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Let’s imagine you want to buy a high-end, luxury, or premium handbag.
Considering the price, you’ll want to make sure you pick the proper bag, which means one that won’t go out of style, is of good quality, and will hold its value over time.
Because, in the handbag marketplace, it’s equally crucial to consider the resale value.
I’ve chosen ten most timeless designer handbags that meet all of these requirements. And for each one, I’ll explain why I believe it’s a wise investment.
Let’s start with the best of the best in terms of handbags.
Every designer aspires to create a bag as successful and ambitious as this one.
Hermès’ Kelly is the bag in question.
It’s also a clever re-branding story, considering it wasn’t called Kelly when it first debuted.
It was designed in 1930 by Robert Dumas and only became famous in 1956 when actress Grace Kelly, who was just engaged to the Prince of Monaco but already pregnant, disguised her baby bump behind her handbag and had the shot taken by paparazzi.
Hermès then renamed the bag after her, which was a brilliant marketing move.
The bag itself is handcrafted by a single person, taking up to 25 hours to complete: it contains 36 leather pieces, as well as all studs and the locks.
It’s sewed backwards before being turned inside out. On the outside, the outcome is a really clean bag.
I couldn’t tell you when the bag was designed just by looking at it, which usually implies the design is timeless.
However, there’s a catch: the bag isn’t for sale unless you know someone who can get you on the waiting list. However, even superstars who are acquainted with someone must pay the entire fee.
You CAN buy it secondhand: the price varies based on the size, leather, and style, but a Kelly is likely to cost more than $10,000.
Over time, the Kelly grows in value. So, if you can get one, take good care of it, keep it for 20 years, and you’ll be able to resale it for a profit.
The Birkin was designed for Jane Birkin in 1984. She ran into Jean-Louis Dumas, Hermès’ new design director, on a plane and complained about not being able to locate a purse that would fit her baby’s bottles.
He must have muttered something along the lines of “hold my champagne” and made a new bag that can hold a lot of stuff.
It was deeper and more supple than any other bag on the market at the time, and the sides could be expanded. The bag was named after Jane Birkin, and she receives profits from it that go to charity. And Hermès came up with the ideal backstory for their bag.
The bag isn’t advertised anywhere. Nobody knows how many they make each year. It all comes down to exclusivity.
How can you get your hands on a Birkin? Unless you’ve previously purchased one, you won’t be able to. It’s like the chicken and the egg story: which came first, the chicken or the egg?
On the secondary market, the Birkin even outperforms the Kelly, and its value continues to rise year after year.
Victoria Beckham is said to own over 100 Hermès bags worth over $2 million and counting. One of these bags will set you back $150,000.
It is, in fact, far more prudent than investing in stocks.
It was quite a stir when this one, designed by Gabrielle Chanel, was released in February 1955 (2nd month of 1955, hence the name).
Until then, all purses, at least for fashionable women, had to be carried and held in one’s hand. That’s why they’re referred to as handbags.
This was a bag that you could put on your shoulder, and it was quite useful!
Horse-riding clothing inspired the quilted surface, which has become a Chanel hallmark. However, the Double-C emblem that can now be found on this bag was not there in the first iteration; it was added by Karl Lagerfeld in the 1980s.
The strap was made entirely of metal. Metal and leather are now used to construct it. It also features two flaps: when you open the top flap, a second flap appears beneath it to keep objects from spilling out.
Let’s take a moment to talk about inflation. The bag sold for $220 in 1955. It now costs somewhere between $4000 and $6500.
So I’m hoping your mum or grandmother had one back in the 1950s. But even if you buy it new today, the value of this bag continues to rise, making it a good investment piece.
Louis Vuitton Speedy
Previously, Vuitton primarily produced travel bags and suitcases. They didn’t create handbags for a long time. Audrey Hepburn requested a smaller version of the KeepAll travel bag in 1956. She received her handbag – made for everyday use.
The bag is composed of waterproof treated canvas. Coated textiles were traditionally stiff and unsuitable for purses. Vuitton, on the other hand, discovered a means to create a more supple coating.
Speedy was 30cm long when he first appeared. It is now available in sizes of 25, 35, and 40cm.
It had a checkerboard pattern, but the bag was so widely copied that Vuitton produced a monogram pattern, which is more complex and difficult to copy. Now that counterfeiters have caught up, they are able to replicate the monogram as well. It is now the world’s most imitated bag.
A new Speedy 25 without a strap costs exactly 1000 dollars, while a used one costs roughly 600 dollars. Because it is largely canvas with a little leather, it is less expensive than other well-known handbags.
