If you’re looking for smarter ways to invest your money in 2024, a luxury handbag might be just the thing.
In 2006, Miranda Priestly (memorably portrayed by Meryl Streep) brought new meaning to the fashion industry with her unforgettable cerulean monologue in The Devil Wears Prada. “That blue [sweater] represents millions of dollars of countless jobs, and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.”
Not only did the scene become a cinematic classic, it also shone a light on the economic weight of the fashion industry. Revenue within the fashion market was projected to reach $661.60bn (£524.01bn) in 2023, and is estimated to grow another 7.6% annually, year on year.
While previously, investments were reserved for the likes of stocks, bonds, real estate and other niche luxury categories, the financially savvy among us are starting to wise up to the opportunities within the fashion sector. One such woman is Hanushka Toni, a former lawyer turned founder of luxury resale platform Sellier.
“I’ve always loved luxury fashion,” says Hanushka, from her hotel room in Monaco, where she recently launched a second Sellier store following the success of her first Mayfair location “When I got my first job as a lawyer, I treated myself to my first luxury handbag. I had started a training contract and, as part of that, the firm that you’re working for give you an allowance, usually around £6,000. You’re meant to use it to live on, but I was living at home, so I cheekily took around £1,500 and brought myself a Chanel Jumbo Classic Flap in a beige caviar leather with gold hardware.” Today, the same style of bag is valued at £9,600 — a 540% increase over 13 years.
“Typically, women haven’t had somewhere enjoyable to put their money. That is changing. Two years ago, I was selling Birkin bags for £12,000 at Sellier. That price has almost doubled,” says Hanushka. Want to learn more about buying fashion items as investments? Here are three things to know.
It’s all about the brand
Firstly, you’ll need to get clued up on your brands. “There are certain brands that are more desirable, and others you’ll want to avoid,” says Hanushka. French brands tend to hold their value far better than Italian and Spanish brands — think the likes of Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. “The minute you take an Italian or Spanish brand out of a shop (so Fendi, Prada or Gucci, though of course there’s exceptions to the rule), you’ve probably lost around 80% of its value.”
Authenticity is key
As the resale market grows, so do the number of counterfeits. To make sure you’re buying an authentic piece, Hanushka’s top tip is to buy from a trustworthy source. “Shop the seller and not the item,” she says. “Really look into the authentication services available, wherever you’re buying from. At Sellier, we have a three-stage authentication process. The likes of eBay and Vestiaire Collective also have vigorous processes.” The bottom line is, if an item seems to be good to be true, it probably is.
Keep it in the box
“I can’t stress this enough — keep every bit of packaging that comes with your bag,” says Hanushka. A study by Money.co.uk showed that certain items of packaging, including Louis Vuitton handbags and shoe boxes, can fetch near to £80 on their own. Throwing out any packaging, including dust bags, labels and even receipts, can devalue an item massively. So, make sure you keep them somewhere safe, if you’re looking to make a profit.