Reports of the handbag’s demise have been greatly exaggerated… to paraphrase Mark Twain. Indeed, it’s wrong. Months into the COVID-19 crisis, a New York Times article speculated that even after the pandemic, no one would want or need bags. At the time, we disagreed with that view, recognizing what handbag lovers and in particular the PurseBop community know: a luxury brand bag is not just a bag. Read: Do You Need a Handbag in a Pandemic. Among other things, we pointed to the price increases by Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Dior amidst the darkest days of lockdowns. In a similar vein, prices and sales at reputable resellers for high end brands and particularly Hermès were booming. It was clear that, need or not, no Birkin or Chanel flap would go to waste!
Back in the summer of 2020, another factor influenced the secondary market sales. With production facilities shuttered in lockdowns, supply of new merchandise was limited. Moreover, and as a result, brands faced declining sales and revenues and looked for ways to shore up the bottom line. Increasing prices certainly helped.
We stand by that position… and Town & Country Magazine apparently now agrees. In particular, it relies on reports of impressive pricing for pre-owned Birkins. Interestingly, however, T&C’s article posits that understated and functional pieces may rule the day. It discusses the reemergence of Hermès’ “Shadow” Birkin – where the sangles, straps and hardware don’t actually exist except as trompe l’oeil. Moreover, a contributor to this article, bag collector Susan Casden remarked that she had purchased a mini Lindy during lockdown, in an implicit acknowledgement of the strong mini trend. As she said: “It’s the only one that can actually hold things.”
The relevance of luxury bags to life in 2020 and beyond becomes strikingly clear in entertainment media. Binge-worthy shows include tons of fashion and handbag eye candy. Take Selling Sunset, Emily in Paris and the Queens Gambit, just to name a few. T&C notices this too.
Clearly, for the PurseBop community, handbags aren’t going anywhere. Might we consider and reconsider spending at a time of international financial strain? Some will and some won’t. Could you review your collection to make sure in includes handbags for transporting sanitary supplies. Sure. But, on the other hand, truth be told, who here is turning down that Hermès Birkin or the SS21 Chanel Caramel flap?
Let us hear from you. Which, if any, bags are you buying?
Read related articles:
Chanel Admits to Price Increase
Chanel Foresees Tougher Times Ahead
Brace Yourself: Chanel Prices to Increase Again in the United States
Chanel Price Increase Confirmed for USA: Here are New Prices 2020
Dior Raises Prices 2020
Shocker: Louis Vuitton Prices Go Up Again – Second Time in 2020