Gucci vs Louis Vuitton – Which brand is better and more expensive? Are you debating whether Louis Vuitton is better than Gucci and vice-versa? I feel you. Whether you planning to buy your first luxury designer bag, or want to invest in high-end designer handbags, before you make the commitment you have to do proper research. To help you decide which brand is better between Gucci and Louis Vuitton, we narrow down all the points that you need to compare these two designer households and know which bags are best for invest and hold the value. Prepare tot take notes as is important to know all the details when purchasing a luxury bag. After all, is not happening everyday…
Gucci and Louis Vuitton. You don’t have to be a fashion expert to know and easily recognize these two labels. Probably the world`s most famous luxury brands have been dominating not only fashion but also pop culture and art for decades.
You see them in expensive shopping quarters and in fashion magazines, in movies, and even in museums. Their iconic designs are constantly copied and translated by various brands from all categories, from luxury to mass-market. And sometimes it seems they are copying each other in a way, doesn`t it?
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Gucci vs. Louis Vuitton – Which brand is better and more expensive?
Keep on reading, and in this article, we shall expose all the ins and outs of Gucci and Louis Vuitton, look into their history and philosophy, and try to understand why the two biggest competitors of the luxury fashion industry sometimes suspiciously behave like close cousins who grew up under the same roof.
It may help you understand the idea and principles of the modern fashion industry better and make informed decisions about which brand better fits your goals and expectations.
Louis Vuitton – luxury as it is
Louis Vuitton started his eponymous brand back in 1854. LV was originally manufacturing luggage such as travel chests, handbags, and suitcases.
If you look into the history of most luxury brands, including today`s competitors LV and Gucci, you will probably notice that most of them started with designing mainly luggage and travel accessories. It is because back in the day, traveling was a very expensive matter. If you were a designer who would offer exquisite craftsmanship and high-end materials and looked to a clientele ready and able to pay for your effort accordingly, luggage was probably the best way to go.
Today Louis Vuitton’s famous monogram, which is said to be inspired by the Japanese traditional painting style also known as Nihonga, can be seen on clothes, footwear, accessories, and jewelry. But LV bags have always been and will probably remain the brand`s signature and most appealing products.
Gucci – the brand of equestrian equipment and golden babies’ apparel
Founded back in 1920 in Florence, Italy, Gucci was a brand that focused mainly on high-quality luggage and equestrian equipment.
We already mentioned that traveling, especially long-distance traveling, was very expensive then. And the equestrian sport has never been cheap, to begin with. So, you probably understand that Gucci was born and raised as a luxury brand.
Unsurpassed craftsmanship and high-quality Italian leather have always been Gucci`s distinctive marks, and are still probably the reason why the brand`s loyal customers simply adore it to this day.
However, Gucci actually took off as a fashion brand when Guccio Gucci`s sons Aldo and Rodolfo took over the business. Before that, Gucci was a luxurious but a pretty narrow-niche manufacturer. The two brothers put effort into expanding the brand’s product range to turn it into the fashion label we know today. They also made sure that by the middle of the XX century, Gucci was present and well-known in the old and new worlds’ fashion capitals – London and New York.
Today the signature Gucci stripes that were developed in the mid-1950s can be seen on men, women and children’s apparel, footwear, accessories, home décor items, and even art supplies (which deserve a separate chapter in our story.)
Gucci vs. Louis Vuitton – the philosophy
Comparing Gucci and Louis Vuitton, you probably have already noticed that we are dealing with two brands with very similar input data. In fact, throughout this article, you will probably notice that LV and Gucci have many connection points. Probably that is why we often compare them as two cousins – so alike and so different at the same time.
However, when it comes to brand philosophy, Gucci and Louis Vuitton show very dissimilar approaches to their marketing, pricing policies, and targeting.
While Gucci is a hands-down luxurious brand that offers exclusive designs and high-end materials, the Italian label is particularly famous for its seasonal discounts on selected items. A couple of times per year, the inhabitant of the fashion Olympus “descends to mere mortals,” providing an opportunity to snag a piece of ultimate luxury with the iconic stripy monogram.
Gucci also gladly collabs with other brands, such as Adidas and North Face, and popular artists like the creator of “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” manga series Hirohiko Araki.
Some of those collaborations end up iconic, and others turn out a total flop, but altogether this policy of Gucci shows that the brand is out there, ready to explore new opportunities and appeal to a broader audience.
