The Drama of the Designer Handbag- an Investment?
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Tags: Designer Handbags Fendi Gucci Louis Vuitton Prada
The fascinating world of “Designer Labels”, that decadent alternate-universe of expensive handbags and accessories is something relatively new to me. I suppose my appreciation of them has increased with my, (ahem), “maturity”. Living now with somewhat of an expensive addiction, I have found it helpful (from my perception of this as a guilty-pleasure) to look at it in terms of investment potential. This has helped me to feel a little less irresponsible.
A few years back (at the urging of my husband, I might add) we went into our first Louis Vuitton store. We checked the price of one of their classic “Speedy” handbags, after which I turned around and walked straight out. I could buy ten handbags somewhere else for the price of one handbag here – and how many hours – or days – did I have to work to pay for just one? However, my husband did not follow my lead. Instead he proceeded to inspect many bags, as I watched incredulously through the window from outside. (Isn’t it usually the other way around?) After convincing me that he was going to buy me one, and I should at least give him an idea as to which one I would really like, we left the showroom with a distinctive Louis Vuitton shopping bag containing my very first Designer bag; a beautifully hand-crafted and classic Speedy 35 with Shoulder Strap. To this day, it remains my favorite handbag, perhaps simply because it was my very first truly luxurious accoutrement.
There are many opinions floating around out there as to whether buying luxury goods really can be considered a bona-fide “investment” or not. http://www.investment-essentials.com states “designer handbags are like artwork, and, as such: “their value can appreciate over time”. Please see my separate blog on “The 5 Most Important Things to Look For When Buying a Designer Handbag” for a handy list of what you should consider before making your purchase.
If you decide to actually use your handbag (gasp), which I think you should, be aware that any damage to it will result in a devaluation of your asking price when you choose to re-sell. Reputable companies who re-sell designer handbags usually post pictures of the bags for prospective buyers and will document any and all blemishes and visible wear and tear, ranking them as being in “Excellent” condition, “Very Good”, “Good”, “Fair” etc. There will always be a market for them though. And just think, you are actually being environmentally sensitive and responsible when buying these handbags. No one will be throwing these bags in the garbage – ever.
If this handbag is indeed going to be a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, consider buying a “classic” style rather than the latest celebrity choice with the feathers and tassels. Celebrities can afford to get rid of it or stick it into the back of their closet for twenty years until the style catches some other famous eye and it comes back into fashion again. Chances are, you won’t want to do that with yours; you will want to be able to use it yourself, year after year, without it ever going out of style. A classic style Designer Bag will also help to ensure your investment holds its appeal years down the road.
Once you’ve taken the plunge and bought your first designer handbag, I’m afraid to tell you it will become somewhat of an addiction. The first time you place your wallet into the smooth, supple interior of a well-crafted, silk-lined designer handbag, you are spoiled for life. (Don’t get me started on Designer Wallets; we can’t open that Pandora’s box quite yet. Another blog will be coming soon to address that whole other area of addiction). There is just no going back, and it seems you can never really have enough of them – sort of like getting a tattoo!
And So It Goes ……
My second acquisition was a Fendi, my third, a Prada. Then my husband heard about a designer who was becoming very popular with celebrities. She was called “Anya Hindemarche”. A few months later, a trip to Vegas found us browsing through her store at the mall at Pallazo. A buttery-leather, navy blue satchel caught my eye. This handbag is probably the most finely crafted of all my collection, carefully lined in parchment-colored suede, with multiple interior zipper pockets, and very sturdy quality hardware and clasp. This handbag will last forever.
My most recent purchase is a roomy, classic Gucci, which adds a touch of elegance to whatever I am wearing, even if it is just a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. It has become my go-to bag for traveling, as the boxy, cavernous interior will accommodate an amazing amount of “girl stuff”. When packing, I find I can put my carry-on items inside it, and then fit it into my carry-on bag with no problem.
Perhaps the sense of satisfaction we feel when carrying an expensive bag is misplaced; perhaps it is a mark of vanity. I’ve spent time deliberating on how I should feel about my addiction. I would never have thought I’d be the type to become hooked on Designer fashions, but now that my appetite has been piqued, the possibility of buying “just one more” is very appealing. And I have to admit, every time I pick one of my prized purses out to wear with an outfit, it always seems to be the “missing” ingredient that pulls the whole look together.
The best part is having a husband who really likes to indulge this fanciful and rather irresponsible addiction. If I ever feel badly about the money I have just spent, I can always just blame it on him! (Having to take responsibility for reckless decisions is vastly over-rated, after all.) And this can work both ways – I just bought him a gorgeous Louis Vuitton Messenger Bag for his laptop. Strangely enough, I don’t feel guilty about buying it. It’s not for me. Perhaps some psychoanalysis is in order here?
Happy Bag Hunting everyone!