June 14, 2024

Fashion Design

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The Best Investment Bags To Buy 2023

9 min read

We often talk about ‘investment pieces’, the things that will supposedly see you through a lifetime of wardrobe crises.

But, when it comes to fashion, knowing what to ‘invest’ in, when, and why can be something of a minefield. For us, looking at the resale value of items plays a big factor (circular fashion is where it’s at after all), alongside how much joy the item brings you, its history, quality, longevity and, of course, beauty.

Nowhere is this more true than for handbag purchases. A well-chosen designer bag really can last you forever, and even become a valuable heirloom after you’re gone (sorry, bit morbid). Conversely, if you’re interested in actually making money, as well as spending it, then a well-timed purchase and subsequent re-sale could help you bring in the big bucks.

Here, we dish the inside information on which classic designer bags and newer ‘hypey’ items people are searching for, buying, selling second-hand and what is really worth pumping your hard-earned, long-saved money into…


To find out what the hottest bags of the moment are, we asked a range of experts including the 1988-founded independent luxury retailer Larizia, Senior Buyer at Matchesfashion Romilly Proctor, and VP of Fashion Buying at Mytheresa, Tiffany Hsu.

Chanel’s 11.12 Bag

chanel bag

Jeremy Moeller//Getty Images

Otherwise known as the Chanel Classic Flap Bag, Chanel’s 11.12 bag (created in 1982 on Karl Lagerfeld’s arrival) is truly a classic.

Based on Coco Chanel’s 2.55 design (we’ve included this further down), the 11.12 is characterised by its gold chain, diamond quilting, double flap and ‘CC’ clasp, which combine to create a supremely useful but nonetheless pretty bag.

We’re unsurprised its popularity has surged over the last year: Chanel has been steadily introducing waiting lists and increasing its prices so the 11.12 can now sell for almost as much as a Birkin, which also increases resale value. Extra points for a limited-edition design, too.

1955 Gucci Horsebit

natasha bird elle executive editor

Darrel Hunter of Mode Hunter

‘Our customers continue to invest in classic styles from heritage brands such as Gucci,’ explains Romilly Proctor, Senior Buyer at Matchesfashion. And top of their list? The 1955 Horsebit leather shoulder bag, an equestrian-inspired style that comes in either glossy leather or Gucci’s signature monogram canvas.

Like many of the hottest bags of the moment, it’s an archival design that has undergone a modern-day revamp – meaning it feels both timeless and excitingly new. Proctor also has her eye on the ‘new saddle bag in the signature GG logo showcased during Gucci’s SS23 show’ which be released later this year.

Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7

investment bags

Edward Berthelot//Getty Images

Speaking of classic-style handbags that are in fact modern-day designs, both Mytheresa and Matchesfashion found themselves frequently selling out of one bag in particular in the latter part of 2022: Saint Laurent’s black Le 5 à 7 shoulder bag.

‘Our customers have been genuinely in love with it and ask for it constantly,’ explains Tiffany Hsu, VP of Fashion Buying at Mytheresa. ‘It’s practically sold out before it even hits our website.’

It’s simple, timeless and goes with absolutely everything, while also being bang on trend thanks it its elongated shoulder silhouette that recalls styles from the 1990s. We all know that the Y2K trend is very much here to stay, so this handbag can only increase in popularity from here. Opt for the glossy black style to ensure a truly future-proofed investment – though we won’t blame you if you fall victim to the rather less sensible but totally Elle Woods-worthy hot pink shade.

Loewe’s Paseo

investment bag

imaxtree

To beat the hype of one of the hottest bags of the past few years, the Loewe Puzzle, is no mean feat – but the luxury Spanish fashion house (with Jonathan Anderson at the helm) has gone and done it again with its latest launch, the Paseo.

‘Loewe’s reimagined Paseo bag in tan is on our wish-list for 2023 and we anticipate it to be one of the must-have items of the season,’ says Matchesfashion’s Romilly Proctor. ‘We love the brand’s signature play on volume as well as the new elongated and streamlined features.’

