WORDS BY SUZIE BAKOS
When it comes to the world of handbags, there are ever-changing seasonal trends and then there are the true icons: the bags whose instantly recognizable silhouettes and classic design features will stand the test of time. But choosing the right investment bag comes down to many factors, including quality, timelessness and resell value, so we asked four of our expert boutiques to share their thoughts on the most timeless models of all time and the smart investments to make right now — all available on FARFETCH.
Best for classic styles: Harvey Nichols, UK
Founded in 1831, Harvey Nichols is an institution, regarded as one of best shopping destinations in the UK for luxury fashion. Its offering of classic handbag options is vast and impressive, with customers returning season after season for unique styles that go beyond current trends. ‘Our customers are looking for design, high quality, longevity and of course the wow factor: that piece that catches everyone’s eye,’ says buyer Maria Elena Benshimol. ‘It’s important to make sure the investment bag you buy goes with your style, no matter what the trends say. Additionally, look for practicality: you should be able to wear it with several pieces in your wardrobe.’
This season, Benshimol predicts bold color, bucket bags and 90s-inspired shapes to be the most popular. As for her most investable pieces available now on FARFETCH? Look to the Bottega Veneta Cassette, the Loewe Hammock, the Celine Triomphe, Saint Laurent 5 À 7 Hobo and the Gucci 1955 Horsebit.
Best for unique designs: Modes, Italy
'For Modes, an investment bag is one that can express your style the best, making your personality stand out but also becoming a staple of functionality,’ says head of buying Giada Saveri. It would make sense then that its clientele often seeks something a little different when it comes to iconic handbags. ‘Our customers love special pieces and they appreciate when design meets sustainability and customization. Like the new bags from Philip Karto, customized with hand-painted, bold graphics for a unique look.’
So, which bags does Saveri think are key to invest in right now? ‘On our list of investment bags there are some favorites which we foresee to become iconic and valuable pieces. Eco-friendly pouches and shoulder bags from Themoire and the uber-instagrammable Coperni Swipe bag are musts this season.’
Best for pre-owned icons: Rewind Vintage Affairs, UK
Specializing in the big five — Hermès, Chanel, Dior, YSL and Celine — Rewind Vintage Affairs presents an impeccable range of pre-loved bags, from classic styles and limited-edition runs to those hard-to-find pieces. The highly reputable store has a loyal fan base of vintage collectors, who return to add another iconic model to their collection. ‘We have many Chanel and Hermès collectors come to the boutique looking for the Chanel Double Flap, as well as the small iterations of Hermès Kelly and Birkin bags,’ says store owner Claudia Ricco.
And while vintage is the boutique’s speciality, Ricco sees Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Telfar and Jacquemus as the best way to invest in more modern styles. Her prediction for 2022: ‘We think big bags will have a comeback.’
Best for contemporary collectibles: Opulence Vintage, France
Located in the heart of Paris, Opulence Vintage is held in high regard in the vintage fashion world thanks to its outstanding curation of rare gems and one-of-a-kind accessories. Step inside and you’ll be transported back to fashion’s most coveted decades, from the 20s to the 90s. ‘We have a large selection of 60s Hermès bags and Chanel bags from the 90s. The interest for vintage Hermès bags is huge as we stock shapes and materials that are no longer produced,’ says store owner and CEO Raul Barragan Sanz. ‘The king of investment bags is without doubt the Hermès Birkin. It’s a bag well known for its higher price in the resale market due to its exclusivity and rarity and most recently, we have seen a huge price increase and demand for vintage Hermès Kellys and Constances in hard-to-get vintage colors.’
When it comes to selecting a great investment bag available right now on FARFETCH, Sanz recommends: ‘Any of the Off-White bags. I think there will always be interest in the brand because of what Virgil Abloh brought to fashion. Also, I predict pieces from Loewe and JW Anderson could be collectible in some years, for example the iconic Loewe Elephant bag.’