Pandemic or no pandemic, certain designer handbags seem to be a consistently good investment. But why?
Online marketplace Open for Vintage says, 'When it comes to investing your money, the first thing that comes to many people’s minds is the likes of ISAs, stocks and shares etc. Whilst fashion isn’t an obvious choice, the returns can be more lucrative and secure than many of the more obvious options. What the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted to fashion collectors around the world is that, whilst economies are unstable, the value of their investment handbags has not wavered.'
So, how to know what to invest in? For those looking to make an investment that will hold, or increase in value, research is crucial. With the example of handbags, the real heritage fashion houses such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior or Hermes are always in high demand, and feature designs that remain timeless, and are therefore more valuable.
'The consistent appetite for shoppers to get their hands on one of these bags therefore means that you’ll always sell on for the same, or if not more money than what you purchased for,' according to OFV.
If you’re able to buy a limited edition, or purchase a rare product that has high demand, your bag will likely gain added value over time, as it becomes increasingly difficult to source.
With the example of Chanel, if you’re looking to make a first investment a classic Chanel Flap or 2.55 design is a popular choice (the 2.55 has increased in value by 70% in the past few years alone).
The premium and durable materials used to create these bags, as well as their timeless designs, mean that these bags can be used decade after decade, without the compromise of quality or style.
According to OFV, the retail price of these bags increase an average of 3% each year – over double that of a standard ISA’s annual interest rate.
Retail price of a Chanel Medium Classic Flap Bag in 1990 = £900
Retail price of a Chanel Medium Classic Flap Bag in 2009 = £2102
Retail price of a Chanel Medium Classic Flap Bag in 2013 = £3432
Retail price of a Chanel Medium Classic Flap Bag in 2017= £3990
If you have a keen collector’s eye and can spot a rare find, then a limited edition or unique Chanel bag is a worthwhile investment. It’s important to remember that with more rare styles, you normally need to wait longer for an increase in value.
The Spring Summer 2004 Cassette Tape Bag retailed at the time for £1247. An online designer resale sight came across a rare version which they hadn’t seen before, and the bag was listed for £7015. It sold in 30 minutes.
For those looking to invest a little more, Hermes is a popular choice. The re-sell appetite for Hermes is incredibly strong for a number of reasons. In order to buy a new bag from an Hermes store, customers have to wait months, and even years to get an appointment, and even then, you can never be sure what bags will be available to buy.
Secondly, Hermes bags are made in very limited numbers, meaning there isn’t an oversaturation of any one colour way or fabric. These factors make the luxury of choice within the resale marketplace extremely desirable. The limited edition and hard to access nature of Hermes bags mean they come with extremely lucrative value increases.
The Kelly and Birkin styles see increases of around 12 – 14% in retail value each year, a return of investment, which if you did choose to sell, would challenge that of any savings account or low risk stocks and shares investment.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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