dublin.
source: The Nielsen Company’s global Designer brand survey; 25,000 respondents were surveyed online by nielsen; Hong kong is a special administrative region in china; *Indicates a tie
GREECE PHOTO BY RICHARD T. NOWITZ/CORBIS; HONG KONG BY YM/CORBIS; NETHERLANDS BY BENELUX/CORBIS; PHILIPPINES BY LAWRENCE MANNING/CORBIS; POLAND BY KAY NIETFELD/LANDOV; SOUTH AFRICA BY NIK WHEELER/CORBIS; UAE BY AZIZ SHAH/APPHOTO; HUNGARY BY BELA SZANDELSZKY/APPHOTO; INDIA BY JAYANTA SHAW/LANDOV; IRELAND BY WOLFGANG DEUTER/CORBIS
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye