Founded in 1997, Theory was founded by Andrew Rosen and Elie Tahari in New York. It is a men’s and women’s contemporary fashion label that sells clothes and accessories across the world. It is said that as of August 2021, Theory boasted 431 stores worldwide, according to Fast Retailing.
Since its inception, Theory has been known for its simple and sleek designs. The brand’s philosophy is to create clothing that is “intended to be lived in and loved over time.” This is evident in the quality of their garments as well as the classic silhouettes that are associated with the brand.
And over the years, the brand has established a strong presence in the fashion and retail industry. This is all thanks to its founders who are known figures in the said industry.
But is Theory considered a luxury brand? Keep on reading to find out!
Is Theory A Luxury Brand?
Theory is not considered a luxury brand despite being a popular brand. This is because the brand does not meet the criteria that are typically associated with luxury brands—the uniqueness of the products’s design, pricing point, and limited editions of pieces. Many of its products are affordable and mid-range compared to other luxury brands.
1. The Brand’s History
Theory is definitely a young brand in comparison to most luxury brands. It was only founded in 1997, which is relatively recent. In terms of branding, Theory has managed to make a name for itself in the fashion industry thanks to its simple and sleek designs. However, it is not enough to be considered a luxury brand.
2. Theory’s Pricing Point
Another factor that contributes to whether or not a brand is considered a luxury is its pricing point. And in this case, Theory’s pricing point is more affordable and mid-range compared to other luxury brands. This is one of the main reasons why it is not seen as a luxury brand.
For reference, Theory products approximately range anywhere between $19 to over $2,000. Its lowest-priced product alone clearly states that the brand targets a wide audience from the ones buying cheaper garments to the other consumers willing to spend big for a piece of clothing. This is quite different from luxury brands that release products with a higher price tag, making them exclusive only to those who can afford them.
3. Theory Has No Limited Editions
Theory does not produce limited editions of its garments. Again, this is in contrast to how other luxury brands operate since they release limited-edition clothing and accessories to keep their exclusivity. Theory’s lack of this makes it harder for the brand to be seen as a luxury label.
4. The Materials Used
Theory also uses a variety of materials for its garments. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does not help the brand in terms of being seen as a top-tier band. It mainly uses cotton, wool, and linen for its clothing which are all common materials. In comparison, other luxury brands use more unique and luxurious materials such as cashmere, fur, and leather.
5. Theory’s Overall Branding
When it comes to Theory’s overall branding, the brand does have a global presence in the fashion industry. This is evident in the number of stores it has worldwide as well as its partnerships with other retailers. However, this is not enough to make it a luxury brand.
6. Theory’s Use of Logos
Logos are another important factor in differentiating a luxury brand from a non-luxury one. And in this case, Theory does use logos on some of its garments. However, the use of logos is not as prevalent as it is with other luxury brands. This is because Theory focuses more on its clean and sleek designs rather than using logos as a way to brand its products.
7. Theory’s Target Audience
Lastly, another factor that contributes to whether or not a brand is considered a luxury is its target audience. And in the case of Theory, the brand’s target audience is relatively wide since it offers both affordable and mid-priced garments. This is in contrast to luxury brands that focus on a more specific target audience—those who can afford to spend a lot of money on high-end clothing.
Does Theory Hold Value
In general, Theory products don’t hold much value on many of its products. This can clearly be seen on its website as many of them are on sale for up to 50% of the original prices. This is not the case with luxury brands as most of their products hold or even increase in value over time.
That being said, it is safe to say that while the regular prices of Theory products can in between affordable and expensive, it will all depend on one person’s preference and budget. And in terms of being a luxury brand, it still has a long way to go. It does not have the same exclusivity and prestige that most luxury brands offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of brand is Theory?
Theor is considered a contemporary fashion label, which means that it offers modern and stylish clothing for both men and women. In short, it is not considered a luxury brand.
Who owns Theory brand?
Theory is owned by the Japanese fashion conglomerate, Fast Retailing, since 2009.
What is the target market for Theory?
The main target market for Theory is young adults to young professionals on a budget. However, the brand’s target audience is relatively wide since it offers both affordable and mid-priced garments.