“It’s not a bag. It’s a Berkin!” said Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones about one of the fashion world’s most iconic and sought after handbags.
For many women, a handbag is more than just an item to throw their belongings in lug around all day.
Like the infamous Hermès Birkin, and many other icon bags like is, handbags have become status symbols and collector’s items.
In the same way that art lovers would invest in an original work of art, so do those who have a passion for handbags.
As with many works of art, its worth can either increase in value or decrease depending on the artist.
While artists like Vincent Van Gogh died a pauper his artwork is now worth millions.
A one-of-a-kind Birkin might not be quite as priceless as Van Gogh’s The Starry Night or housed in the Museum of Modern Art, but it’s as much of a sought-after collector’s item.
And like any great work of art, they considered investment pieces.
As mentioned above, the Hermès Birkin isn’t the only luxury bag that fashionistas would consider being iconic investment pieces.
Here’s a list of handbags one should invest in and what it makes them worth it.
The Hermès Birkin
Referred to as the “The holy grail of handbags” a Hermès Birkin isn’t a bag one can simply walk into a store and buy.
The total number of Birkin bags Hermès produces each year is a well-guarded secret, but it’s estimated that there may be around 200,000 in circulation. And for the luxury resale market, Birkin bags are a hot commodity.
More specifically it’s The Hermès Birkin Togo that’s most desired.
The Hermès Birkin Togo is lined with the signature Hermès saddle stitching developed in the 1800s. Each handbag is hand-sewn, buffed, polished and painted with leather sought from several suppliers across France.
First produced in cowhide, ostrich leather and calfskin, the bag has three silhouette dimensions to choose from 30, 35 and 40 centimetres.
Each Birkin is created by one Hermès craftsperson, who must undergo two years of training in order to attain the level of expertise required to perfect a handbag by Hermès.
A black or tanned Hermès Birkin Togo in the 35-centimetre size, and finished polished calfskin is the style you should invest in.
The Chanel 2.55 Handbag
For The House of Chanel, it’s the 2.55 Handbag that started it all. The bag was designed by Gabrielle Chanel because she needed an accessory that freed up her hands. It become a part of her Haute Couture Collection in 1955. It was her everyday bag which she wore both day and night.
The 2.55 handbag is a classic quilted, black lamb leather with a signature gold chain. The gold chained arm strap is made up of rows of flat metal links.
Up until 2005 the handbag was not available to purchase at Chanel boutiques or online. It was the late Karl Lagerfeld, Creative Director of Chanel at the time who opted to reissue the piece in that year.
Since then the Chanel has reimagined this classic style in various seasonal colours and their signature tweed.
Currently, the black 2.55 medium-sized calfskin with the gold-tone metal hardware handbag is valued at R163k.
According to the luxury online retail platform Bag Hunter, the price of a 2.55 Chanel handbag has increased by a huge 70 per cent in the past six years.
Christian Dior’s Lady Dior
Before this bag first time on the arm of Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, on a trip to Paris, it didn’t even have a name. Everyone idolized Lady Diana, the style icon of the time and soon the gained popularity and became a must-have item.
Up until today, it remains one of Dior’s perennial designs
Over the years the leather handbag has been re-worked, reimagined and reinvented with modern shades like matte blacks, pastel blues and embossed runway prints.
A medium-sized, black lambskin Lady Dior handbag enhanced with Dior’s iconic ‘Cannage’ stitching is currently valued at R100k.
The Louis Vuitton Alma Neo
The House of Louis Vuitton is notorious for its monogram handbags. But it’s the Alma Neo handbag that has and always will stand the test of time. The Alma Handbag was first designed for Gabrielle Chanel by Gaston-Louis Vuitton as a special order for personal use back in 1925 and was later retailed and distributed in 1934.
The curved dome-shaped bag was first called the Squire, and then the Champs-Elysée, before settling into the familiar Alma in the ‘90s.
While Louis Vuitton is most famous for his exceptional travel leather goods, with the travel trunk one of the most well-established pieces, it was the Alma Handbag that was one of the first handbags designed. The Alma Neo handbag is priced at R57k
The Bottega Veneta Jodie Hobo
Bottega Veneta’s Creative Director, Daniel Lee placed the limelight when he designed the Pouch clutch bag. The clutch has become the fastest-selling bag in the history of the brand.
While the handbag is simple in design it’s rich quality that makes it exceptional.
The classic style of the Jodie Hobo handbag is made using the fashion house’s signature Intrecciato technique. Created by weaving together thin strips of leather, a finished Intrecciato handbag appears simple and luxurious.
Much like the Lady Dior, the Jodie Hobo handbag didn’t have a name when first released.
But when a paparazzi shot of Jodie Foster using her Bottega bag as a shield was released it became known as the Jodie Hobo.
A Bottega Veneta leather handbag is one of the most sought after leather pieces in the secondary luxury market.
On Farfetch, a pre-owned Jodi Hobo leather handbag will cost you anywhere from R70k.