December 12, 2023

The look of luxe is changing. Typically, high-end brands have kept their attempts to recruit and engage to a minimum, but a constant stream of consumers is no longer guaranteed. It takes more than just a stellar reputation to get Gen Z onside.

While old-world luxury was a space previously reserved for the super elite, accessible, culture-fuelled touchpoints are now being used to appeal to next-generation luxurians.

Luxury brands are learning that in order to attract, sometimes you have to chase. Here’s three ways they’re upping their accessibility:


Currently making up 20% of luxury sales globally, Gen Z are expected to be luxury’s top client by 2030. In order to survive, luxury brands have begun to adapt to the needs of their new, and arguably most important, customer.

Zoomers value personality and playfulness, and covet all things creative. And so, moving away from traditionally affluent areas like Mayfair and Sloane Street, brands are now using more art-led areas to forge relationships with Gen Z. Location is being utilised as a tool to build cultural cache.

Image: Gucci

Chanel decided to take their luxury audiences up North as the first major luxury fashion house to show in Manchester – utilising its bold and original creativity. Marc Jacobs’ sub-brand Heaven adorned their Soho pop up with neon signage to blend into the district’s provocative nightlife. And while Gucci and Burberry might not be quite ready to follow Anna Wintour out of the capital, their recent murals in Shoreditch show they’re taking steps in the right direction.


This year saw Harrods become home to both the Prada Café and Jimmy Choo Café, so pairing Pradas with pastries isn’t strictly anything new. But recently we’ve been seeing a difference in the relationship between haute couture and hot coffee.

Burberry collaborated with greasy(ish) spoon Norman’s Café for this year’s London Fashion Week, serving British classics like egg and chips and beans on toast atop a blue Burberry check. And September saw Chanel open an old-school American Lucky Chance Diner in the middle of Brooklyn. Meanwhile, the ever-exclusive Loro Piana chose to make their orders to-go with their latest pop-up – a kiosk-turned-Japanese Bakery in the heart of Milan.

Image: Burberry x Norman's

Increasingly, brands are finding new ways to engage with people outside of their traditional clientele. Though their core products may remain untouchable to a large portion of the public, high-low collaborations and pop-ups are opening the gates that used to surround luxury brand experiences.

Brands are becoming stronger by allowing more people to buy a piece of their story – and a flat white while they’re at it.


After gaining fame as a TikTok trainspotter, Francis Bourgeois moved platforms to become the star of 2022’s The North Face X Gucci campaign. Having paved the way for more influencers to take a trip to the world of luxury, many other brands are now following suit. 

Opting for the underground as their preferred mode of transport, Hugo Boss spotlighted viral TikToker Tube Girl in a recent campaign, while Valentino made sure she had a front row seat at their Paris Fashion Week show. Even on the red carpet, Vogue repeatedly chooses YouTuber Emma Chamberlain as their representative, while fellow YouTube star Amelia Dimoldenberg went from hosting a series that ‘awkwardly combines romance and fried chicken’ to interviewing guests for Gucci.

Image: Levis (left), Hugo Boss (right)

Shifting from working with untouchable, unrelatable A-listers to social media stars, luxury brands are placing themselves at the centre of Gen Z’s orbit and expanding their customer base in the process.

If brands have something to say, the new consumer genuinely wants to listen. Opening up the conversation to a wider audience is a means of spreading your brands story – a vital move if you want to survive in the new world of luxury.

Words by Caitlin Coyle, Junior Copywriter.

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