How do Chanel bags compare to other designer bag brands?
Designer handbags, likes watches or jewellery, are particularly subjective when compared to other investment opportunities. On one hand you may look at a bag purely as a financial investment on the other it may be an item you’ll treasure, use regularly and even pass on to your children.
The value of a Chanel bag compared to other brands is in its timelessness. Other than the unmistakable ‘double C’ symbol, which was added by Karl Lagerfeld in the 1980s, the Chanel 2.55 has barely changed from the original design that was launched in 1955. In those past sixty years the classic Chanel bag with its distinctive chain has remained an icon of wealth and sophistication.
In terms of interest in the brand the only challenger to Chanel in recent years has been Louis Vuitton, however just as Rolex may be the most recognisable watch brand without producing the best or most expensive watches, Chanel does fade in comparison in some respects. In last year’s Forbes Most Powerful Brands list, Chanel came in at number 74, way behind rivals Hermes (53) and Louis Vuitton (10).
Top Ten Most Expensive Designer Bags.
Looking at the most expensive bags of last year is also revealing, featuring three different Hermes Birkin bags:
$38,000 – Marc Jacob’s Carolyn Crocodile Bag
$38,470 – Hilde Pallladino’s Gadino Bag
$45,000 – Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork Bag
$64,800 – Hermes Black Crocodile Birkin Bag
$92,000 – Leiber Precious Rose Bag
$120,000 – Hermes Matte Crocodile Birkin Bag
$250,000 – Lana Marks Cleopatra Bag
$261,000 – Chanel Classic Diamond Forever Handbag
$1.9 million – Hermes Birkin Bag by Ginza Tanaka
$3.8 Million – The Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse
A Chanel bag as an investment
So are Chanel bags a good investment opportunity? Well it is certainly true that the prices of Chanel bags rise quite steadily. If you purchased a classic medium flap bag in 2010 it would have set you back around 2700 dollars (£1600), the same bag today retails at 4400 dollars (£2700), that’s a 63% increase in just four years.
Chanel and other luxury designers regularly increase the price of their products, partly because of rising costs, but also to maintain exclusivity and the status of the brand. In the same way Ferrari recently cut production of its road cars in order to increase scarcity and prevent them becoming too popular – why walk down the street with a four thousand dollar handbag if everyone has one?
This type of prestige pricing is unlikely to end any time soon, so if you see a raise in the value of your bag it will be because of the increasing retail price. There is a thriving market for second hand luxury handbags, meaning you could potentially sell your bag for close to the original price to someone looking for a bargain. With Chanel bag prices increasing on average 8-12% a year, you cannot underestimate the potential growth in luxury designer handbags.
What to Look For When Investing
- Choose a classic style, Chanel 2.55’s are great buys and are unlikely to ever go out of fashion.
- At the other end of the spectrum, if you have a little more money to spend you could choose a more unusual limited edition bag, but of course unless you really know your purses you may not find a winner.
- Durability – if you’re planning on using your bag, as opposed to keeping it bubble-wrapped in your secret wall safe, pick a fabric that’s easy to clean and maintain. As you can see above in the most expensive bags list, the more unusual skins like crocodile are more sought after and also last better.
- If you’re looking at brands other than Chanel, stick to the rest of the big five – Hermes, Louis Vuitton Gucci and Fendi. The Hermes Birkin is one of the most recognisable and sought after bags in the world.
- Accessories – take care of any accessories that come with the bag, not only will it help increase the value over time, but given how wary investors or lenders are of counterfeit bags, they could help prove the authenticity.
Chanel Bags – Further information
To find out more about how designer bags are valued you can visit our Luxury handbag page.
Read more about the Chanel 2.55 bag with this visual guide from Vogue magazine.
Keep up to date with latest Chanel prices here.
Or… Start investing.