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You Too Can Play the Handbag Stock Market

Clair can tell you, for example, that the Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis would sell for almost 100 percent of its original price, for example, but the LV Papillon, a more common style, is closer to 40 percent.

And though the data tracking prices through the years is not yet available to the general public, certain conclusions can be drawn — and will be. Every quarter, Rebag will publish Clair’s Picks, a list of bags it recommends that people buy or sell, the same way an analyst shares stock picks. To wit: The Fendi Mama bag has gone up 44 percent in resale price since 2018; the Christian Dior logo book tote is up 26 percent.

According to Mr. Gorra, the ultimate safe bet in the bag market is Hermès (which retains an average of over 80 percent of value at resale), followed by Chanel, Vuitton, Gucci and YSL (all over 60 percent on average). Goyard is also in the top quadrant.

On the other hand, if you wanted to go long on a bag stock, it turns out that Bottega Veneta is hovering at around 30 percent of its full price (Prada, Fendi and Valentino are close to 40 percent)

If you wanted to play the market, thus, you could buy a few vintage BV bags cheaply, betting that other people would see they weren’t selling for much and stop bringing them to market, which would make them relatively rare, which would raise the price — which would mean you could sell high.

Indeed, scarcity in the bag market, as in the sneaker market, is a large component of value. (Obviously, as with sneakers, the less used the better.) This is part of the reason that Hermès, which keeps its supply below demand and often creates limited-edition pieces, is so dominant. Which is where the Kardashians come back in.

Kylie is not, after all, the only family member with a purse closet. Kim has one, too, and their mother, Kris Jenner, has a Birkin closet. Given that she and her progeny have proven to be, like it or not, the defining family business of the last decade, it should not be a surprise that when it comes to bags, they were ahead of the investment curve.

Vanessa Friedman is The Times’s fashion director and chief fashion critic. She was previously the fashion editor of the Financial Times. @VVFriedman


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