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The best vintage purse investments every year

If you are reading this, you probably decided to invest in a vintage designer bag - Congratulations! A well maintained vintage purse is proof that timeless designs never goes out of style.

Spending your money on a vintage designer bag is not only an investment into flawless style, it could also be a financial investment for the future. Just look at the Hermès Birkin Bag that has increased in value by 500 percent in the past 35 years it. A growth outpacing the price of gold!

The highest volume of Vestiaire Collective sales comes from bags, and it is their number one category in both purchase and supply. But before you start looking for you next investment, let's take a closer look at the top vintage designer handbags to invest in.

Hermès, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton continue to have the best resale value. The impressive legacies of these brands boosts their value, along with strict pricing and inventory control. Chanel, for example increases their retail prices on a regular basis.

Read on to learn more about these coveted brands and their top investment bag designs.

Established in 1837 Hermès has become an absolute classic with millions of fashion lovers dreaming of owning one of their iconic designs. Although the best sellers come into fashion on a regular basis, they are definitely not trend pieces but true icons that never go out of style.

The Birkin

As functional as it is chic, much like the actress and singer Jane Birkin after whom the design is named, the Birkin bag is a true collectors piece. It is available in over 50 colors, and in a number of rare and exotic leathers. The average price of an Hermès Birkin bag in one of the more common leathers increased by a factor of 2.2 between 2006 and 2018. Its value has stabilized over the last two years, that is, excluding rare pieces and limited editions. Click here for more information about the Birkin bag.

The Kelly

Designed in 1930, the trapeze shaped bag is a hands-free option to the Birkin, offeering both a handle and a shoulder strap. The purse was named the "Kelly" in 1956 when Grace Kelly, the Hollywood star who later became the Princess of Monaco, wore the Hermès bag to hide the first signs of her pregnancy. The average price of an Hermès Kelly has multiplied by four in twelve years. The price of a vintage Kelly varies depending on condition, type of leather, color (some shades are super rare), the year of production and the size. Click here for more information about the Kelly bag.

The Constance

Modern, yet classic, chic and effortless, the Hermès Constance bag is famous for its transformable handle allowing it to be worn on the shoulder or cross-body. Its rounded lines, minimal design and signature "H" buckle makes it clear why the Constance stays sought after in the last 48 years. This particular purse has seen a spectacular rise over the past twelve years. Its value increased tenfold between 2006 and 2018, with a marked acceleration in 2012 since its reissue. The record price was reached in December 2015, with the sale of a black crocodile Constance bag for 40,118 euros! Click here for more information about the Constance bag.

Black Hermès Constance bag with gold hardware

Chanel is one of the most iconic, classic luxury brands in the world. Many of their designs have become treasured classics that never go out of style, but there are a few purse models that truly stand the test of time, increasing in value year after year. Chanel is infamous for their continued price increases, making their designs true investments.

In November 2021 a Chanel Small Classic Flap retailed at $8,200, a price increase of 15,5% from the previous retail price of $7,100. These increases affect the second hand market as well, making vintage Chanel purses hot commodities year after year.

The 2.55

Coco Chanel debuted her first handbag design in 1929, but like most designs during the time, it was hand-carried and unpractical. After her comeback to fashion in 1954, Chanel decided to update it, resulting in the 2.55. Named after the date of its creation, February 1955, the bag originally came with a front lock called "the Mademoiselle Lock" in reference to Chanel never marrying.

The 2.55 has a signature quilted diamond or herringbone pattern, providing structure and volume to the bag. Since the design was first introduced, it has featured several different types of chains. Today, the reimagined "Classic flap" design features leather interwoven into the chain straps, while the original 2.55s are chain-only.

In February 2005, Chanel released an exact copy of the original 2.55, commemorating the 50th anniversary of its creation. Beware of these reproductions when searching for an original vintage 2.55 purse since there are some sellers offering them as vintage bags.

Since the 2.55's release in 1955, its pricing has far outpaced inflation. Research into its price history reveal that price increases between 1955 and 1990 were generally explained by inflation, but there has been a rapid value increase since 1990. For example, its price has increased from $2850 in 2010 to $5600 as of 2019. Click here for more information about the 2.55.

Coco Chanel with her 2.55 handbag design

The Classic flap

In 1982 Karl Lagerfeld, then head designer at Chanel, added interlocking CC locks and leather interwoven into the chain straps of the 2.55 design and created the Classic Flap. A timeless design was born! Rooted in Chanel's solid brand identity the astounding popularity of the bag has resulted in its resell value increasing by four in ten years. A well worth investment!

You can often tell that a vintage classic flap bag (especially ones made out of lamb leather) is older by the "deflated" look of the quilted pattern. The padding gets flattened by usage, and many actually prefer this look to the "out of the box" puffier diamond pattern. Click here for more information about the Classic flap.

Louis Vuitton Malletier, commonly known as Louis Vuitton, was founded in France in 1854 by Louis Vuitton himself. And millions of fashionistas have lusted over the label's monogram clad designs ever since. LV is one of the world's leading international fashion houses and was named the world's most valuable luxury brand for six consecutive years, 2006 - 2012.

Even though the monogram has stayed relevant for over 150 years, many LV designs do not appreciate in value in the same way as Hèrmes and Chanel. But a certain few actually does.

LV is known for its daring design collaborations with artists, and it is in these limited edition bags you can find real value gains. For example, a limited-edition piece from the collaboration with Yayoi Kusama can achieve over $1,000 above the retail price!

The Speedy

The initial design was first released in the 1930’s as a travel piece called the "Express". It took until 1959 for the Speedy we know today to emerge. All thanks to Audrey Hepburn, who made a special request to convert the original design into a smaller, more compact purse that she could wear everyday.

The Louis Vuitton Speedy has a history of over 70 years and is still in demand. Rich in history, it is a signature for the brand and has remained a timeless classic that never goes out of style. As with the other bags mentioned in this post, the price of a Speedy bag gradually increases over the years. Click here for more information about the Speedy.

Travel trunks

The close to legendary monogrammed LV travel trunks are sought after by collectors and celebrities alike. In addition to their undeniable quality (all LV luggage is designed to be strong and durable) these pieces are a real investment. Increasingly rare due to their age and the increasing difficulty in finding pieces in good condition, the price of Louis Vuitton vintage luggage have increased steadily over the years.

If you are lucky enough to get a hold of a trunk, you are sure to have made good investment. Click here for a guide to buying vintage Louis Vuitton luggage.


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