Céline Luggage Tote
I used to admire Phoebe Philo, who was the creative director of Céline, but no longer is.
She designed a number of handbags that are truly timeless. Timeless was almost her aesthetics, she was excellent at it.
The luggage bag from 2010 is one of them. Cotton totes may be found all over the place, and supermarkets often provide you with totes in which to store your purchases. The Céline tote elevates the tote to a high-end bag.
It has a masculine, business feel to it, yet there’s a glint in the eye since it resembles a face, with the zipper serving as the lips.
It’s roomy, your laptop fits inside, and it’s ideal for city living.
Depending on the size you choose, new costs between $2700 and $4000. On the secondhand market, you can purchase one for less than 1000 dollars.
It’s worth noting that Céline has changed designers. The new one isn’t quite as well-known as Phoebe Philo was. So when the switch was flipped, everything she designed for Céline skyrocketed in value.
It’s a typical occurrence, so if you’re looking for a long-term investment piece, keep an eye out for labels that are about to change designers.
Longchamp Le Pliage
Philippe Cassegrain designed this bag in 1993, and it is a total best-seller. The marketing is the key here. They marketed heavily in the press and worked with celebrities such as Kate Moss and Alexa Chung to manufacture limited-edition bags.
It’s already been produced in over 150 different colors and designs. Because it is largely constructed of nylon, it is less expensive than other well-known bags.
It’s designed to be folded like an envelope and turned into a mini-handbag for the evening. So it’s two handbags in one, and it’s ideal for a young woman who wants a well-known handbag but can’t buy Vuitton just yet.
The price of a new bag starts at 145 dollars. Longchamp also offers a leather version, limited editions, and a slew of other more expensive bags, but this is their entry-level offering that nevertheless feels high-end.
Dior Lady Dior
Princess Diana visited France in 1995 on a state visit, and President Chirac’s wife wanted to give Diana a special handbag to commemorate the occasion.
The bag “Lady Dior” was made and named after the French nickname for her, “Lady Di.”
Diana was later photographed carrying numerous different versions of the bag, indicating that she adored it and that it had become firmly identified with her image.
The bag is available in a variety of “basic colors” that retain their value over time. Then there are the limited editions, which can earn a lot of value over time if chosen carefully.
Between 2014 and 2016, the Lady Dior gained in value by 14% on average. Up until this year, I feel the trend has remained consistent.
And, like Chanel, the house of Dior continually raising the price of new bags. So get yourself a Lady Dior and wait.
Miuccia Prada designed this backpack in 1984, and it was inspired by military backpacks. Prada’s usefulness, practicality, nomadism, and elegance are all embodied in this backpack.
The closures have been created in a variety of colors and textures over the years, but the shape has remained consistent. The price of this bag is 1100€.
That is, in my opinion, a timeless design. It goes well with an 80s wardrobe, grunge, normcore, a minimalistic wardrobe, and so on.
Since the bag’s release, every backpack manufacturer has tried to imitate it. Time and time again. If you look at hipsters, you’ll notice a lot of backpacks that look identical to this one.
Stella McCartney Falabella
Stella McCartney launched it in 2010. It was the era of the gigantic shopper bags, which were popularized by Paris Hilton. Women would carry a tiny pocketbook and a large bag like this, in which they could fit everything.
However, the company was astute enough to produce the bag in a variety of sizes and colors, ensuring that it would outlast the fad and become a classic.
It’s one of the first totally vegan high-end designer bags. The bag is sewed to the chain, and the hardware is a unique design.
Great design detail, clean cut, and timeless appeal.
Depending on the size, the bag costs between $700 and $1200. If there’s a sale and you’re quick, it can be even less. It sells for $500 to $800 used, therefore it has a good resale value.
This bag is a bit of a hidden gem. It is, nonetheless, a classic and ideal business bag. It’s a combination of masculine and feminine styles.
It comes in three sizes and bears the brand and quality of Givenchy, which is a strong guarantee when it comes to investment pieces.
It costs between $1300 and $2500 brand new. Even the tiniest one will set you back over a thousand dollars if you buy it used.
That’s one of those high-quality bags that hasn’t been trendy or made famous by a celebrity, but has been manufactured since 2011 and retains its value.
It’s an excellent investment piece, in my opinion. All of the bags’ pricing will fluctuate over time, mostly upwards. In other words, the longer you wait, the more you pay.
So it’s a good idea to try to recognize a prospective best-seller as soon as it’s out, before the price starts to rise and the designer changes.