Some data from women’s fashion: I was always struck by Dana Thomas’s observation, in “How Luxury Lost Its Luster”, that while in 1960 about 100,000 women bought European haute couture clothing, only about 4000 did today, despite the exponential expansion of the world’s wealthy population since 1960.Probably true for a certain section of that clientele.
I think the market for high-end tailoring has changed dramatically in the last hundred years. My understanding is that, after the war, many more middle-class Brits and Americans were able to afford Savile Row tailoring. At least compared to the period before the war.
Now it feels like we're in the second wave of democratization. I think there are now two types of tailoring houses -- those such as Huntsman and Anderson & Sheppard, who serve both a very wealthy type of customer, and then what can be broadly defined as "enthusiasts."
I think some tailoring houses serve more of an enthusiast type of customer. Matthew at Steed once told me that almost all their clients are enthusiasts types. Edward Sexton also once told me that many of his clients are enthusiasts -- they're not very rich, but they order one thing per year because they love tailoring.
I think there's more diversity in lifestyle now between such people. Not everyone is buying JLC watches and eating $200 plates on a regular basis, even if they're spending a lot on clothes.