It’s Official: Handbags Are a Top Investment For the Wealthy

Rachel Koffsky examines an auction lot
@KnightFrank

A recent report named handbags the number one collectible investment for 2019. According to real-estate brokerage firm and wealth-researcher Knight Frank, its Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index (KFLII) calculated that handbag value rose 13% in 2019. For point of reference, art – perhaps like those Picassos or Renoirs hanging in your hallway – experienced an overall return of about 5%. Rare whiskey was about the same as art. And second to bags was . . . stamps. Yup, happy philatelists saw a 6% rise in value.

@KnightFrank

But let’s drill down a little on this. The first big piece of news is that handbags were even considered a luxury investment collectible.This is the first time the KFLII included bags in this ranking.

The reason for this may be even more surprising. With the explosion of the resale market, both online and the auction sales curated by mainstay famous auction houses, there are simply more points of reference for value. Or as Knight Frank’s Director of Art Market Research, Sebastian Duthy, said: “It’s only been possible to create an index on handbags now because of the frequency with which many iconic pieces are coming to auction today.”

Photo courtesy CNBC.

@Sotheby’s via CNALifestyle

And guess which bags the KFLII focuses on? Yes, Hermès. The report finds that collectible Hermès bags continue to be among the most popular and valuable handbags. Per Duthy, “Although bags made by other luxury brands like Chanel and Louis Vitton are also highly collectable, it is those made by Hermès that attract the highest prices and are considered the most desirable.”

KFLII’s report concludes that prices on these bags “have more than doubled in value over a 10-year period (108% growth).”

Of course, that doesn’t mean that your (or our) bags have appreciated to that level. Collectible could mean just the most rare bags. But it is still nice to be recognized as valuable.

A rare matte white Hermès Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Birkin 30, sold at auction for a whopping £125,000
@getty via thisismoney.co.uk

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Curated By Monika