Founded in 1987 in Antwerp, Belgium, Kipling is a designer and manufacturer of handbags, luggage, apparel, and accessories. It was founded by designer Xavier Kegels and Paul Van De Velde, who were joined by a third partner, Vincent Haverbeke. The brand’s name was inspired by Rudyard Kipling, the writer of the children’s story The Jungle Book.
The company’s products are sold in over 80 countries through department stores, specialty retailers, and its own Kipling stores worldwide. In 2004, VF Corporation acquired Kipling and became the brand’s parent company. It was since then became part of VF’s sportswear range.
Kipling products, particularly the bags, are known for their fun, preppy and trendy designs, and are popular among young women. The company has been able to keep its prices relatively affordable while still maintaining a high level of quality. This has allowed Kipling to compete against other mid-priced brands such as Fossil and Coach.
So, is Kipling a luxury brand? Keep on reading to find out the answer.
Is Kipling A Luxury Brand?
Kipling is not considered a luxury brand despite its global recognition for its bags. This is mainly because of its price range, which is more affordable than many luxury brands. Its competion is really in the mid-priced market, where it competes very well considering that it has gained a cult following over the years.
1. The Company’s History
In reality, Kipling is a very young brand that was only founded in 1987. However, in a very short time, it has managed to make a name for itself as a reputable and trendy brand.
Kipling’s success is largely due to its designers who create unique and stylish products that are also very functional. The company has also been able to keep its prices affordable, which has helped it appeal to a wider range of customers.
On the other hand, for this very same reason which is why it is not considered a luxury brand. Most luxury brands have a long history and tradition that Kipling simply does not have. In addition, luxury brands tend to be much more exclusive and have a higher price point.
2. Kipling’s Target Market
As mentioned before, Kipling’s main target market is the mid-priced market. However, it also offers some products that are on par with luxury brands. This is one of the reasons why it can be difficult to define Kipling as either a luxury or non-luxury brand for some people. But it will all come down to the standard criteria of what a luxury brand is all about.
Kipling’s main target market alone is already evident that Kipling is more of a designer bag and not a luxe. And one of the biggest contributors to this is how it is marketed to the public as an affordable brand that is good quality and trendy.
3. Kipling’s Products
Kipling offers a wide range of products, including handbags, luggage, apparel, and accessories. All of these products are known for their stylish designs and high level of functionality. In addition, the company’s products are also very affordable, which makes them accessible to a wider range of consumers.
And while its products are exclusively developed and designed in Antwerp, Belgium which is good, the materials used are not of luxe quality. For example, the bags are mostly made of nylon and polyester, which are not exactly materials that scream luxury.
In addition, Kipling products are safe to say to be mass-produced considering resulting to why it is widely accessible to a wider audience for purchase. Also, many department stores carry the brand which is the opposite of luxury brands that are exclusive or rare to be carried by third-party retailers unless they’re authorized.
4. Kipling’s Branding
Kipling’s branding is very youthful, fun, and trendy. The company’s logo is a monkey that is often seen wearing a hat and holding onto the Kipling bags. This logo is meant to represent the fun-loving and carefree nature of the Kipling brand.
However, its branding does not reflect that of a luxury brand. Luxury brands tend to have more sophisticated and classic branding. They also don’t use animals in their logos as this is considered to be too whimsical. Instead, they use symbols or initials that are meant to be timeless and elegant.
5. Kipling’s Price Tag
To simply detail Kipling products’ affordability more, they cost approximately anywhere from $29 to $300 for handbags and backpacks, while around $22 to $350 for travel pouches and luggage. The prices vary depending on the designs, materials used, size, and availability.
These prices are way cheaper than the bags sold by many luxury brands. Also, luxury brands don’t—or, at least, very rare to—offer sales and discounts, which Kipling, on the other hand, does. In fact, you would find a dedicated page on Kipling’s website for many of its products currently on sale or on discount.
Does Kipling Hold Value?
In general, Kipling does not hold value the same was as luxury brands. For example, a Kipling bag that was purchased years ago for $100 might only be worth $60 today. Whereas, a luxury bag from the same time frame could potentially be worth double or even triple its original price today.
This is to be expected as Kipling is not a luxury brand and, therefore, its products are not made with the same level of quality and craftsmanship as that of a luxe label. Additionally, there’s no rarity on its products as they are mass-produced. And for the obsolete products of Kipling, there’s no demand for it which is why there’s no chance that the value would appreciate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s so great about Kipling bags?
Kipling bags are known for their stylish designs and high level of functionality at a very affordable price. These reasons are what make the brand and its products popular among many people.
Why does Kipling have a monkey?
The monkey attached or designed on Kipling’s products is the company’s logo. It is meant to represent the fun-loving and carefree nature of the Kipling brand. Thus, monkeys are symbols of fun and adventure, so the monkey naturally became the brand’s mascot, according to its website.
How long do Kipling bags last?
In general, Kipling bags may last for years even if used regularly. But it all depends on how the wearer or user of the bag takes care of it. If properly maintained and stored, a Kipling bag could last for a very long time. In fact, Emma Jones of UpHomely suggested that her own Kipling bag for a decade!