While high quality is a constant in the designer handbag game, value retained does not necessarily align. Every designer purse, satchel, tote, and crossbody is certainly not created equal when it comes to the resale market. Many variables come into play; the bag's standing as a 'true classic', market demand and supply, current retail versions, wear and tear, and much more.
If you're looking to buy now for pure enjoyment, simply get what you love and care for it well. If; however, you're looking for a present day fashion infusion along with a future nest egg, we've prepared this list for what you might want to look out for.
Limited Edition Artist Collaborations
With several famous collaborations under their belt, Louis Vuitton has invited contemporary artists to create their own interpretations of classic LV silhouettes. Murakami’s cartoon cherries, Koons’ celebration of the ‘Masters’, and Sprouse’s nod to graffiti tags are all iconic releases that bag lovers still seek out today. Given their exclusivity and limited run, these unique pieces hold their value and, in most cases, increase in value over time. Yayoi Kusama’s infinite dot print decorated Louis Vuitton’s signature Speedy 30 and retailed the collaboration for $1220USD. Today, these bags are priced as high as double their retail value on the secondary market.
Other designers notorious for valuable collaborations include Christian Dior, and Prada.
Chanel Flap Bags
Quilted Chanel Flap Bags with the iconic interlocking CC closure—need we say more? These bags have earned themselves a reputation of being one of the most sought-after and quintessential pieces one can have in their wardrobe. Both vintage and new, these bags are amazing investments with their timeless appeal. A symbol of sophistication and class, Chanel Flap Bags, either double or single, lambskin or caviar, true classic or with a twist, have become the ultimate heirloom. Just as chic in the '70s, the Chanel Flap Bag has secured its place as a staple in fashion history amidst the evolving fashion trends of today.
*Tip: If purchasing to eventually resell, consider the natural wear that will come to your bag over time. Chanel uses the finest quality leathers when making their bags and while all are delicate and demand constant care, their Caviar leather is more durable and tends to disguise signs of wear much better in comparison to their supple lambskin bags.
Abandoning the typical handbag shapes society has come to know and love, novelty handbags morph into eclectic, playful pieces begging the question, “that’s a purse?” Released for special runway collections, brand anniversaries, or just because, many luxury designers have dabbled in the artistry of novelty bags. Louboutin’s notorious pill-shaped minaudiere, created in celebration of their 20-year anniversary in 2012, quickly sold out and is rarely found on the resale market. Given the extremely limited quantities of these pieces and the increasingly high demand by collectors, dependent upon a variety of factors (i.e. designer, shape, collection), these items can appreciate in value quite dramatically over time.
More seasoned in the novelty bag arena, Chanel tends to include sculpturesque bags in their runway collections, such as the legendary Perfume Bottle bag of their Cruise 2014 collection.
Hermes Birkin Bags
Considered one of Hermes’ “quota” bags, along with their beloved Kelly, it is a major rarity for clients to be offered more than two quota bags per year, and that's assuming they've been a loyal customer with many thousands already clocked in at the store. Given their exclusivity and the craftsmanship involved, the Birkin Bag—in your preferred material and color—is extremely hard to come by in many cases. More reliable and recognized leathers, such as Togo and Clemence, are ideal leathers for such bags not only because of their durability, but because of their ability to maintain shape over time, making them great choices for resale value. Unavailable to many consumers due to high demand and Hermes’ selectivity, Birkin bags on the secondary market retain, and often far exceed, their value and draw interest not only because of their status, but because they are readily available!
Louis Vuitton Small Leather Goods
Shifting focus from handbags, small leather goods are also amazing designer buys that tend to hold their value quite well when looking to resell. Given the overt popularity of Louis Vuitton’s monogram and damier patterns, small leather goods from the fashion house are in constant demand and circulation. Great gifts given their lower price points, whilst maintaining their luxury status, such items have grown in popularity for reasons beyond personal use. Constantly updating their silhouettes and designs, Louis Vuitton has offered some incredibly functional and fashionable wallets, card holders, coin purses, and bag charms over the years. Offering a wide selection at the Louis Vuitton boutique, there is an extensive collection of discontinued, yet in-demand, small leather goods available on the resale market today.
Ultimately, we recommend buying what speaks to you and caring for it well. Whatever you get back becomes a nice bonus! If; however, you really would like to purchase for eventual investment, we highly suggest shopping items that fit the list above, always placing them back in their dust covers, stuffing the bags when not in use, hanging them if necessary, and making sure to dust them out every so often.
And if you're ready to shop, head on over to see our designer handbag collection >
Love that Bag etc is not affiliated with the above-mentioned brands. We guarantee these to be authentic items.