We hosted an exclusive dinner with The Business of Fashion at our NYC Authentication Center & Showroom to reflect on the changing dynamics of resale and celebrate their latest report, The New Era of Handbags.
The dinner included guests representing some of the most influential brands and technology companies in the world from Google to Tiktok. Facilitated by Rahul Malik MD, North America & Head of New Business, we tuned in to listen to our founder and President Sarah Davis share her reflection on the state of resale (specifically handbags). As an influential category taking over the resale landscape, the new era of designer handbags dominate for their durability, their undying value, and sustainable attributes. Here’s why.
Reflecting on the New Era of Designer Handbags
The findings in The Business of Fashion’s latest report shows that resale is here to stay, and in hyper-growth mode. As a go-to category with a lifespan longer than apparel, bags dominate.
Luxury Handbags Are Durable
Luxury designer handbags and small leather goods are really thriving because their high-quality materials are made to last, giving these pieces a mega advantage from the get go.
“Bags are amazing as an asset class because they last longer than other product categories and can hold their value. From a sustainability point of view, bags can be used for 20 years.”
– Sarah Davis, Founder, President & CCO
Handbags have proven to withstand the test of time and serve as functional accessories that enhance everyday life – all while still maintaining their value. Take for instance Y2K items from the ‘90s – ‘00s that are trickling in. From the coveted Louis Vuitton Cherry Blossom Pochette Accessories, to the discontinued Chanel Cambon tote, these sought-after pieces hold value because they’re not only items that can’t be bought in stores anymore, but they’re still in usable condition. Their quality makes these past-time favorites last lifetimes.
Luxury Handbags Carry Value
Which leads to another reason why handbags dominate: their undying value. Handbags just keep getting better with age. And as stated before, durability plays a role in fostering an item’s worth and everyday use. But aside from that, bags carry value due to the legacy behind the brands they represent. By observing how well certain bag styles perform in the primary market, we can understand why “the classics” make up some of the best investments that hold their value in the secondary market.
“Some resale sites won’t even accept sneakers if the boxes are damaged. That is not true for bags – you can use the bag for years and it will maintain its value. A customer could even sell it for more than what they acquired it for.”
– Sarah Davis, Founder, President & CCO
Value is heavily influenced by price increases, brand heritage, and exclusivity. That’s why top-selling styles from brands like Chanel, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton consistently rank as top sellers (look at our Resale Report from last year). These brands have proven themselves to be high in demand and worthwhile investments now and for the long term.
Luxury Handbags are Sustainable
Lastly, while handbags are crushing the resale category for their durability and value, they’re also dominating the market for their sustainable attributes. Bags in the pre-loved market provide a sustainable alternative to scoring investments that bring a return, should they be sold at some point again in the future.
In a study with Kantar, we found that 88% of luxury handbag owners classify handbag purchases to be a long term closet staple, with 33% anticipating over ten years of ownership. On the contrary, fast-fashion shoppers believe their handbags will end up in a landfill within 10 years. That’s because fast-fashion accessories are made with poorer quality materials and immediately lose value after purchase.
Additionally, there is a direct correlation between cost and care. Roughly 77% of luxury shoppers invest in professional repairs when their handbags need it, thus improving their condition (which boosts resale value), further extending their lifespan.
FASHIONPHILE has always had a special place for ultra-luxury bags. In fact, our original motto was “saving the earth one handbag at a time.” Today, that still holds true. Our sustainability journey includes going solar and working through the B corp assessment.
Bags dominate, indeed. And with handbags and SLGs as our largest category, that holds true at FASHIONPHILE, too. We’re thrilled to hear Business of Fashion’s Insights declare this through their data.
We are excited to see how this new era of handbags will influence the ever-changing resale landscape through the use of durable textiles, growing value, and sustainability.