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Fashion 87 : Wealth of Ads May Not Influence the Wealthy

December 04, 1987|United Press International

NEW YORK — Clothing designers may spend millions of dollars to attract affluent buyers, but the rich aren't paying much attention, according to a recent survey. .

Yves St. Laurent was placed at the top of the "most luxurious" category by 10% of households earning $100,000 or more a year, according to the survey by the Doyle Graf Mabley advertising agency and the Roper Organization, a market research firm.

Designer Ralph Lauren was considered most luxurious by 8% of the 600 affluent households polled around the country, putting him in second place.

Ranking third was Bill Blass with 7%, while Chanel and Christian Dior tied for fourth place with 6% each. Tying for last place with 3% each were Valentino, Anne Klein, Adolfo and Givenchy.

But the study showed that the higher their income, the less likely customers were to distinguish among designers.

For example, while 11% of those with incomes of $100,000 to $199,000 named St. Laurent, only 8% of those earning more than $200,000 selected him.

The same held true for Lauren, Blass and Pierre Cardin.

"The surprise is that there isn't a household name that comes up 30% or 40% of the time, which is what you clearly get, for example, in the luxury-car field," said William S. Doyle, president of the advertising agency.

Age also played a role in the respondents' selections.

Ralph Lauren ranked first with respondents 18 to 39, but dropped to third place among those 40 or older, the survey showed. St. Laurent was first among the older respondents.

The households surveyed, in New York City, Washington, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles, voted differently depending on their location.

St. Laurent scored 20% in San Francisco, but only 2% in Houston. Chanel garnered 16% in New York, but only 2% in Los Angeles and Houston.

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