BEIJING: Porsche, Hermès and Prada are among the luxury brands which are currently most favoured by wealthy Chinese consumers, according to a survey published by the Luxury Institute.

Bain & Co., the consultancy, forecasts that global luxury sales will fall by 10% this year, although China is expected to be among the few markets where sales will increase despite the downturn.
The Luxury Institute surveyed 600 consumers in the country with a minimum income of 1 million yuan ($146,315; €104,639; £89,710), in order to identify which products were regarded, among other things, as offering "consistently superior quality" and the highest levels of "exclusivity" and "peer prestige".

In the women's fashion category, Prada was the most popular brand, with an index score of 8.77, followed by Yves Saint Laurent, on 8.75, and Hermès, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana, all on 8.68.

Hermès topped the list of luxury handbag manufacturers, with 8.93, beating out Lulu Lulu Guinness, on 8.77, and Ferragamo, on 8.76.

By contrast, Ferragamo took pole position in the premium women's shoes segment, on 8.69, ahead of Gucci, on 8.66, and Hermès on 8.64.

In terms of men's fashion, Giorgio Armani, on 8.74, came in ahead of Louis Vuitton, on 8.68, while the latter company took the honours in the men's shoes market, on 8.66, ahead of Versace on 8.51.

Porsche was the best-performing automaker, on 8.79, with Mercedes-Benz in second on 8.72, and BMW in third on 8.70.

Milton Pedraza, ceo of the Luxury Institute, argued that "China is now the most important luxury market for near-future growth for luxury brands."

He added that "the luxury game in China is still wide open, therefore luxury brands will have to go to a new, innovative level, making China a wonderful laboratory for global innovation."

Pedraza has previously warned that consumers have increasingly begun to think of luxury goods as a "commodity", although he has also argued that the recession does offer some opportunities for growth.

Data sourced from Luxury Institute; additional content by WARC staff