Investing in Designer Handbags
One of the most attractive benefits of buying preloved designer fashion is that it represents a real investment. This is fashion that is made to last. It isn’t trend-led and inspired by this season’s catwalk looks – it is designed entirely on its own merit around forever fashion values and aesthetics.
It means materials that will only grow more beautiful with age and those designed to stand the test of time. It means style and silhouettes that are everlasting. It means heritage pieces to be handed down through the generations and cherished as heirloom pieces. This is not fashion that will be thrown to the back of the cupboard and forgotten about. It is something to be proud of.
How to Choose your Handbag
Designer handbags are one of the most classic investments and a well-chosen handbag really can last a lifetime. It can be tricky to know exactly which bag to invest in but whether you’re buying with a view to sell or you plan to use the bag yourself, it must, of course, do a Marie Kondo and spark joy. You should also consider the quality of the piece, its history and historic resale values.
A preloved designer handbag investment supports the circular economy in all the right ways and it’s definitely an investment to get on board with. According to Art Market Research and reported by Forbes magazine, designer handbags now outperform art, classic cars and rare whiskies in terms of investment potential. Some bags have experienced a valuation spike of an average of 83% in the last ten years and more than 3500 designer handbags were sold at auction in 2019, raking in a total £26.4 million.
What Makes a Good Investment?
So, what makes a designer handbag an investment? There are many well-loved names that are synonymous with high value handbags and Hermès is one of the best-known. Their bags have continued to break records across the world and display two of the most popular qualities in investment handbags – there’s the cult classic status courtesy of the Hermès Birkin.
And then there’s those bags that are iconic because they are more unusual and sought-after for their details therefore come with a heftier price tag. These are often more difficult to source and sometimes come as part of limited edition collections too. To put things in perspective, the ten most expensive Hermès handbags ever auctioned have all been crocodile-skin Birkins.
The crocodile skin Himalayan Birkin by Hermès has long been considered the most collectible handbag in the world and in 2016, Christie’s 30th Anniversary Hong Kong auction sold a Himalaya Birkin bag with white gold and diamond hardware for an auction world record price of $300,168.
In May of the following year, Christie’s in Hong Kong again broke the world record for the most expensive bag ever sold at auction when a white crocodile Hermès Himalaya encrusted with 10.23 carats of diamonds realised £293,000.
There’s also the iconic factor to consider and Hermès also have one of these with the Kelly (renamed in honour of Grace Kelly). Its resale star has continued to rise and sits alongside the Lady Dior, renamed for Princess Diana, as one of the most sought-after handbags in the world. When some of the most elegant women of all time have fallen in love with a handbag, it comes as no surprise that their value is unparalleled.
We also have the best-loved cult classics and iconic handbags renowned for their beauty and quality. The Chanel (quilted) flap bags are some of the best examples, with the 2.55 bag one of the most recognised and coveted across the world. Featuring a rectangular shape and gold hardware including a metal strap and clasp closure, the standard model is also crafted in distressed calfskin for ultra-durable qualities. Take note here, longevity is another key factor to look for with your investment pieces and by that we don’t only mean bags that will last in a physical sense but those that will always be coveted.
New in Town
But investment handbags don’t always have to be those that have honed their status over the years. Fast forward to more recent time and the Cleo bag from Prada is one of the newest kids on the block that has quickly gained forever fashion status. Inspired by old school Prada classics, it’s elegant, sleek and simple and has caught the attention of everyone from fashion editors to style icons.
There are so many options when it comes to choosing which designer handbag to purchase. There’s the real classics, there’s the classics that have been updated with a modern twist but still retain their coveted status, and there’s the super-lavish more limited edition types that are just so irresistible. Just remember, focus on timeless colourways, durable materials and silhouettes that never go out of style.
Investing with Love
Regardless of your choice, the designer handbag investment star just continues to rise. Even in lockdown, Christie’s raised £1.34 million at their handbag sale, including (of course) a crocodile Himalayan Birkin which sold for over twice its estimation at £125,000. There’s never been a better time to bag it up.
And with that in mind, we’d love to introduce you to the Shush handbag collections. Featuring big-name global designers including Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Balenciaga, Loro Piana and Saint Laurent, there’s something for everyone.