Designer blankets are the new winter status symbol
Even though we have started going out more, one trend from the pandemic seems to be sticking around: the luxe home accessory. Last year it was all about tablescaping – the art of styling one’s dining area to look like a restaurant or a catered feast. This year, “blanket porn” is where it’s at.
Not familiar with the term? It’s highly likely you would recognise it if you saw it: those perfectly styled loungerooms (even nurseries) with a $1000-plus blanket just casually draped over the couch like it fell down from the sky, perfectly folded to show off the brand.
The statement blanket, says Net-a-Porter’s senior market editor, Libby Page, is an “easy way for designers to tap into the homewares space. Homewares are often more of an investment item as they don’t hold such seasonal value as fashion, and this is also becoming increasingly important to customers to know their purchases can last,” she says.
Leading the pack is Hermes with its distinct “H”-monogrammed Avalon blankets, starting at $1400 for the baby size, which has appeared in the homes of stylist Rachel Zoe and Kim Kardashian, and peak at more than $2000. The holy grail of designer throws featured on Sex and the City and was worn in lieu of a coat by rapper A$AP Rocky on stage in 2017. Its status confirming power is so great that Elle Decor magazine once likened it to a “Birkin bag for the home”.
Matchesfashion.com’s head of womenswear, Liane Wiggins, says blanket sales at the e-tailer have increased nearly four-fold since before the pandemic. “We have seen strong demand for higher price point luxurious cashmere styles as well as the entry price point pieces,” she says.
The trend has spawned many copycats of the Hermes blanket, with bargain knock-offs selling online for as little as $59. Rather than buying a cheap imitation, why not go vintage, suggests Danielle Goodwin, whose business Hawkeye Vintage holds regular online sales of 1980s’-era blankets from Celine, Christian Dior and more.
Goodwin’s business had focused on fashion and accessories for a decade and she launched homewares during COVID. She found blankets, tea cups and tea sets were among the most popular items. “Obviously people were at home more and dressing up their homes with luxury pieces,” she says.
Most of the blankets she sells are overstock from the 1980s and 1990s and were originally designed for the Japanese market for holiday gifting. Although they are not designed in house, the brands licensed companies to make the pieces on their behalf, much in the same way sunglasses or perfume are made today. Most pieces Goodwin sells are priced between $350 and $1000.
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