Icons don’t get made overnight (approximately 48 work hours to be exact – a Birkin, that is). There’s a lot of ‘standing the test of time’ in the process of creating a classic – the cruellest catch 22 when you’re debating between this season’s pretty young thing or a more mature model. Thankfully Fanny Moizant, Co-Founder of luxury resale online store Vestiaire Collective, gave us the stats and the results are in – buy the right bag now and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank come next upgrade. “Classic styles make the best investment, the pieces that you won’t be bored of next season,” she says. “Chanel’s 2.55 or Timeless bag and Hermes’ Kelly or Birkin bags all make great investments. A Hermès Birkin retains around 130% of its retail value at resale, and Goyard’s Saint Louis tote bag retains around 80% of its retail value – so it’s worth it.”
The Birkin alone has increased in value by 500 per cent over the last 35 years (offering better returns than gold or stocks – be sure to pass that tidbit onto your accountant) – so there’s no better time to trade on the handbag exchange. We’ve edited the crème de la crème of arm candy to get you on your way.
1. Chanel – the Classic Flap and the 2.55
We’ve grouped these two holy grail handbags together solely due to the fact there’s very little difference between them other than your clasp and handle preference – the lock on Chanel’s 2.55 handbag is called the “Mademoiselle Lock,” and the lock on the Chanel classic flap bag is the instantly recognisable CC turn-style lock, with the choice of either a single or double strap chain handle. The too-many-to-count sizes, colours and variations on the Classic Flap mean that there’s likely a version that suits you best – and because Chanel regularly increases its prices, the bags tend to hold their value well for years, meaning that buying one now isn’t too risky (it’s among the few fashion items that has increased in value since hitting the market back in 1955).
Chanel Large Classic Flap Handbag, AU $7,580, and 2.55 Handbag, AU $6,800, chanel.com.
2. Louis Vuitton – the Speedy
Monogram canvas tends to reign supreme as the kit of choice for most Speedy customers (Audrey Heppburn’s favourite, should you need any further justification), but don’t let that fool you in to thinking that it’s the only option – if you don’t vibe on a logo, look to the Damier and Epi leather options available, as well as the limited-edition numbers gracing the runways that season. Vuitton bags are practically indestructible and historically very well-made, particularly the traditional styles, and Vuitton offer heaven repair service to boot.
Louis Vuitton Speedy, AU $1,350, au.vuitton.com.
3. Hermès – the Birkin
The 1981 story of Jane Birkin sitting next to Hermès CEO Jean-Louis Dumas on an airplane and struggling with her belongings falling out of her bag is essentially fashion folklore, but the detail about why she was carrying that bag often gets left out – in 2012, Birkin told the London Telegraph that it was because her husband, Jacques Doillon, had gotten in his car and deliberately run over the woven basket she usually carried two days prior.
Available in literally every colour and fabrication under the sun (the bag has been produced in at least 25 distinct blues), each bag is constructed by a single artisan in one of Hermès’s ateliers. The most expensive, you ask? A fuchsia porosus crocodile with diamond-encrusted, 18k white gold hardware, sold to a phone bidder at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong for $221,844 in June 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Hermès Birkin Leather Tote, AU $14,658.56, vestiairecollective.com. For in-store purchases visit australia.hermes.com. for your nearest boutique.
4. Hermès – the Kelly
Known initially as the Sac à dépêches, it was renamed the Kelly in homage to Grace Kelly, a life-long fan of the style who famously used it to shield her first pregnancy from the ever-present paparazzi. Apparently each bag takes artisans up to 25 hours to make, with a waiting list that stretches that time frame significantly should you be looking to purchase one brand new. It’s a proven investment set to only increase in value thanks to its exclusivity and rareness – bonus points for buyers who choose exceptional skins like crocodile or unusual colours, which only add to the allure (and the remuneration down the track).
Hermès Kelly Crocodile Handbag, AU $9,143.10, vestiairecollective.com. For in-store purchases visit australia.hermes.com. for your nearest boutique.
5. Dior – the Lady Dior
The Lady Dior was created in 1994 with the sole purpose of becoming a classic – and it succeeded, helped along by Princess Diana. Originally named ‘chouchou’ (French for ‘favourite’), it was given its current moniker as a tribute to the princess in 1996 after she fell in love with it and faithfully carried it for years. Instantly recognisable for its ‘cannage’ topstitching, and the subtle logo-mania via it’s D,I,O,R charms. The Lady Dior is available in a variety of colours and fabrics each season (although try your hand on eBay or designer consignment boutiques for vintage models), in mini, standard and large sizes.
Dior Lady Dior Bag in Black Lambskin, $POA. Only available in boutiques. For stockist information visit dior.com.
6. Goyard – the Saint Louis
Among the quiet elite of high-end handbags, Goyard maintains a staunch level of secrecy. The brand, which dates back to mid-19th century France, provides no product listings of any kind on its websites and stocks in only a handful of locations worldwide. In spite of that, the Goyard St. Louis Tote is one of the most recognizable bags in the world, slung over the arms of many a celeb in all its personalised glory (you can select a variety of colour combinations and configurations, including monogramming, stripes and stars).
Goyard Saint Louis, $POA. For stockist information visit goyard.com.
7. Prada – the Galleria
Though officially called the Galleria by Prada, it’s known among the fashion set as the Saffiano Lux bag, after the leather it is made of. The leather is embossed with a cross-hatch pattern that increases durability, scratch-resistance, and water-resistance – and a stunner to boot. Loved for its roomy interior and simple, suitable-for-work design, it has become a corporate classic over the last decade.
Prada Galleria Bag in Caramel, $POA. For stockist information visit prada.com.
8. Givenchy – the Antigona
She’s the most architectural of the bunch, but don’t let her modern silhouette fool you – the Antigona from Givenchy is beyond icon status. Not just a pretty face, either – they’re practical, with the shoulder bags designed with both a top handle and additional strap. Crafted in Italy, take your pick of either goat or sugar leather with a hard-wearing canvas lining to house all your work to weekend essentials.
Givenchy Antigona Medium Satchel, AU $2,450, saksfifthavnue.com. For in-store enquiries call the Givenchy Boutique in Westfield Sydney: (02) 8197 0420.
feature image via pinterest