First debuted over a decade ago and reimagined for the Loewe SS23 runway in September last year, it’s been the talk of the industry ever since – so prepare to fight to get your hands on what is already an icon in the making.

Bottega Veneta’s Sardine

investment bags

imaxtree

Matthieu Blazy certainly had some big shoes to fill when making his debut as Bottega Veneta’s new creative director for AW22, but he – quite literally – pulled it out of the bag with a signature new shape: the Sardine.

A clever, chic combination of the Italian brand’s classic ‘Intrecciato’-style leather pouch with a metallic handle shaped like a sardine, it’s already been spotted on everyone from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to Kendall Jenner. It’s got ‘it bag’ written all over it already – not least because Mytheresa’s Tiffany Hsu includes it on her list of ‘hottest bags of 2023’.

It’s surprisingly spacious, but if you’re after something a little larger to carry your life around it, Matchesfashion’s Romilly Proctor recommends waiting around until the SS23 ‘Andiamo’ top-handle bag comes out later in the year. ‘It’s in line with the larger tote bags we have seen on the runways, and will be a firm favourite,’ she says.

Jacquemus Le Bisou

investment bags

Edward Berthelot//Getty Images

After the endless success of its signature Chiquito bag, Jacquemus has only gone and done it again by launching one of the hottest new bags of 2023, Le Bisou.

It was the star of the show (other than Pamela Anderson, obvs) at the Parisian brand’s ‘Le Raphia’ show in December, seen on the arms of models and stylish FROW-ers alike in every colour imaginable. And Simon Porte Jacquemus has very kindly given the people what they want by releasing it just a few weeks after the show.

It comes in countless different styles and shades, so there really is a Le Bisou for everyone. Just get there before the rest of the fashion world does…

Coperni Heart Tote

investment bags

farfetch

Practically anything by Coperni is hot stock following the emerging Parisian brand’s internet-breaking SS23 show that saw Bella Hadid spray painted into a dress live on the catwalk – but it’s the Heart tote bag that’s really making waves right now.

The experts behind Larizia are calling it one of the best releases of the year, that has both the wow factor and staying power: ‘Overall, we have seen a shift towards bright colours, oversized proportions and statement accessories, and Coperni’s Heart bag ticks all the boxes.’

Lyst recently named Coperni as one of the biggest breakout brands of 2022, with searches up 50% in Q3 – so you know it’s only going to get bigger from here, and that means higher resale value too.

The best part, however, is that Coperni is all about luxury quality at a lower price point: ‘All our girlfriends are about 30 years old. We want them to be able to buy a Coperni piece and not have to wait for the sales to afford it,’ the brand’s co-founder Arnaud Vaillant told ELLE last year. That means the Heart bag won’t break the bank, but still comes with all the style kudos of owning one of the hottest designs of the moment. Did someone say ‘buy two’?

Pre-loved Medium Classic Bag
Chanel Pre-loved Medium Classic Bag
Le 5 à 7 leather shoulder bag
Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 leather shoulder bag
Horsebit 1955 Small shoulder bag
Gucci Horsebit 1955 Small shoulder bag
Paseo leather tote bag
Loewe Paseo leather tote bag
Horsebit 1955 leather shoulder bag
Gucci Horsebit 1955 leather shoulder bag
Le Bisou Pony-hair shoulder bag
Jacquemus Le Bisou Pony-hair shoulder bag
Sardine Intrecciato-leather handbag
Bottega Veneta Sardine Intrecciato-leather handbag
Le Bisou mousqueton
Jacquemus Le Bisou mousqueton
Heart-shape leather tote bag
Coperni Heart-shape leather tote bag

To find out more about classic investment bags, we spoke to Hanushka Toni, co-founder of luxury preloved platform Sellier Knightsbridge, who let us know the ins and outs of these high-demand handbags.

Christian Dior’s Lady Dior Bag

best investment bags

Christian Dior’s Lady Dior

Edward Berthelot

The Lady Dior was created in 1994 with the sole purpose of becoming a classic and it succeeded, thanks largely to Princess Diana.

