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FEATURE

May 22, 2015

By Jody Hume

WHAT’S YOUR CITY’S LUXURY PERSONALITY?

Does where you live define your style? While some luxury preferences are predictably shared in cities across the nation (people everywhere love Chanel), we found others that are city-specific. From data on the top-selling womenswear, fine jewelry and watches in our five largest markets, we’ve uncovered trends that reveal what luxury shoppers are likely to be wearing in LA, New York, San Francisco, Miami and Houston. To break down the findings, we tapped Women’s Category Director Sasha Skoda and Senior Director of Fine Jewelry & Watches Michael Groffenberger. Read on to discover your city’s luxury personality and see whether it’s true to your style.

1. Los Angeles

City's Luxury PersonalityChanel Denim Patchwork Jumbo Flap Bag, $3,395; Diane von Furstenberg Sheath Dress $145; Rolex Diamond Datejust President 6917 $10,595

In LA, the real luxury may be that casual dressing is totally acceptable. But that doesn’t mean it’s not about status. According to Skoda, “Angelenos like to mix luxury pieces with items by contemporary designers.” At the top of shoppers’ lists in Southern California are dresses by DVF and Alice + Olivia, along with coveted items like Chanel handbags, Christian Louboutin heels and Rolex watches, which Groffenberger says are “by far our most popular fine jewelry or watch brand in LA.”

2. Miami

City's Luxury PersonalityHerve Leger Arabella Strapless Dress, $295Cartier Trinity Crash Diamond Earrings, $5,450; Carolina Herrera Dress, $675

Miami has a bit of a split fashion personality. On the one hand Miamians snap up iconic jewelry brands and classically sophisticated dresses by Carolina Herrera, but on the other, “they love Herve Leger’s body-conscious, party-ready bandage dresses,“ says Skoda.

3. New York

City's Luxury PersonalityCartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier Watch, $4,250; Oscar de la Renta Silk Dress, $695; Manolo Blahnik BB Pumps, $275

As the heart of America’s fashion industry, New York has enough style tribes to rival the rest of the world’s fashion capitals. But downtown edge, avant-garde looks, and city bohemianism were won out by purchases of more conservative classics. “In New York, our best-sellers for womenswear are Oscar de la Renta dresses and Manolo Blahnik pumps,” says Skoda. And according to Groffenberger, New Yorkers go for fine jewelry from established names that retain their resale value like Cartier, Hermès and Chanel.

4. Houston

City's Luxury PersonalityLouis Vuitton Monogram Velours W PM, $3,600; David Yurman Morganite & Diamond Ring, $875; Jimmy Choo Studded Abel Pumps, $395

Everything is bigger in Texas, right? And it’s true when it comes to the top-selling fine jewelry in Houston. “Houston loves their cocktail rings, big blingy stones and David Yurman,” says Groffenberger. And when it comes to what they pair with their bling, “Dresses from over-the-top designers like Roberto Cavalli, Prada and Missoni are our top-sellers in Houston,” notes Skoda.

5. San Francisco

City's Luxury PersonalityVan Cleef & Arpels Magic Alhambra Necklace, $6,250; Prada Sandals, $275; Prada Ostrich Double Tote, $3,650

San Francisco often gets a bad fashion rap, but maybe it’s because Northern Californians’ appreciation for luxury is flying under the radar. Shopping trends show that they tend to eschew pieces that scream ‘trend’ in favor of more timeless, subtle investment pieces. “Van Cleef & Arpels is a subtle brand known by tastemakers and sophisticates without being as well known as Tiffany & Co. and Cartier,” says Groffenberger.
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