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An expert guide to investing in luxury handbags

Oct 30, 2022

The luxury handbag resale market has boomed over the past decade, with handbags emerging as a new asset class worthy of our investment dollars. It’s no surprise that luxury and designer handbags have become a focal point for investors, and often feature as parts of a luxury portfolio.

We’ll walk you through some of the major luxury brands that have shaped this new investment category, as well as a few that will be shaping it in the years to come.

The Newcomer

The most exciting part of the cyclical nature of the luxury resale industry is the role upcoming designers and luxury fashion houses play in the market. Every once in a while, a new designer label pops up and gives a refresh—and a brand new category for collectors to buy into.

The newcomers tend to carry more long term risk (say, if the trends change dramatically or reverse); but in the short term this category can be a fantastic option for your closet and your wallet.

A large Telfar Shopping bag in the color Azalea Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Telfar Shopping bag

A large Telfar Shopping bag in the color Azalea
Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

The most recent brand to climb the designer handbag value charts is the Telfar Shopping bag. This bag is responsible for placing this fledgling brand on the map, and for opening up the luxury resale market to a whole new generation of luxury resale shoppers and collectors.

The most popular version is the one done in their classic vegan leather, which can resell for around 145% of its retail value. It was even recently reported that this designer bag is now outpacing reigning heavyweight champion, the Hermès Birkin bag in terms of resale value retention.

The Classics

Longstanding investment assets in the designer handbag space, the following bags are the safest investments for any designer bag collector to consider. Whether just starting out or if you’ve been in the bag game for a while, consider these bags as the gold standard for this asset category.

A 25cm Togo leather Birkin bag in the color Bleu Zellige Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Hermès Birkin bag

A 25cm Togo leather Birkin bag in the color Bleu Zellige
Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

No list on luxury bags and value would be complete without the Birkin bag. Hermès’s most iconic and collectible handbag, the Birkin bag remains the safest handbag to add to a collection.

With an average increase in value of 14% year-on-year, the Birkin remains the gold standard of designer handbag investment.

A 28cm Evercolor leather Kelly bag in the color Vert Criquet Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Hermès Kelly bag

A 28cm Evercolor leather Kelly bag in the color Vert Criquet
Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

If the Birkin bag is the gold standard, then its older sister the Kelly bag is certainly a close silver. With a similar retail price point, and a similar range of resale values, the Kelly bag can be another safe bet in the years to come.

A Small Caviar leather Classic Flap bag in the color Purple Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Chanel Classic Flap bag

A Small Caviar leather Classic Flap bag in the color Purple
Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Another juggernaut luxury handbag that is still on the high end of retaining value, it should be no surprise that the Chanel Classic Flap bag would also feature alongside the Birkin bag and Kelly bag as a solid investment piece.

With retail pricing at Chanel continuing to climb in 2022 on account of the price alignment between the United States and European markets, any Chanel bag (but particularly this most famous handbag model) is going to keep high values high.

A Small Caviar leather Boy bag in the color Dark Red Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Chanel Boy bag

A Small Caviar leather Boy bag in the color Dark Red
Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

If the Kelly bag is the silver medal to the Birkin bags gold, the same can be said for the Chanel Boy bag and the Chanel Classic Flap bag respectively.

Since its 2011 debut, the Chanel Boy bag continues to fetch high resale value in comparison to the aforementioned skyrocketing retail price. This pricing trend also spans across different styles and collections of Boy bags, with the most popular versions being classic caviar and lambskin leathers.

A Monogram Giant leather “Spring in the City” Neverfull MM in the color Pastel Sunrise Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag

A Monogram Giant leather “Spring in the City” Neverfull MM in the color Pastel Sunrise
Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

The final classic on our list that remains a top tier investment bag is the Louis Vuitton Neverfull. This bag has been in the brand’s DNA for decades now, and each rendition of the Neverfull bag seems to contribute to its status. Whether you are investing in the Classic Monogram Coated Canvas, or if you are tapping into the contemporary collections and collaborations that Louis Vuitton consistently releases, the Neverfull bag is sure to stay on this list for the long haul.

