When starting a luxury apparel collection, you need to be wise in choosing which items to invest in. Of course, this isn’t only because of the hefty price most of them have. An investment piece can only be considered worthwhile if you can maximize it.
Take bags, for example.
Whether you buy brand-new or preowned designer bags, you don’t only consider their value but also their usability and style. After all, it’s no use buying one that will only sit in your closet because a) it doesn’t suit your taste, or b) it does not fit anywhere in your unique fashion identity.
Not sure which luxury handbags to invest in?
To help you make a smart buying decision, this article lists down seven must-have designer bags that will make excellent additions to your luxury collection.
Founded in 1910 by couturière Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, this fashion brand continues to define luxury with its designer bag classics, like the ones below:
If there’s one bag that is worthy of being considered the ultimate investment bag, it’s probably the Chanel 2.55 handbag.
This rectangular handbag was born in 1955 from the creative mind of Gabrielle Chanel. Not to be confused with Chanel 11.12, the 2.55 bag comes with a mademoiselle clasp and a matching leather-woven chain strap.
Although most of the items in the market today are most likely part of the reissue, the 2.55 remains a popular model because of its hard-wearing calfskin body.
After the classic 2.55 was born and reinvented, the generation of luxury items from the brand has evolved more into the epitome of elegance and practicality.
Also known as the Chanel Classic Flap Bag, the 11.12 bag created upon Karl Lagerfeld’s arrival in 1982 has become an obvious choice for many women.
The 11.12 Chanel handbag looks so much like the 2.55, from the gold chain and double flap to the diamond quilting. That is, of course, except for one tiny detail: 11.12 comes with the iconic CC clasp, while its predecessor has a rectangular Mademoiselle clasp with a leather-woven chain strap.
Hermès International S.A. – or “Hermès,” for short – is another designer handbag maker with more than one entry in the must-have handbags list of many luxury collectors.
The Birkin and the Kelly are two bags hailed as the Holy Grail of designer items, particularly due to their rarity, scarcity, and demand. In fact, even pre-owned Hermes bags sell at galactic prices today.
Considered the epitome of luxury, the Hermes Birkin is hailed as one of the most expensive bags in the world. Even “entry-level” models have a price tag of no lower than tens of thousands of dollars. Meanwhile, more exclusive and limited editions reach a hefty six-digit amount in US dollars, no less.
But what makes this handbag so special exactly?
Named after actress-singer Jane Birkin, this world-famous handbag is made of genuine leather (with variations including ostrich, calf, or lizard leather). It comes in several sizes, too, ranging from 25 to 40 centimeters.
Design-wise, the Hermes Birkin gives off a sophisticated vibe that works best for the elegant businesswoman. Of course, you can always pull it off with the right amount of poise with other ensembles.
Though it’s not quite as highly exposed as the Birkin, the Kelly still grows in popularity since it was created during the 1930s. In fact, its understated look and clean lines have become a fresh alternative in today’s fashion industry, leaving the bags with a selling price of 100 to 200 percent higher than their original cost.
The Kermes Kelly comes with a structured top handle that exudes an exceedingly lady-like vibe that can be your daily go-to bag. It was renamed after life-long style fan Grace Kelly who famously shielded her first baby bump from the paparazzi’s prying lenses using the same bag that now bears her name.
This luxury handbag brand list won’t be complete without the household name Louis Vuitton.
Whether you’re a true-blue handbag collector or just beginning to learn the ropes of the fashion industry, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of this name or seen its infamous LV logo in retail stores.
Considered one of the world’s oldest and largest brands, Louis Vuitton carries a number of classic bags throughout its product line, including some that should definitely be part of your wardrobe.
5. Speedy Bandouliere
A popular everyday bag, the Speedy is arguably the most iconic of all Louis Vuitton pieces. After it was introduced in 1930, this bag has evolved into an entire family of designer bags that come in a variety of sizes and materials.
While Monogram Speedy is deemed as the “most classic” of all, the Bandouliere in Monogram canvas became a crowd-favorite because of its detachable shoulder strap that is more convenient than the original top handle design.
Although believed to be created around the same time the Speedy was introduced to the world, the Alma became another Louis Vuitton icon because of speculations that it was a custom order made especially for Gabrielle Chanel in 1925. If there’s some truth to that, then Alma is the older sister with the more expansive influence.
Initially named “the Squire bag,” this bag became “Champs-Elysées” before it finally got the moniker “Alma.”
Through those years of reinvention and renaming, this one bag became the basis of numerous variations, including the smallest and most famous Alma BB that some now consider the best choice in the “little black bag” department.
Before it became a key component of a best-selling novel (which later turned into a blockbuster movie), Prada was – and still is – a famous fashion brand with some of the most timeless bags of all time.
Although there are others the Italian fashion house can offer, there’s one that reigned supreme after serving as the reimagining of the 1990s Prada handbag styles: the Cleo.
Listed as one of Elle magazines 2021 Big Hitters, this compact shoulder bag came out as a fan favorite after it was launched before the end of 2020.
Emblazoned with the triangular logo of the fashion brand, Prada Cleo’s sleek curved lines of brushed leather match almost anything, from a formal little black dress to a more casual cropped tank top-and-jeans pair.
It mostly comes in neutral hues and has been seen strapped over the shoulders of many well-known personalities, including Camille Charriere and Yoyo Cao.
Complete Your Collection
Whether you’re just starting or already halfway through your luxury collection, don’t forget to include some of the most timeless, elegant pieces from the great names in the industry.
Use this list to check whether you have the key investment pieces to complete your collection today.