We often talk about ‘investment pieces’, the things that will see your wardrobe through a lifetime.
Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to a handbag. A well-chosen one really can last you forever, and even become a valuable family heirloom.
The Hermès Birken
While a number of designer bags are considered collectable, none are more so than the Hermès Birken. Since its inception in 1984, the bag has been the ultimate status symbol when it comes to luxury accessories. The bag, which was named after actress Jane Birkin, can start at $10,000 and can go well into the hundreds of thousands. And even if you have the money to spend, some styles of Birkins require a wait list of up to six years.
And there is substance behind the hype. A new study found that a Birkin bag is a smarter investment than the stock market. Information collected by luxury handbag retailer Baghunter shows that Birkin bags have increased in value by an average of 14.2 percent each year and by more than 500 percent in the last 35 years. Compared to gold markets, which have fluctuated both positively and negatively, Birkins have only experienced levels of positive fluctuation.
Other coveted bags include:
The Classic Chanel Flap Bag
Not to be confused with the brand’s 2.55 bag, the iconic bag designed by Coco Chanel in February 1955 (the numerical name denotes the month and year of its creation). The Classic Flap is Chanel’s current Creative Director Karl Lagefeld’s contemporary take on Coco’s original 2.55, but has become just as, if not more, iconic as its predecessor.
The Célene Classic Box Bag
Celine’s former head of accessories Johnny Coca created a plethora of instant ‘it bags’, but none more so than the beautifully minimalist Classic Box Bag.
Debuted in 2011 the Classic Box Bag is an update on a much-loved bag from the Celine archives. The most notable changes from the original are the clasp, a simple rectangular gold clasp replaces the horse-and-carriage metal clasp that represented the brand’s former logo, and the flap has been lengthened.
Christian Dior Lady Dior Bag
The Lady Dior was created in 1994 with the sole purpose of becoming a classic – and it succeeded, helped along by Princess Diana who faithfully carried it for years.
The Prada Galleria Bag
Though officially called the Galleria by Prada, it is better know as the Saffiano Lux bag, after the leather it is made of. Loved for its roomy interior and simple, suitable-for-work design, it has become a true classic over the last decade.
Tips When Purchasing an Investment Bag
Although there can never be any guarantee that a certain bag will increase in value, there are ways to make an educated guess and provide the best opportunity for a higher resell value.
Hermes and Chanel are the two brands with the most consistent increase in price year on year. However, just purchasing the first bag you find without any thought or research won’t guarantee an increase in value a few years down the line. Here are the top things to consider:
One of the most important considerations when purchasing an investment bag is the colour. While a bright pink bag may immediately catch the eye, that bright pink may not be fashionable in five years time. For an investor, a neutral colour such as black, brown, or gold has a much better chance of holding or increasing its value in the second hand market over time.
Limited edition bags can provide an excellent opportunity for investment, but only if the right styles are chosen. When buying limited edition bags as an investment, find a style that appeals to the widest range of potential buyers as possible. While a whacky limited edition bag may look great, in years to come it may not sell as easily as a limited edition that features a special logo or stylish customisation.
One of the most important things to remember when purchasing an investment piece is patience. Take your time to find the bag you feel has the best investment potential and don’t expect an immediate return.
When reselling an investment piece, the most import factor in determining the resell price is the condition. If you keep your bag in pristine, excellent, or even very good condition you can expect an excellent return. However, if your bag is full of scratches or watermarks, you won’t get the most from your investment. If you’re never going to use the bag, ensure it is stored safely and properly and taken out of the box to breathe every few weeks.