Your first introduction to designer handbags is something you will always remember. You probably have the Chanel quilted bag you chose or a more modern Louis Vuitton version. If you are looking to add a timeless piece to your collection, the experts can help you shop for an investment bag. You might not be aware of all the factors you should consider before you decide to spend a lot.
To help you find the right path, we enlisted Sophie Hersan (co-founder and fashion director at Vestiaire Collective) and Charles Gorra (CEO and founder of Rebag). Each expert brings unique insight into what makes a good investment, and which bag styles are likely to last the test of time.
Gorra suggests that potential customers of investment bags should prepare to answer the following questions: “Will this bag bring value and functionality to my daily life?” “What bag can I use from one season to the next?” Finally, “how can I maintain this piece?”
It is important to consider the second-life potential of a bag. As Hersan points out, consumers now consider the resale potential of a bag before purchasing it. These experts have outlined five things you should consider before making your next luxury handbag purchase.
Gorra advises that leather handbags are more durable than those made from fabrics. Even if you take great care of your bag, it can be damaged or rayed. Calfskin leather is stronger, can withstand constant wear and ages better than other types of leather. Lambskin, which is softer and more delicate, can withstand the test of time but requires more care.
Gorra recommends avoiding suede. Hersan however, suggests that leather alternatives such as nylon, vegan leather, and monogram canvas, can be maintained with proper care.
Take a look at the shape
There are many sizes and shapes of handbags, from the rectangular Chanel Boy bag to the curvy Dior Saddle to the origami-inspired silhouettes of the Loewe Puzzle. Hersan says that shapes and silhouettes are more personal, but many brands are returning back to their heritage designs for inspiration. The Celine Triomphe and Louis Vuitton Pochette, Gucci Marmont and Fendi Baguette all saw a rise in value and have become “It” bags again!” Classic silhouettes can be a smart investment option.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that handbags with unique shapes are not worthy of purchase. However, depending on your budget, they may not be worth the same long-term value as bags that are part of the trend cycle.
Look for Branding
Conspicuous branding is a trend that fluctuates in popularity. While everyone may prefer a bold style with Gucci’s iconic G print, others favor minimalism thanks to brands such as Acne Studios and Mansur Gavriel. Hersan says that logos are a better investment right now. She cites the popularity of labels such as Louis Vuitton or Dior as examples.
However, the choice of a logo bag is dependent on your brand and preference. Gorra says, “Take Louis Vuitton as an example. Many of their iconic pieces with their monogram have remained in demand and remain in high demand, especially since the rise in popularity of logo-splashed items in recent years.” While LV pieces are less expensive than logo branding, they may not be as valuable.
Find One-of-a-Kind Styles or Close to It
While timeless classics are still very popular, it’s worth considering unique and original designs such as the Coperni Swipe Bag or Jacquemus Le Chiquito Mini Bag. A recent study by Vestiaire Collective and Boston Consulting Group revealed that 71% of people shop secondhand to save money. It’s not just the possibility of a discount that attracts them. Hersan adds that 62% of buyers surveyed find the resale marketplace attractive because they are searching for limited-edition or sold-out items.
Vestiaire founder says the site is seeing more consumers search for limited-edition pieces not available elsewhere. It’s possible to see which regions of the world prefer a trend-oriented investment to a safer one, thanks to the global audience. Hersan states that the Asian market is more open to fashion risks and seeks out bold colors and small styles. “The European consumer gravitates towards classic investments.”
Consider Resale Potential
An investment piece is simply a bag that you can use for many years. This is the type of item that will keep its integrity, despite the fact the cost-per-wear has dropped to pennies. Gorra points to the fact that you may be able to resell it for as much or even more than you paid for it originally.
Gorra says, “We really stress the importance of research when purchasing or investing in handbags.” He cites the Clair, which is the Comprehensive Luxury Appraisal Indice for Resale. This technology is available to sellers on Rebag. Prospective buyers can also benefit from it. It determines the price of any handbag from a selection of over 50 brands and 10,000 bags. This gives clients an accurate idea of how much a bag is worth to them. A handbag priced at $3,000 retail, and Clair’s instant cost is $1,400, the bag actually costs the client $1,600. This proves that the client is making smart financial decisions.
The final decision on how much you spend on a handbag will be up to you, but these tips can help you make the most of your money and find the right purchase for you.