The current mood means premium brands rather than designer ones are resonating with many customers, Danziger said.

“Michael Kors is a very good example of a brand that is hitting the right notes in terms of quality and price because you don’t have to apologize for buying a $500 Michael Kors bag,” she said. “You have all the design sensibility that you get from a Gucci bag or a Louis Vuitton bag.”

The luxury consumer has woken up, Danziger said.

“So many luxury brands today are four, five, 10 times more expensive, but they are really not 10 times better than some of these premium brands,” she said.

Andrew Sacks, who runs his own New York ad agency and says his household income exceeds $250,000 a year, plans to spend about the same this holiday, though he’ll focus not on Cartier baubles. Instead, Sacks, 45, will buy less-known brands.

“Luxury retail has become so ubiquitous, it’s the same everywhere,” said Sacks, who isn’t reassured by the stock market advance. “It just feel disconnected from the rest of our country. It doesn’t seem like there are fundamentals in place for most of the country to support that.”

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