The Trendsetters

In 2022, nostalgia and vintage fashion continued to be a strong force driving the fashion world, and thus trickling through the resale market which then goes on to increase desirability (and values!). The story with this next category of handbag investments runs between two themes: what’s old becomes new again, and what a handbag may lack in years on the market it can make up for on the trend side.

A Medium Quilted Sequin 19 Flap bag in the color Light Yellow Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Chanel 19 Flap bag

A Medium Quilted Sequin 19 Flap bag in the color Light Yellow
Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Named after the year it was created (2019), this bag was predicted to become a major player on the luxury resale market as soon as it waltzed down the runway. Post-prediction, this bag has only continued its rise to prominence and popularity in 2020, 2021, and 2022. This bag has also appeared in the resale reports of multiple high-volume resale companies, nearly guaranteeing future returns on this style for a good while.

A FF 1974 Embossed Nappa leather Baguette bag in the color Clementine Baguette bag Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Fendi Baguette bag

A FF 1974 Embossed Nappa leather Baguette bag in the color Clementine Baguette bag
Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

In the what goes around comes around area, the Fendi Baguette bag has solidified its place on this list. Even though the original versions have been around since 1997, the nostalgia trends of the early 2020’s has relaunched this bag to a 115% retail value retention rate.

The risk for all nostalgia or vintage throwback styles is that the trends come to an end, and the prices change according to demand. Historically the prices of these bags tend to fluctuate in cycles though, so while it may be a good investment in the short term, it also has some long term potential despite the risks.

A Sequin Re-Edition 2000 bag in the color Lilium Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Prada Re-Edition 2000 bag

A Sequin Re-Edition 2000 bag in the color Lilium
Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Another bag that resurfaced in the nostalgia wave of the early 2020’s, this icon of the early aughts is keeping its allure with just over 110% retail value retention.

There are many versions of this bag in circulation, however the safest bet is the classic version done in solid black Tessuto nylon or Prada’s new “Re-Nylon” material, a more sustainable option. This doesn’t mean the limited editions and special collections don’t also keep up with this, as every version of this iconic style is highly collectible.

A Small Ostrich leather Soho Chain Crossbody bag in the color Red Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Gucci Soho Chain Crossbody bag

A Small Ostrich leather Soho Chain Crossbody bag in the color Red
Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

A longstanding practical favorite for years now, the Soho Chain line has always lingered in the middle of the pack for value and popularity. A fantastic entry-level investment designer bag, the Soho Chain Crossbody bag is a great place to get started in building a collection.

With around a $1,000 retail price point (depending on the materials) and 122% of that money being retained at the current market rates, this is a solid option as well that is less competitive but no less stylish and lucrative.

A Small Gucci x Balenciaga GG Supreme Monogram Coated Canvas Jackie bag Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Designer Collaboration bags

A Small Gucci x Balenciaga GG Supreme Monogram Coated Canvas Jackie bag
Courtesy of Fashionphile.com

Designer collaborations are a major keystone of the moment, making huge waves and creating limited edition items that shoppers can’t help but snatch up. From old-school collabs like Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami to more contemporary collections like Gucci x Balenciaga, Telfar x Ugg, and Loewe x Spirited Away.

While the data is still being collected and analyzed on the contemporary collaborations, this category is only expanding on the retail side, which typically bodes well for the near term. We would predict these collaboration collections to keep their high limited edition values in the future.

The keys to unlock luxury handbag resale value

No matter if you’re just starting out or if you’re a savvy collector with years under your belt, everyone should be watching the resale values of this rapidly growing financial asset category of luxury handbags and accessories. While this list covers a few, there’s an ever expanding list of collectible bags that are sure to make returns and increase the value of your closet over time. Happy collecting!

OpenLuxury helps you Sell, Find, and Authenticate your luxury handbags and accessories to help you navigate the murky luxury resale market with ease! You can even request a “valuation” when you authenticate with us, so you’ll know how much your items are worth. Get started today!

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