Is Kate Spade A Luxury Brand? (6 Reasons Why)

Founded by Kate and Andy Spade in 1993, Kate Spade New York is an American brand known for its colorful and fun designs. The brand offers a range of items, from handbags and clothes to home decor and more. 

Since its inception, the brand has gathered attention and a strong following. Thus, it is one of the most sought-after fashion brands considering that many of its products have sophisticated designs but are stylish and on-trend.

The brand has been in the industry for more than two decades, and it has solidified its place in the fashion industry. It is also one of the most popular brands in the United States even after it was acquired by Tapestry, Inc. As of today, there are over 80 retail shops of the brand locally, and more than 100 shops internationally.

Many believe that Kate Spade is a direct competitor of Michael Kors. But since the latter is a designer brand, is Kate Spade the same or is it a luxury brand?

Is Kate Spade A Luxury Brand?

Kate Spade is not a luxury brand but a designer that is in the high-end market. The brand offers products made from lower-quality materials than true luxury brands. This helps to keep prices relatively affordable but, in some ways, may still be on par with affordable luxury brands in the market.

Here are the reasons why Kate Spade is not a luxury brand:

1. The Price Tag

While it is undoubtedly true that Kate Spade products come with a hefty price tag, it is not on the same level as luxury brands. For example, a designer handbag from Louis Vuitton can cost upwards of $2000 while the most expensive Kate Spade bag is around $500.

That said, it already shows a significant difference in the price range, and this is one of the most important factors that set luxury brands apart. It is one of the reasons why it has a different target market than luxury brands. Instead, Kate Spade is compared with Michael Kors, which is in the same target market segmentation, specifically when it comes to price as both are designer brands.

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2. The Target Market

Luxury brands usually target a more mature audience while Kate Spade is popular among younger women. This is evident in the designs of their products which are often youthful and fun.

Although there is some crossover between the two target markets, they are still distinctly different. So, when it comes to the age group, another factor that sets them apart is the target market. And for the same reason which is why the brand is also popular with younger consumers such as Millenials.

3. The Quality

When it comes to quality, luxury brands always take the cake. This is because they use high-quality materials and craftsmanship that ensure their products can last for many years. On the other hand, Kate Spade uses lower-quality materials even though their products are still well-made. 

But it doesn’t mean that Kate Spade’s products are for short-term use. They are made with excellent craftsmanship. However, they are not on par with luxury brands when it comes to materials used and durability. 

4. The Materials Used

Another factor that determines if a brand is luxury or not is the materials used. Luxury brands use high-quality materials such as leather, gold, and silver. And although Kate Spade uses some of these materials, they are not used in all of their products.

In fact, many of their products are made with lower-quality materials such as nylon and polyester. While there are some that are made with high-quality materials, they are not used in all of their products. And for this reason, is why Kate Spade is not a luxury brand.

5. The History

Even though Kate Spade market itself as a luxury fashion brand, its history is still young. Many luxury brands have a long history that dates back many years. For example, Hermès was founded in 1837 while Louis Vuitton was founded in 1854. These brands had been tested through time which also grant them real luxury status.

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On the other hand, Kate Spade was only founded in 1993, which is significantly younger than most luxury brands. And even though it has been around for over two decades, it is still not as established as luxury brands. Thus, if all things work out, there’s a chance that Kate Spade may become a luxury brand in the future. 

6. Heavily Relies On Marketing

Kate Spade rely on marketing to attract customers. And even though it’s not a bad thing, it’s one of the reasons why they are not considered a luxury brand.

Many luxury brands don’t need to heavily market their products because they are already established and have a loyal customer base. People are already familiar with their brand, and they know what to expect even if they don’t see it often. And the “word-of-mouth” marketing is enough to keep the brand relevant.

Does Kate Spade Hold Value?

In reality, Kate Spade holds value while its products are brand new and recently released. However, the value quickly depreciates as soon as it is used. This is different from luxury brands whose products often appreciate, in value, over time. And for this reason, Kate Spade cannot be considered a luxury brand.

Kate Spade’s pre-loved products sold in the market have a lower price point compared to brand new ones. For example, the Boxxy Large Crossbody which is currently the most expensive handbag of the brand at $498 has a higher chance would be resold to a fraction of the original price once it is a pre-loved item. And this is also what sets Kate Spade apart from many luxury brands’ products that turn into rare and expensive items once phased out or have become pre-loved items. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is unique about Kate Spade?

One of the things that make Kate Spade unique is its “preppy with a twist” aesthetic. The brand offers a wide range of products that are both stylish and practical. According to My Bag, “[Kate Spade] Being girly but not too girly, infused with bold colours, patterns and cool-girl energy…”

And although their designs are not as daring as other luxury brands, they still manage to stand out with their own signature style.

Is Kate Spade expensive?

In reality, Kate Spade is not very expensive, but it is also not cheap. It is in between these two price points, and this is one of the reasons why it is not considered a luxury brand.

For example, you can buy a bag from Kate Spade for as low as $98 which is the Spencer Slim Crossbody bag. On the other hand, their most expensive bag is the Boxxy Large Crossbody which costs $498. This price range is expensive for someone who does not have a lot of money to spend on designer bags. But for someone who is used to buying luxury brands, this price range is not too bad.

Is Kate Spade a good brand?

Yes, Kate Spade is a good brand because it offers stylish and practical products that are perfect for everyday use. And although its prices are not too bad, its products are not as valuable as luxury brands.

If you’re looking for a designer bag that is both stylish and practical, then Kate Spade is a good option for you. Many of its products, particularly the bags, are constructed with high-quality leather and other materials like nylon, canvas, fabric, pebbled leather, and Italian smooth leather.