Originally named ‘chouchou’ (French for ‘favourite’), it was given its current moniker as a tribute to the princess – who was known as Lady Diana Spencer before her marriage – in 1996 after she fell in love with it. She faithfully carried it for years.

‘The Lady Dior will always be a classic, ‘ Toni tells us. ‘We have found that while the older patent leather models are still popular, it is the updated D-Lite Lady Dior that commands the real premium. The update gives the bag a contemporary aesthetic and still outperforms both the new Book Tote and the Saddle Bag in the resale market.’

‘The older lambskin and patent leather models sell at around 50% of original retail. The newer D-lite resells for as much as 70-80% of original retail.’

Chanel’s 2.55 and 11.12 Bags

best investment bags

Chanel 2.55 Bag

Christian Vierig

Meet the ultimate investment bags.

The 2.55 is a singular rectangular shape and was created by Gabrielle Chanel in 1955. It’s not to be confused with the 11.12 bag we mentioned above, although the two do share a strong resemblance.

The difference is the 2.55 has a rectangular ‘Mademoiselle’ clasp and an all metal strap, whereas the 11.12 has the interlocking CCs clasp with a chain strap interwoven with leather.

‘Compared to the classic flap, the 2.55 is much more affordable and easy to source,’ Toni explains. ‘We typically resell them for around 50% of official retail, whilst classic flaps with their ultra-coveted interlocking CCs go for around 70-80% of official retail.’

‘One of the reasons that the 2.55 reissue is so popular is because the standard model is made of distressed calfskin, making it incredibly hard wearing.’

Fendi’s Baguette Bag

best investment bags

Fendi Baguette

Edward Berthelot

Often cited as the first ‘It’ bag, there are few accessories as iconic as the humble Fendi baguette. Known for its craftsmanship, Fendi is a brand to invest in. It’s not going anywhere. The Baguette style was designed in 1997 and remains just as popular 25 years later.

‘With so many vibrant colours and styles to choose from it is hardly surprising that the vintage Baguettes have continued on their upward trajectory in recent times with buyers prepared to spend a premium on pieces in fantastic condition,’ Toni notes.

‘The Fendi Baguettes come from Japan. They are always in impeccable condition with not a sequin out of place. While we’ve seen these change hands for as much as £1,500 we regularly advise clients to budget anywhere between £500 – £700 to get their hands on a vintage Baguette,’ Toni says, ‘If choosing between a newer one and a vintage piece, always go vintage – they are so whimsical and full of character.’

Hermès’ ‘Kelly’ Bag

Hermes Kelly bagpinterest

Hermes Kelly bag

Getty Images

Yes, you may be expecting to see the iconic Hermès Birkin in this list and that would indeed be justified. But we think the French fashion house’s Kelly style is in fact the true classic designer bag.

The Kelly hasn’t enjoyed quite the level of overexposure as its label-mate, meaning its altogether more understated look and cleaner lines seem as fresh today as they did in the 1930s, when it was first created.

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, and now resells at 100-200% of its original value.

‘The Hermes Kelly and Birkin bags continue to be the Holy Grail when it comes to scarcity, rarity and demand,’ Toni confirms. ‘Due to the difficulty of buying these bags in store, even the entry level models regularly resell for stratospheric amounts on the resale market – at several multiples of the original retail price.’

‘The most desirable of all is the Hermes Mini-Kelly (or Kelly 20). This tiny bag is all but impossible to get and retails for between £5-6,000 in store, while reselling on the secondary market for around £20,000. A crocodile version of this bag resells for a whopping £40,000 plus, with specialist buyers and resellers competing for a chance to own one – even at the huge resale premium.’

Classique Leather Crossbody Bag
Chanel Classique Leather Crossbody Bag
Mini Lady Dior Bag
Kelly 28 Sellier Handbag
Hermès Kelly 28 Sellier Handbag
Baguette
Fendi Baguette

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