While owning the latest runway piece or “It Bag” of the season may make you feel like a million bucks and possibly make others envious of you, nothing beats a Classic piece that withstands the test of time. These “investment pieces” are not just wardrobe staples, but can also be passed down as an heirloom, from one generation to the next. Not to mention, their price is only ever going to increase, as the years go by.
Without further ado, here’s our list of Top 10 “investment worthy” bags that are worth spending your hard-earned money on, in no particular order…
Louis Vuitton Speedy
The Speedy is one of Louis Vuitton‘s most iconic handbags to date. First known as the Express when it was introduced in 1930, before it was later given its moniker the Speedy, it was only available in sizes 30, 35, and 40. It was not until 1965, upon Audrey Hepburn’s request for a smaller size which she could carry during the day, that the Speedy 25 in Monogram Canvas, was born.
Ask anyone what their first handbag was, and more often than not, they’d tell you that it was the Speedy. Though it wasn’t my first, I can certainly vouch for the fact that I too, owned a Speedy back in the day. If you’re reading this list because you’re thinking of getting your first ever designer handbag, I’d say, definitely go for the Speedy. Or, if you’re thinking of chucking your Speedy – don’t! I certainly regret giving it away more than a decade ago, and I actually contemplated getting another just for collection sake.
For a more detailed History on the origins of the Speedy, read this.
Or, if you want to get one in Monogram Canvas but are worried about the vachetta handles and trims darkening, here are some tips on how you can preserve its patina and prevent it from discolouring.
Chanel Flap Bag
The Chanel Flap would be what I call the ultimate investment bag.
Designed by Karl Lagerfeld, the Classic Flap is his take on the original 2.55, designed by Coco Chanel herself. With its interlocking double C clasp, the Flap is known to be one of the favourite bags to be passed down from one generation to the next, due to its elegance and timeless appeal. I don’t know why, but for many, the Flap tends to be favoured over the 2.55.
Do note, that the Flap and 2.55 are different bags. Though they sport a similar shape and style, the Flap comes with the interlocking double C clasp, and a chain strap interlaced with leather, while the 2.55 comes with a metal chain strap, and a rectangular turnlock Mademoiselle clasp. For a more detailed analysis on how you can differentiate between the two, read this
The Flap is available in 5 sizes – mini, small, medium/large, jumbo and maxi.
With its bi-annual price increase, you can rest assured that however much you’ve forked out for the bag, it would certainly cost at least 6% more (these routine price hikes can range anywhere from 6% to 12% each time) in as little as 6 months (or less!) down the line. For real? Yep! To put things into perspective, I got my Medium Flap in 2011 for about MYR 11,000. Fast forward to 2018, and the small (not medium, which I got!) is currently retailing for MYR 18,000+.
Dior’s Lady Dior
The Lady Dior is Dior‘s most iconic handbag to date.
The bag was first known as the Chouchou (French for “favourite”) when it made its debut in 1994. In September 1995, Bernadette Chirac gifted the bag Princess Diana and thanks to her, she was seen toting the bag on numerous several public appearances. The bag became one of the most sought after bags and a must-have, propelling it to iconic status way before the term “iconic bag” even existed! In 1996, the bag was then renamed as the Lady Dior with Princess Diana’s permission, and has been known by this new moniker ever since.
The classic version of the Lady Dior is a dual-flat handle tote-like structured bag with the Cannage quilting, the signature D-I-O-R charms and a zip-top closure. Over 130 pieces of leather, a total of 8 hours, and up to 7 artisans, are needed to create this elegant classic. If you’re looking for an understated bag, we recommend the classic Cannage-quilted version. However, if you prefer something that’s more of a collectible, then you could try eBay or Vestiare Collective for vintage models. Alternatively, you can also get Limited Edition models, or the intricately beaded, sequinned, or embellished variations in the mini size.
First introduced in 2007, the Prada Galleria is also referred to by many, as the Saffiano Lux. Ever since its debut, it has become one of the House’s classics. The Galleria is a favourite especially amongst working women because of its roomy interior and a middle zippered compartment for valuables, is great for keeping the contents of your bag organised. It’s definitely a great office-appropriate tote hat’s not to flashy, yet fashionable and functional at the same time.
Previously available only in matte and glossy scratch-resistant Saffiano leather, Prada recently introduced the Galleria in City Calf, with a contrast-coloured suede-lined interior in 2016.
Bottega Veneta Knot
Whether it’s a gala event, cocktail, or wedding, Bottega Veneta‘s Knot is definitely our go-to evening bag. Introduced by former Creative Director Tomas Maier when he joined the House in 2001, the hard-cased clutch gets its name from the clasp, which comes in the form of hardware moulded into a knotted rope.
