Sure, gold trinkets and diamonds look all bright and shiny and can make anyone feel like a million bucks but how about you try something more practical and just as luxurious to complement you? A designer handbag perhaps! And why not, out of all the accessories, a handbag is one that encapsulates all your secrets, has everything you need, takes your OOTD to another level, and if chosen wisely, acts as an investment, not just indulgence.
Don't even worry about its worth as iconic designer handbags have a story worth preserving, hours and hours of planning and hard work, and timelessness. The exclusive Birkin, for example, is forecasted to double in value in the next 10 years. If you buy a Louis Vuitton Neverfull today and take good care of it, 50 years down the line, it'll be a vintage collectable or a family heirloom.
Here are our seven favourite luxury handbags that we are head-over-heels in love with.
A piece of advice - invest in the holy trinity (Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès). The value of a classic handbag keeps fluctuating as per the buzz but in the past, these three iconic brands have had the highest resale value. However, there's so much more on the ramp that's worthy of your big bucks.
If you purchased a Chanel medium flap in caviar leather 10 years back, it would have cost you around Rs 1.15 lakh but today that same bag retails for over Rs 3.50 lakh. This bag was a Eureka moment for Coco Chanel. The word on the grapevine has been that back in 1955 when she was tired of a regular short-strapped handbag while sipping her drinks, she took inspiration from WW-I soldiers' packs and created world's first shoulder bag, the Chanel Classic Flap Bag. As I said, iconic ones have great stories.
Now, the demand for the bag has only increased. Another reason why it's worth investing in--the range of sizes, colours, textures and patterns are varied enough to suit your personality and requirement. As Chanel keeps upping the prices of their bags, in the coming years, the bag will be worth much more. You can either chose to sell it or cherish it for generations.
Starting price: Rs 4 lakh (approx.)
Introduced by Karl Lagerfeld in 2011, Chanel's Boy Bag quickly became a mainstay from the brand. The initial price of the bag was around Rs 1.7 lakh and it only took five years to climb up to Rs 3.65 lakh. Designed as a tribute to Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld made sure he creates a soulful history with the bag and re-introduces all that Coco stood for through it. And that he did.
Coco was inspired by menswear designs. Her biggest muse was the love of her life, Boy Capel. Lagerfeld paid homage to this love by giving the bag Boy Capel's name. The Boy bag is structured, bulky and modern in design. It's boxy and chunky look and feel makes for a perfect pair when teamed with contemporary outfits. To further suit your style, the bag comes in three sizes.
Starting price: Rs 3.86 lakh (approx.)
The Neverfull is one of the fastest-selling and Louis Vuitton's all-time successful bags. Created in 2007 to compete with the Goyard Saint Louis tote, the bag is known for its outstanding quality and craftsmanship. After all, it takes around 45 hours to make one.
Neverfull broke the perception that luxury bags never have enough space to carry it all. The bag is crafted in supple leather with non-rigid sides to mould around your essentials. It comes with an attached wallet for your keys, cards and other every day sine qua nons. You can wear it with your pantsuit or tee-jeans, it'll always increase the style quotient of your look. The LV Neverfull comes in three sizes for your convenience, the smallest being PM, then MM and the biggest one GM.
Starting price: Rs 84,500 (approx.)
Designed in 1994 under the name 'chouchou', French translation to 'favourite' (and rightly so), the Lady Dior Bag was renamed in 1996 after Princess Diana. Princess Di received the bag as a gift from France’s former first lady Bernadette Chirac, fell in head over heels for the Lady and carried it on a magazine cover too.
The Lady Dior is a star performer on the stage of designer bags. Besides the variety of colours, materials and sizes, the bag also features a unique topstitching pattern, which Dior describes as "a network of lines stitched vertically and diagonally to create a precise harmony from which cushions of quilted leather emerge like a scattering of shimmering, faceted diamonds." The DIOR charms hanging from the top handle cast a spell on luxury lovers. This bag is truly and evidently fit for a princess.
Starting price: Rs 3.18 lakh (approx.)
If you want to invest in a designer bag that goes with everything, enhances the chicness of anything you wear and becomes your vintage treasure in the next 50 years, Gucci GG Marmont Metalassé bag should be your pick. Since the '70s, the GG buckle has been the most iconic symbol of the Italian design house. The metalassé technique used to make it gives the leather an embossed, chevron-quilted pattern. The fully-lined bag features hidden magnetic or zip closures and pockets for your smaller essentials. Also, it has a sturdy structure but the leather is soft and soothing to touch. To ensure comfort and durability, it comes with leather-detailed shoulder straps made of brass chain.
You can pick from three standard sizes, and the fabric and texture options include calf and crocodile leather as well as velvet. It's available in a variety of colours including hibiscus red, mystic white, dark emerald, peacock, fresh yellow, intense pink and, our favourite, timeless black. Also, every bag has a different 'surprise' on the back of the GG Marmont Metalassé - you’ll find either a GG design or a heart.
Starting price: Rs 1.4 lakh (approx.)
The power of Hermès as a brand is its limited quantity production of high-quality products. Even while re-selling an Hermès product, what decides its value is its style, type of leather and hardware. With Hermès, a balance of scarcity and exclusivity has been created in the market which other brands are yet to achieve. Even though there isn't a waiting list for Birkin, how long you might have to wait for your dream Birkin depends on your relationship with the Hermès salesperson or your luck in some cases. Known as 'the holy grail' by fashion tribe, this bag always retains its value when re-selling.
In 1983, Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas was sitting next to actress Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London when she had to place her straw back in the overhead bin for comfortable seating. Her belongings fell on the deck leaving her scrambling to collect them. She shared with Dumas that finding a decent weekend bag in leather has been a challenge for her. So, in 1984, Dumas created a black supple leather bag for her. She carried it for a while but stopped soon after as she was carrying too much stuff in it and discovered that the bag was too heavy for her to carry. However, by then the bag had become a status symbol. In 2015, Birkin asked Hermès to not use her name for crocodile leather bags due to ethical concerns.
Starting price: Rs 7.04 lakh (approx.)
Much like Birkin, Hermès Kelly Bag also retains or increases in resale value. The bag is another piece of art from the brand that's inspired by Grace Kelly, who dreamt of stardom and aspired to make it big on stage. After she became one of the most prominent actresses in Hollywood and the Princess Consort of Monaco, she revealed her love for the brand Hermès. She loved their Sac à dépêches bag which was an invention that came out in the 1930s.
Grace was newly married and shy, hence, when she got pregnant, she used the bag to cover her belly from paparazzi. Due to the iconic picture, public renamed the bag and started calling it the Kelly bag. Soon after, the bag began to gain popularity worldwide and became a fashion symbol for women in the United States and parts of Europe.
Starting price: Rs 6.7 lakh (approx.)
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