Is Dooney & Bourke A Luxury Brand? (5 Reasons Why)

Founded in 1975, Dooney & Bourke is a leading American designer of fine accessories in leather and fabric. The company offers an array of products including handbags, wallets, business cases, travel accessories, footwear, and more. Its signature All Weather Leather is widely recognized for its durability and craftsmanship.

The brand was founded by Peter Dooney and Frederic Bourke respectively. It started in South Norwalk, Connecticut with two introductory products: surcingle belts and classic suspenders. Both products were well received, especially the popular surcingle belts due to their unique vibrant colors and stripes.

As of today, Dooney & Bourke is still relevant and continuously favored by many Americans who are looking to use high-quality products that will last them a long time. The brand’s popularity has even transcended to international markets, with the company opening stores in Japan, China, and Europe. This is all because of the quality, durability, and style that Dooney & Bourke offers.

But, setting aside its popularity, is Dooney & Bourke a luxury brand? Let’s check out!

Is Dooney & Bourke A Luxury Brand?

Dooney & Bourke is not a luxury brand but a high-end fashion brand. While luxury brands come with a hefty price tag, that alone doesn’t make a brand gain the luxury-level status. This is because of the things to consider such as the quality of materials used, the craftsmanship, and the design. And Dooney & Bourke fall short in these requirements.

Here are the reasons that the brand lacks to be considered a luxury label:

1. The Price Tag Is Not That Hefty

One of the main indicators of a luxury brand is its price tag. And while Dooney & Bourke’s products are not cheap, they are not as expensive as other luxury brands. The brand’s products range from $30–$850 which is way more affordable compared to many luxury brands that people are familiar with.

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Also, many of the brand’s products are on sale quite often. You can find a Dooney & Bourke product on sale at least once every season. This is something that you’ll close to never going to see with luxury brands as they don’t need to mark their products down that much since people are willing to pay the full price.

2. The Quality Is Not Top-Notch

Luxury brands are known for their excellent quality. The materials used are usually of the highest quality and the craftsmanship is impeccable. 

Unfortunately, Dooney & Bourke’s products do not meet these standards. The company has been known to use lower-quality materials in some of its products although, for the record, the quality of its products is undeniably good. It’s just not on the same level as other luxury brands.

3. The Designs Are Not That Innovative

Another factor that separates luxury brands from high-end fashion brands is the design. Luxury brands usually have innovative and unique designs that are ahead of trends. This is one area where Dooney & Bourke falls short. While the brand’s designs are good, they are not really innovative or unique.

The designs of its products, such as the bags, are good but these designs are also similar to designs that already exist with just minor alteration. This similarity is one of the reasons why the brand is not really considered a luxury label.

4. The Products Are Mass-Produced

Luxury brands are usually associated with exclusivity. The products are not mass-produced but rather in limited edition. 

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Dooney & Bourke’s products, on the other hand, are mass-produced. It is easy to find the brand’s products because it is being sold also in department stores and other retailers. This is clear evidence that there are more than enough products that are ready to be sold in the market which is the opposite of most luxury brands where people are fighting just to get their hands on the products.

5. There’s No High Demand

While it is true that the brand has already gained a large number of fans, there is no high demand for its products. This is one of the key indicators of a luxury brand. People are willing to wait for months or even years just to get their hands on the product.

This is not the case with Dooney & Bourke as people can easily buy the products whenever they want. There’s no need to wait for months or years just to purchase the product. In short, there’s no scarcity and exclusivity when it comes to the brand’s products.

Does Dooney & Bourke Hold Value?

A Dooney & Bourke’s value varies depending on the style, design, and materials used. For instance, a product made with full-grain leather will definitely be more expensive than one made with synthetic materials.

The value of the brand’s products also differs depending on where you purchase them. The prices of the products at department stores are usually cheaper compared to the prices at specialty stores. And in terms of resale value, a Dooney & Bourke’s value depreciates from the moment the item is sold, unlike a luxury brand that can go higher from its original selling price.

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Overall, the value of Dooney & Bourke’s products is not really that high for both brand new and secondhand. The prices are reasonable and the quality is good but it is not on the same level as other luxury brands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dooney & Bourke still popular?

Yes, Dooney & Bourke is a popular brand for its affordability and for having good quality. Thus, celebrities who are seen wearing and using the products of the brand help to make everyday people talk about the products and purchase them.

Why is Dooney & Bourke’s logo a duck?

According to the website, Americaninno, “the signature duck symbol was chosen because the label’s specially treated All-Weather Leather is naturally water-repellent, like a duck’s feathers.”

Do Dooney & Bourke use plastic zippers?

The zippers used in Dooney & Bourke’s bags are neither plastic nor metal. According to Vintage Dooney, Dooney & Bourke uses the material to make the zippers resistant to weather and heavy wear. Although it is not disclosed how the material is made, it is said that the materials for the zippers are called Vislon and nylon webbing. Thus, it is claimed to never flake, discolor, rust or scratch.

Is Dooney & Bourke real leather?

Dooney & Bourke uses Pebble leathers, according to its website. It is said to be made of an all-new authentic European leather. This is also what the brand claim to be the softest and lightest leather yet that it uses.