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The Top 15 Luxury Products Young Europeans Have Purchased

The majority of young Europeans have purchased a product from luxury brands, and here are their top 15…


  • The top luxury product that European Gen Z and Millennials have purchased is a luxury bag
  • Two-thirds of Millennials in Western Europe have bought from a luxury brand, and luxury watches are one of their top products
  • European Gen Zs are more likely to have owned or purchased luxury shoes and clothing, and brands in the industry are increasingly investing in web3 to reach this gen

YPulse’s recent Western Europe Luxury Report shows that three in five young Europeans have purchased a luxury product (two-thirds among Millennials), revealing that young consumers in this region are avid buyers of luxury goods. But what kind of luxury products do young Europeans actually spend their money on? In our survey, we asked 13-39-year-olds in Western Europe to tell us specifically what the last luxury product they bought or owned was, as an open-end question. Asking a qualitative question allows us to capture the full range of luxury products these gens own or have purchased in the past. And a closer look at the data indicates that European Gen Z and Millennials do not exactly purchase the same luxury products:

Table showing what the last luxury product Western European Gen Z and Millennials have owned or purchased is

Bags are on top of the list of luxury items young Europeans have purchased

The top luxury product that both Gen Z and Millennials in Western Europe have bought or owned is a luxury bag, showing that accessories are the high-end items that are having the most success with these gens, potentially because they are an easy—or easier—entry point to luxury buying. Secondhand luxury bags are especially trending in Europe at the moment, benefiting from the resale boom happening in the region. In fact, the market revenue of secondhand luxury bags is expected to double in the next four years in the region. And retailers are catching up with the trend: in the U.K., Ebay recently expanded its authenticity guarantee to include pre-loved luxury handbags from 19 brands. Ensuring authenticity when purchasing secondhand luxury handbags, purses, and backpacks, is key for resale marketplaces like eBay to avoid counterfeit products being sold on their platform. High-end department store Selfridges also massively developed its range of pre-loved luxury bags on its resale platform Reselfridges, as part of a plan to make half of its sales from second-hand items by 2030.

Luxury shoes and clothing are among the top items that Gen Z have bought

The second top luxury item that Gen Z last bought or owned is luxury shoes, but what Gen Z really means by “shoes” is sneakers. Maybe the best way to understand Gen Z’s love for sneakers is to talk about the emblematic sneaker brand: Nike. Nike is simply one of young Europeans’ favorite brands; they think of it as one of the overall coolest brands, and the brand they feel the strongest sense of community around. But it’s more than that: when we ask European Gen Z what luxury brand they most want to own, Nike comes second behind Gucci. And although the brand is not technically a luxury brand to the same extent as Prada or Armani, it is certainly perceived this way by Gen Z in Western Europe. One of our respondents from the U.K. told us that the last luxury item he bought was “A pair of shoes from Nike that cost over £200,” reflecting the feeling that his generation has toward the brand. And with Nike also heavily invested in the burgeoning Web3—where its virtual collectibles and NFTs are selling just like luxury items—sneakers are likely to remain a top luxury item among Gen Z.

Gen Z is also a lot more likely to purchase luxury clothing than the older gen: it is the third item on their list of luxury products they’ve last owned or purchased, whereas it ranks sixth on Millennials’ list. In our Luxury Report, we also asked young consumers what products they’re most interested in purchasing, and “Clothing” was Gen Z’s top choice by far: 52% of Gen Z said they were interested in buying luxury clothing, +22pts more than the second category on the list (“purse, shoes, or accessories”), and +13pts more than Millennials who chose luxury clothing. Luxury fashion brands are reaching the younger gen by investing heavily in Web3 and the metaverse. Take the example of Lacoste: in 2022 alone, the brand released its Croco Island as part of a collab with Minecraft, created its own NFT “UNDW3,” and launched a seasonal metaverse store that brought shopping, gaming, and NFT experiences to its young customers. YPulse also informed you how the Coperni Paris Fashion Show caught the attention of Gen Z this year, going viral on TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram—especially Bella Hadid’s spray-on dress—underscoring the growing interest the younger gen has in luxury clothing products.

Millennials are more likely to have purchased a luxury watch than the younger gen

Luxury watches are desirable items for Millennials in Western Europe, and data from YPulse’s Western Europe Luxury Report shows that Rolex is the third luxury brand European Millennials most want to own, and is the top luxury brand among German Millennials. But it’s not just that Millennials dream of buying a luxury watch, they’re actually very likely to have bought or received one, and it is the second top luxury item that they have purchased. In comparison, “watch” only came sixth on Gen Z’s list of the last luxury product they’ve bought.

The luxury watch industry is also benefiting from the rise of second-hand luxury products—a type of product we know young consumers like to buy—and a Deloitte study found that the market of vintage luxury watches is expected to grow by 75% in the next decade. Young consumers are also increasingly turning to smartwatches, which give them all the technology they need to better exercise, sleep, and manage their stress levels. Luxury watch brands are incorporating more technology into watches to keep up with the demand. In fact, the watch industry has been a keen early adopter of NFTs, and major brands such as Hublot, Breitling, and Bulgari have all issued NFTs. Tag Heuer recently released the Connected Calibre E4 which allows consumers to connect to their crypto-wallet, and display the NFTs they own on the screen of their watch. The market of smartwatches is expected to show an annual growth rate of more than 7% in Europe, and the fact that the “awearable watch” by NoWatch went viral at the CES in L.A. shows just how the industry has not stopped innovating to please Millennials.