Louis Vuitton is an entirely different story. The brand is very careful and scrupulous about maintaining its reputation and status as the world’s #1 luxury fashion brand. They seem to take each new step very carefully and do their best to maintain the distance between luxury and more affordable niches of the fashion industry.
For example, LV is well-known and even somewhat notorious for the fact that they never have sales or discounts. The brand claims that it would rather destroy items that don`t sell that well, than devalue its craftsmanship, materials and the overall experience that comes with purchasing one of its bags and accessories.
This strategy may be pretty questionable, but it definitely plays a big role in the fact that owning a Louis Vuitton item is one of the most powerful symbols of fashion and luxury today.
It is important to understand that although luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci definitely stand apart in the overall fashion world, they still have to exist in one of the most dynamic industries on the modern market and therefore have to adapt and jump through some hoops to keep up with the demand.
So, let’s take a look at how Gucci and Louis Vuitton create their new collections, communicate with the audience and seal their status in the modern fashion world.
LV vs. Gucci – marketing and target audience
Unlike mass-market brands that usually bet on the hottest trends, luxury powerhouses such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton are mainly about evergreen classics. It is because such brands specifically emphasize craftsmanship, materials, the service that they provide, and the status that you obtain with every item that carries their recognizable monograms.
However, Gucci is known for some edgy and bold designs that appear in every new collection and often become the hallmark of the season (not always positive, to be fair).
Analysing Gucci`s latest collections, you will notice that they usually have about 65% of classic designs and interpretations of the previous years` hits and 35% of trendy and experimental items.
The same is true about their collaborations, marketing campaigns, and ambassadors. Colorful, inclusive, and sometimes pretty flashy, Gucci advertising campaigns are always recognizable and leave no one indifferent.
On the one hand, this strategy seems to stick with the course on constant growth that Aldo and Rudolfo initially set for the brand, but at the same time, it looks like Gucci is one of those luxury brands that acknowledge existing in an extremely dynamic world and have to act accordingly.
Against Gucci`s artistic experimentation, Louis Vuitton`s position and marketing strategy may seem pretty conservative. After all, the brand never hides its intention to preserve the traditional reputation of a sophisticated, luxurious label.
In their presentation, LV mainly emphasizes quality and craftsmanship, high-end materials, and the brand`s heritage. In other words, Louis Vuitton doesn’t sell only bags and accessories; they sell the atmosphere, the symbols of luxury, exclusivity, and elegance.
And this is exactly the moment when most people would ask – “And what about pricing?” Indeed, since items from luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton are often seen as an investment opportunity, the matter of pricing and value are extremely important when we compare them.
The art supply scandal
You might have noticed that talking about Gucci and Louis Vuitton we often mention the brands` position towards exploring new audiences and attracting new customers. Not so long ago, the two iconic labels made suspiciously similar steps towards exploring new markets that gave ground to a whole conspiracy theory among even those who might have never owned any of their items and never planned to.
Both Gucci and LV once released art supplies. To be precise, limited edition sets of color pencils, that were sold in exclusive branded cases. Their prices range between $800 and $1,200, so it is definitely not something you would casually grab for your back-to-school shopping.
So who did Gucci and Louis Vuitton release those products for? And why? Almost instantly, art bloggers started hunting those mysterious products and competing in their reviews of those luxurious art supplies. And to everyone’s shock, almost all of them agreed that the pencils were not worth more than the cases they came with.
To be fair, the cases were really stunning and perfectly made just like any other item released by Gucci or Louis Vuitton. But the pencils themselves were pretty mediocre, to say the least. Moreover, after closer investigation, those lucky ones who managed to lay their hands on those sensational products, claimed that they were impossible to tell from each other like they came from the same manufacturer.
Of course, it started rumors about the great conspiracy of Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and other luxury brands, the arguments that all of them are actually one company that pulls the strings of the whole fashion industry.
The truth is probably much simpler, and the 2 labels just decided to make a splash in the world mastered by social media, bloggers, likes, shares, and views. And they did! What is more important, both brands came out with stunning limited edition collector’s items, which can be a great investment opportunity for those who are interested.
Gucci vs Louis Vuitton – price, value, and investment opportunities
Just like their approach to marketing and communication, the pricing policies of Gucci and LV are similar but have a bit different justifications.
As we have already mentioned, Gucci does not mind being affordable for a wider audience. They also collab with more mass market and niche brands. Such collaborations are not just an opportunity for the brand to discover new market segments, but also a source of limited-release collector’s items, which are for sure an investment opportunity.
