Written by Amber CEO of Tailored Styling
Image by @Jasper.Xu
Ladies, it’s time to be honest with ourselves. How many times have you splashed out on the newest luxury trend or ‘it’ item and then compulsively lied about how much you paid for it? I have seen more truth coming from a politician being interviewed on TV than from watching friends swear blind to their partner that their Amina Muaddi Begums pumps were ‘on sale’. Really Hun?
Unfortunately for us, being blessed with impeccable style and exquisite taste is an extremely expensive habit. It’s more painful when you realise that some of the things you sunk serious money into years ago are worth less than your monthly gym membership when you try to sell them to fund more purchases. I remember dropping over £1000 of my student loan on a Proenza Schouler PS1 bag the first term I was at university. Yes, my priorities weren’t in exactly the right place, but I felt fabulous carrying that thing around campus. Fast-forward 12 years – worthless. Don’t even get me started on the Stella McCartney Falabella. Was this not in all of our closets at one point? It’s not even real leather, and you guessed it – now worthless.
While your handbag collection could fund someone’s house deposit, it’s essential to learn to adapt. My family and not so fashion-forward friends used to think my spending habits were hilarious, but now I have the last laugh. I realized in my mid-twenties that it is so not about those hot items that are old news just as quickly as they became hot – not all luxury brands are created equal. Your Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, or Gucci item just will not hold its value and you are going to be out of pocket if you choose to sell.
The above are just examples and the list of these brands eating away at your disposable income is extensive. So rather than focus on what will decline in value, I’m going to drop some gems and let you know exactly which items are incredible investments, and will not only hold their value but can even make you money.
Let’s start with the Holy Grail. Even those who aren’t interested in bags know what a Birkin is. What they don’t know, is that this is not just a frivolous display of wealth and a signal to others that you are that bitch, but it’s also a solid place to park your money and watch it grow. If you have any smug friends or family that work in finance, let them know that the Birkin has outperformed the S&P 500 and the price of gold for the past 40 years. Facts. This means that if you bought a Birkin 10 years ago and your partner invested the same amount into the S&P 500, even if you had used your bag and decided to sell it today, you would be better off than if you had invested the money.
When I first started selling Birkin’s back in 2017, we were selling new ones for £11,000 to £15,000 (prices vary according to size, colour, and leather). £15,000 was expensive – it would have got you a covetable Birkin 25 in black or gold with Togo leather – the best of the best. Now in 2022, you’ll be lucky to get any new Birkin for £15,000. The same Birkin 25 in black or gold Togo will cost you around £19,000-£20,000. If you’d have bought one in 2017 and barely used it – you’d have made a cute return of £4000-£5000. Let’s not even talk about the fact that if you were lucky enough to get it in-store, you would have made a profit of around £10,000.
Forget the new baby smell I hear mums talk about, I’m so more about that new Birkin smell! I think the Kelly bag also needs a special mention, as it’s become pretty much as popular as the Birkin of recent. Our obsession with teeny tiny bags has also made the Kelly 20 or ‘Mini Kelly’ a must-have in any handbag collection, and it holds the very best ROI. The first mini Kelly I ever sold was for £12,000 in 2018, which is pretty laughable now as they go for between around £16,000-£25,000 (the latter being for super collectible colours like Rose Sakura or Vert Criquet). If you’re lucky enough to own a Birkin or Kelly, next time someone has something to say about its cost – just let them know it’s not just a cute bag, it’s your hedge against inflation. If you haven’t yet bought one, your best ROI will be from the following;
– B25 Gold Togo GHW
– B25 Black Togo GHW
– K25 Gold Epsom GHW
– K25 Black Epsom GHW
– K20 Black Epsom GHW
Onto watches – let’s stop viewing watches as a man’s game, please! A few years back, I had no interest in watches, I now see them as a bigger flex than any bag could possibly be, especially when worn by a woman. Take me to any Mayfair restaurant and I turn into a super watch spotter – I can tell you about anyone’s watch including the brand, model, reference number, what it’s worth right now, a year ago, and two years ago. My favourite watch is the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1R. In 2018 it was worth around £50,000. In today’s market, they’re going for around £250,000- £300,000. The growth of the watch market right now is so crazy that my watch dealer friends tell me they are making more money off the pieces they hold and don’t sell than the ones they do sell.
You may have heard about the new Patek Nautilus 5711 released in 2021, a collaboration with Tiffany with a Tiffany blue dial. The first one sold at auction for $5.6 million. It was 1 of 170 pieces that retailed at $52,635. Yes, you read it right. What you may not know is that since this, the completely unrelated Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41mm with a similar coloured dial has since shot up in price. Before the auction, it was selling for around £13,000 (retail £4,850), they now go for upwards of £30,000 and climbing. The great thing about watches is that if you pick the right one, the value will just keep growing. Here are a few models to invest in in 2022;
– Patek Philippe 5711/1R (rumoured to be discontinued soon which will cause a price hike)
– Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Yellow Gold Green Dial 116508
– Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Openworked Rose Gold
– Rolex Oyster Perpetal Tiffany Dial 41mm or Candy Pink Dial 36mm
– Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (blue, black or white dial)
– Rolex GMT Master II (‘Pepsi’, ‘Batman’ or ‘Batgirl’)
If you are a wise spender you will already know that Chanel bags have always been a great investment due to their yearly price rise. In the nineties, a medium classic flap cost £810, rising to £3490 in 2016 and now £6,630 in recent times. Since the pandemic Chanel has upped the ante and have raised their prices four times, many think this is an attempt to align the brand with Hermès. Whatever their motivation, it means that should you choose to invest in a Chanel bag or already have one, when the time comes to sell, you will at the very least get your money back, or more than likely make a profit. To ensure you are getting the very best return on investment, stick to the classic flap, which will not date.
Styles such as the Boy bag or even the newer ‘19’ bag are both gorgeous, but whether they’ll still be wearable in 10 years is debatable. Another smart choice is to pick stand-out pieces from collections that will become tomorrow’s vintage treasures. The yearly Métiers d’Art show is always one to look forward to, producing some of Chanel’s most collectible pieces. Think Chanel’s iconic shopping basket, the No.5 perfume bottle minaudière, the graffiti backpack, or the “Sand by the Sea’ classic flap.
The aim of the game here is to stick to sound investments that grow in value over the years and stay wearable. Collaborations and hyped products are usually not keep-forever items, being hot for a year or so and then dramatically falling in relevance and price.
Contact @tailoredstyling if you’re interested in buying any of the items mentioned!