YOUR 2023 GUIDE TO INVESTMENT HANDBAGS
Luxury handbags have long been used to carry our possessions. From coveted clutches just big enough to fit the basics to roomy carry-alls designed to hold everything but the kitchen sink. But now designer bags are capable of holding something a little more impressive than your everyday essentials - a lucrative financial investment.
The investment potential of luxury fashion and vintage designs is becoming widely recognised with a major increase in shoppers buying resale. But no designer product is a greater investment than pre-owned luxury bags. Of course, certain brands and designs prove a greater asset than others with ultra high-value labels earning the most. Over the last three years, prices of high-end bags across the luxury resale sector have increased with designs typically selling for a major proportion of their original retail value or more.
Bags from top-tier ultra-high-value brands such as Hermès and Chanel offer the greatest financial investment and often sell for well over their retail price. But more and more pre-loved designer bags from other luxury labels are becoming investment-worthy, along with a cohort of limited-edition designs.
Let’s delve into the most investment-worthy bags you should pay attention to in 2023.
Coming in strong is the Hermès Birkin. First introduced in 1984, the coveted tote bag has since risen more than 500% in value, increasing by over 8% just in the past year. Largely regarded as the most sought-after bag in the world, the Birkin is naturally hard to obtain on the first hand market so luxury shoppers turn to designer resellers offering pre-owned and vintage Hermès Birkin bags.
According to many resale platforms, the Hermès Birkin bag retains around 130% of its retail value when resold. This figure often increases for exotic leather variations and limited-edition styles. The key takeaway? There’s no better handbag investment than the pre-owned Hermès Birkin.
Named after Hollywood starlet Grace Kelly, the Hermès Kelly bag is another jewel in the Parisian maison’s crown. Rising in price on the first hand market around 8% to 13% in the last year, the structured top-handle design is a go-to for luxury aficionados in search of a shrewd investment. The bag’s incredibly limited supply coupled with its ever-growing demand have led consumers to scour the luxury resale market to find Hermès Kelly vintage styles
The Hermès Constance joins the Birkin and Kelly to form what’s been dubbed the Hermès Holy Trinity. A compact flap bag sporting a strap you can wear cross body or over the shoulder, the design proudly displays emblematic hardware while remaining classic and understated. The style has endured as a house icon since the 1950s with its value rising steadily. Prices of some Hermès Constance styles rose by up to 19% in the past year so it’s never been a better time to invest in a pre-loved Hermès Constance bag from the resale market.
Chanel Classic Flap
If there’s one brand and design in particular that has seen accelerated rounds of price increases in recent years it’s Chanel and the label’s fan-favourite Classic Flap bag. The price of the style has undergone a series of relentless hikes with three price increases in 2021 alone. Last year saw prices of the brand new Chanel Classic Flap rise around 9%. These increases have had a knock-on effect on the cost of pre-owned Chanel Classic Flaps with the popular design now able to retain a large amount of its initial retail value on the pre-loved market. The bag’s price is only expected to increase so we recommend investing now.
Conceptualised in the 1970s by the head of the Hermés Riding Department, Evelyne Bertrand, the eponymous cross-body design is a firm favourite amongst fans of the Maison. Its key features include the durable web canvas strap and, of course, the H letter insignia perforated onto the front of the bag. Owing to the design’s status as a brand classic, vintage Hermès Evelyne styles fetch large sums on the secondary market. Clemence and Togo leather variations are in particularly high demand and sought-after colours can sell for in excess of the original retail price.
Louis Vuitton Classics
Louis Vuitton has some of the oldest classic bags around. From the Alma top-handle design being created in 1925 as a custom order for Coco Chanel, to the introduction of the beloved Speedy and Keepall bags in 1930. It's safe to say vintage Louis Vuitton designs have stood the test of time. When it comes to investing in handbags, these enduring pre-owned Louis Vuitton icons are the way to go.
Offering a much more affordable price point than their Hermès and Chanel counterparts, LV vintage options are ideal for those with a smaller budget looking to invest money in their handbag collections
Limited-Edition Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton is no stranger to a coveted limited-edition collection. From hotly anticipated collaborations with the world’s most celebrated artists to partnerships with other cult-favourite fashion brands, the heritage Parisian label has an archive full of rare and unique bags. These designs are always hard to come by so their value on the resale market is often higher than when bought brand new.
Rewind Vintage Affairs’ favourites include Stephen Sprouse’s vintage Louis Vuitton collaborations from the early 2000s and Yayoi Kusama’s most recent partnership with the brand which saw the house’s classic Monogram pattern painted with colourful decorations.
Gucci’s archival bag designs are the envy of many. And with the Italian label’s classics enjoying continuous popularity, the most well-known designs are regarded as a sure-fire investment for luxury shoppers. Coming in an array of canvas and leather materials, the price point can differ significantly making Gucci pre-owned designer bags the perfect choice for many.
An obvious favourite is the Gucci Jackie. Named after Jackie O in the 1970s when the style icon and former first lady was snapped using the bag to shield herself from the paparazzi, the slouchy hobo design became an instant ‘It’ bag. From the prominent buckle detailing to the curved silhouette, the Gucci Jackie’s statement features have made it an undisputed classic and it remains one of the most sought-after vintage designer bags on the resale market.
While it is less famous than other Hermés designs, the Picotin bag has a devout following of its own. Presenting a uniquely equestrian take on the beloved bucket bag silhouette, the design combines the functional appeal of boxy bags with Hermés’ signature artisanship to create a top-handle style that’s spacious and minimalist. The Picotin is widely lauded as a great starter Hermés bag and on the resale market the pre-owned Hermès style retains a significant amount of its original resale value.
The iconic Lady Dior bag found fame on the arm of Princess Diana during the 1990s. Originally called the Chouchou, it was later named after the royal and became forever associated with refined elegance. Crafted to a structured top-handle silhouette and sporting Dior’s Cannage stitched pattern, the Lady Dior is largely considered to be the French maison’s most well-known handbag with its retail price continuing to rise. This has caused its value on the resale market to surge and with its status as a house icon showing no signs of ceasing, the bag is a wise investment for 2023.
Occupying a significantly lower price point than some of the other brands on this list but still boasting cult appeal, Prada pre-owned luxury bags are set to be a standout investment choice in 2023. With a plethora of styles crafted from leather, canvas and, of course, the Italian label’s signature nylon material, there’s no shortage of Prada designs to invest in if you’re in search of quality classic designs.
Since Bottega Veneta’s reawakening under the creative genius of British designer Daniel Lee in 2018, the brand has been unstoppable. Enjoying a treasure trove of new house classics like the Pouch and Cassette bags as well as a slew of sought-after vintage designs featuring the iconic Intrecciato weave, demand for the Italian label is at an all-time high. Sales of Bottega Veneta are up across the luxury resale sector and are expected to rise further so it’s wise to invest in the classics now.