Generally, prices for a Gucci bag start today at around $800 and reach about $2,000. A limited edition collector’s item would cost about $30,000 and have great re-selling potential.
A pair of sneakers released in collaboration with Adidas sell for around $500-600, which is lower than the price tag on Gucci’s MAC 80 model ($800-900), but, as we have already mentioned, the collab items will be demanded and valued by fans and collectors of both brands and probably grow in price considering the fact that we are talking about a limited edition in this case.
Louis Vuitton has an entirely different approach to pricing, but it is probably the #1 brand that comes to mind when we talk about investment in luxury items.
A LV handbag will initially cost you around $1,000, the most expensive items can go way over $100,000. It is important to understand that the price of the bag does not necessarily depend on the model. As we have already mentioned, LV is all about Craftsmanship, materials, and exclusive designs.
And you should not count on seasonal discounts of Black Friday shopping for Louis Vuitton. At the same time, such a consistent pricing policy makes it much easier to navigate the world of pre-loved LV items and their re-selling prices.
Louis Vuitton items never go down in price and therefore a tag with attractively smaller numbers should be a big red flag for anyone who wants to purchase a piece from the legend. You should keep in mind that Louis Vuitton is probably the most counterfeited brand in the industry.
So, which brand is better, Gucci or Louis Vuitton?
If you were unsure when you started reading this article, you are probably even more confused now. At first sight, the two powerhouses of the fashion industry have pretty similar backgrounds, reputations, and status on the market. Their prices are not really that different and both are pretty perspectives when it comes to selling pre-loved items or looking at Gucci or LV bags as an investment opportunity to start with.
So, how do we compare between the two brands? And why?
The comparison actually boils down to some biased and even personal parameters such as style, the overall atmosphere of a brand, the audience it is associated with, and publicity.
Gucci is known for a more bold and artistic approach to every collection. Along with evergreen classic designs, they often release edgy and even questionable items. However, the fashion industry, and especially its collector’s segment, work the way that it is often not the item itself but the splash that it makes in the crowd that matters and determines its price in the future.
While the “Jolyne, Fly High with GUCCI!” was massively rejected by JoJo`s fans, the 25-page manga released in 2012 is now one of the most demanded and expensive mangas on the collectors` market.
Louis Vuitton vs Gucci
Louis Vuitton is not prone to experiments. This brand does its best to preserve its reputation and values translated through its exquisite craftsmanship and bespoke service. And while the irregular launches like the pencil set that we have mentioned above, happen from time to time, they are an exception out of the general rule for LV, rather than a recognized strategy.
So how to determine which brand is better LV or Gucci?
First of all, you need to ask yourself what is the reason you buying a designer bag? Are you buying to wear it daily, or for an investment, or gift? Once you clarify the first step, you can set a budget for buying a designer bag and from there it will be easier to determine which brand is best for you.
Gucci items tend to look more trendy and there are many more designs and styles compared with Louis Vuitton, that that doesn’t mean Gucci is better or more expensive than LV. After doing some research, I have discovered that LV bags have better resell value compared with GUCCI.
Let’s take for example one model of the bag from both of these brand which is a bit similar and see their price range:
Gucci Ophidia GG
Gucci Ophidia GG come with a price tag of $1,560, and $612 for a pre-owned one (at ebay). Although, you cannot really find this type of bag on second hand stores.
LV Alma BB
LV Alma BB: Price new $1,586, and Pre-owned $1,320 (at fashionphile).
You will immediately notice the difference between these two brands and how they hold the value. If you buy a designer bags with the though of reselling it, is best to check very thoroughly the pre-owned designer bag marketplaces before you buy a new bag. Knowing which bag holds the value better, it will give you an insight into what’s in high demand, how much the price is increasing every year and what you should buy.
If you really want to compare Gucci and Louis Vuitton, you can look at them as different types of investment portfolios. Some prefer short-term deals, which may be risky, but often end up with higher dividends. By buying another artistic Gucci bag or an item from a limited edition collab, you may hit an ultimate collector’s gold mine. Or not.
At the same time, it is harder to make a mistake with Louis Vuitton as their pricing policies are pretty set and known, and are unlikely to change in the observable future.
Both brands stand in the same pricing category, stand for similar values, and at the end of the day translate them to similar audiences. That is why the decision, as always, is up to you, the goals you pursue in choosing a luxury item over a mass-market brand, and your expectations from the purchase.