6 tips for investing in a vintage designer handbag

22 December 2021
By Hemma Vara

Here's the down-low on how to purchase the second-hand luxury bag of your dreams.

Image: Shutterstock.

Of late, there’s been an uptake in the re-sale of luxury goods and pre-owned designer fashion, with some brands even participating in the resurgence themselves. A second-hand designer handbag can last forever, and if chosen well, can become a valuable heirloom.

We talk to Danielle Goodwin, founder of Hawkeye Vintage, who shares her top six tips for investing in a vintage handbag. 

1. Choose a brand that retains value

My first tip is to invest in vintage luxury brands that were desirable in the past, and are popular today. This is particularly important if you are looking for an investment piece. I look to brands like Chanel, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton, or classic Dior and Gucci handbag styles. 

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2. The style of bag is important

Go with a classic or versatile item when choosing your first investment piece. A classic black Chanel flap bag, a Fendi baguette, or a Lady Dior are timeless classics. Later on, you can always add a rare, unique, or more colourful item to your collection. 

3. Check the quality and condition

The better the bag’s condition is now, the longer-lasting it will be — this applies to its shape, colour, and hardware. It’s also important to look after your bag with a speciality cleaning product. I recommend the Havre de Luxe nourishing leather conditioner to maintain lambskin leather, as well as the cleansing wipes to remove marks gently.

4. A little monogram is a must

A vintage bag by your favourite designer with their signature monogram print is a lot of fun to wear and makes a statement! Most brands still have the same signature monogram dating back to the ’60s. My favourites are the Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi, and Dior monograms. 

5. Look for lambskin or caviar leather with 24-18k gold plating

This tip is essential for a vintage Chanel bag in a classic style, helping the value to hold or increase. Some bags no longer have the same gold plating as they did back in the ’90s, so it adds a little more luxe to the item.  

6. Check the authenticity 

Lastly, always purchase pre-owned luxury items from reputable sellers who can guarantee a bag’s authenticity. A few factors to look out for are the stitching, the leather and smell, hardware plating signs, specifications, and serial codes. However, some fakes use serial codes so this is a matter for the experts! At Hawkeye Vintage, after conducting the appropriate checks, we offer an authentication card. We also inspect products with an Entrupy device, providing an accompanying certificate for peace of mind and re-sell purposes. 

Looking for more sensible style advice? Here’s how to curate a sustainable wardrobe

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