Tip to the thirties

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Baby boomers dominate the luxury market, but Generation X is also an important part of the equation, with habits that can help marketers spot what's next.

A good place to start is Fairchild Publications' Details, half of whose readers are 25 to 34 years old. "They are more urban than suburban," says Chris Mitchell (in photo at left), VP-publisher. "They spend a disproportionate amount of income on dining and clothing, and they're old enough to have made money, but not so old to have the responsibilities of men in their 40s and 50s."

These twenty- and thirtysomethings "are a logical replenishment strategy for brands whose consumers have traditionally been in their 40s and 50s," says Mr. Mitchell. "A luxury watch marketer can expand its target without dipping down to men in their early 20s, who are going to be much further off from buying that watch."

To seize the opportunity, marketers such as Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis have entered into partnerships with Details, tailoring messages specifically to the magazine's demographic. With Miramax and Details, Calvin Klein produced a September insert featuring re-enactments of iconic scenes from Quentin Tarantino's films.

"I would argue that luxury plays itself out generationally," says Mr. Mitchell. "Gen X is the anti-Donald Trump generation. They eschew the gold-plated faucet for items that have a story, heritage or authenticity-all hallmarks of what this generation stands for.

"I think the experiential factor applies here, too. These are people with wanderlust. Look at the rise of boutique hotels and adventure travel. This is the group of people who made Prague a hot spot. [They want] experiences that are authentic, unique."

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