While some of you may prefer the elongated woven satin Stretch Knot that comes in a myriad of colours ranging from neutrals to neon because it’s more elegant and fits more stuff (especially the larger phones these days), we at Bag Addicts Anonymous prefer the original, boxier, Knot. Though not officially labelled as “Limited Editions”, this darling little rounded box clutch comes in extremely limited quantities, ranging from as little as just 25 pieces of each design, to a maximum of 100 distributed globally.
When so few of each design are available, it’s certainly reason enough why this makes our “investment pieces” list, don’t you think? Oh, and the odds of bumping into someone who has the exact same piece would be close to almost zero. So, if you see one that you like, I suggest snapping it up immediately because, chances are, if you don’t someone would’ve already snapped it up when you make your next trip back to the store (yep, it totally happened to me before – not fun at all!)
Meet the bag that set the entire “It Bag” phenomenon in motion, the Fendi Baguette.
In 1997, Silvia Venturini Fendi christened her creation the Baguette because this shoulder bag was made to sit comfortably under the arm in the very same way that the French are usually seen carrying this long, thin baton-esque loaf of crusty bread. But, it wasn’t until it was featured in a pivotal scene in the hit TV series Sex and the City that gave everyone the case of “Baguette fever”.
There have since been over a thousand variations of the Baguette: monograrammed, logo-ed, sequinned, embellished, customised, Limited Editions, and exclusive one-of-a-kind pieces. But, the fact that it was able to transcend its own status as a faddish “It Bag” and weathered the seasons instead of something that is short-lived and only relevant in that particular season, is certainly a true testament to its timelessness. Also, with a removable shoulder strap, you have the option of having it nestled in the palm of your hand as a clutch, it’s easy to understand why this versatile bag is so popular.
Of course, no list “investment bags” list is complete without the Hermès Birkin.
Jean-Louis Dumas was seated next to actress and model Jane Birkin on the plane in 1983, when the contents of her bag spilled all over the aircraft’s floor. She then complained how it was difficult to find a leather bag that she liked, that would suit her needs, and in 1984, Dumas created the Birkin for her, and named it after her.
The bag has become a status symbol ever since, and is often cited as the Holy Grail bag for many a bag or fashion devotee. It’s a bag that everyone loves to own, despite it being notoriously difficult to score – a factor which definitely adds to its global appeal.
The Birkin comes in a numerous sizes, and in a variety of leathers, and exotic skins, including one with a pavé diamond encrusted clasp, known as the touret.
Belgian luxury leather goods label Delvaux –with a history that dates back to 1829 thus making it the oldest fine leather goods brand in the world – may not be that familiar to many of us, but its price point is certainly quite close to that of Hermès. Though the buckle-clasp Brillant is the more sought after model at Delvaux, we personally love the Tempête more.
Inspired by a sailboat’s trapeze, the Tempête was designed by renowned Belgian architect Paule Goethals, when sailing became a popular sport and activity along the Belgian North Sea during the same time. Introduced in 1967, the top handle bag’s modern design which makes it aesthetically relevant until this day. The most beautiful part of it all (well, to us, anyway), are the two metal studs aligned in a row on either side of the flap. This detail isn’t just decorative, but functional as well, because it gives the wearer the option of fastening the side claps onto the studs, depending on whether you want to leave it unfastened, or closed.
Chanel Le Boy
The Le Boy or, more commonly referred to as the Boy, is what I would call a “new classic”.
Launched in Fall/Winter 2011, the boxy Boy has become a wardrobe staple for many, especially for those who prefer a slightly edgier and more rugged vibe in contrast to the more feminine Flap, which also made our list, above. Personally, we prefer the Boy a whole lot more because, as you already know, we’re huge fans of chunky hardware. That said, though, the mini versions of the Boy in exotic skins like holographic shagreen, or even one that’s completely covered in crystals, make for a perfect evening bag to bling things up a notch.
With its escalating price tag, the Boy is still “investment piece, but perhaps it hasn’t achieved its status as an “heirloom” piece that can be handed down, just yet.
Louis Vuitton Petite Malle
Last but certainly not the least, is one of our absolute favourites, the Petite Malle. In fact, it’s at the top of our must-have list. If you’re a regular reader/follower, there won’t be any surprises here, leaving us at risk of possibly sounding like a broken record given the number of times we’ve been singing praises over this little beauty. Despite its numerous combination of materials it comes in, including the embellished versions, we haven’t really met a Petite Malle that we didn’t like!
We’re totally in love with the concept of this miniature trunk that took inspiration from the trunks created for one of Louis Vuitton’s clients from the early 20th century, a wealthy banker named Albert Kahn. Some of the models, particularly the Monogram and some of the Epi leather versions, come with 3 “x”s at the bottom corner. These aren’t kisses, but the markings that were stamped onto all the travel trunks that belonged to Kahn.
Owning the Petite Malle is definitely like owning a piece of its storied past and heritage, given that Vuitton began as trunk makers. Also, it’ll look great as a decorative item on the shelf, even if you weren’t using it, don’t you think? What more could we ask for?! *winks*