After more than a century since the house’s founding, Chanel has amassed a vast offering of bags. With new styles being released every season, many Chanel bags have found their way onto the second-hand market. We investigate the role of Chanel bags in the rise of luxury resale market.
The pre-owned luxury resale market is growing fast. It offers more accessible prices, a more sustainable shopping option and an ever-growing offering of luxury goods. In 2020, the personal luxury goods second-hand market was reported to be worth €28 billion and this figure is expected to increase rapidly in the upcoming years. Bags are among the most popular products on the second-hand luxury market. Pre-owned Chanel bags in particular are some of the most sought-after, with a plethora of the house’s designs consistently enjoying extremely high demand.
Key driving forces behind the luxury resale market’s success and growth are price accessibility and the availability of a wide selection of products, especially vintage, rare, iconic and classic items. This can be used to explain the success of Chanel bags in particular on the market. Vintage, rare and limited edition Chanel designs continue to be extremely popular amongst consumers. In addition, the brand’s significant price increases in recent years and the difficulty of obtaining popular classic styles on the first-hand market have added to the demand for pre-owned Chanel bags.
Chanel bags have been famous for their luxury appeal, innovative style and wearability ever since Coco Chanel launched the world’s first ever shoulder bag, the 2.55, in 1955. From then on, Chanel has consistently released many different styles of bags, from totes, backpacks, mini styles and countless more. Despite the vast cache of bags bearing the Chanel name, only the classics and designs from the most recent collections are sold on the first-hand luxury market from Chanel boutiques. But what should consumers do when they find themselves lusting after other Chanel styles? Enter the luxury resale market.
In the world of luxury resale, vintage, rare and limited edition Chanel bags are especially sought-after, such as designs like the Chanel Wooden Box Handbag from the 1990s. This trunk style top handle bag breaks away from the house’s famed diamond quilted leather, a staple of many Chanel designs. The unusual wooden design is embossed with the house’s name on one side and Chanel’s iconic double C logo on the other. The 1990s were a time of ostentatious and excessively logo-clad designs for Chanel. Karl Lagerfeld’s runways during the decade have gone down in fashion history as some of the house’s most memorable. With logomania enjoying a resurgence in modern times, it’s no surprise that the logo-clad Wooden Box Handbag is a now sought-after piece on the luxury resale scene. Other rare limited edition Chanel designs which are covetable on the pre-owned market are Lagerfeld’s famous novelty bags from his acclaimed runway shows for the house. Pieces like the extremely rare Shopping Basket Bag from Chanel’s Fall 2014 collection garner well over retail price on the resale market.
Many vintage Chanel bags’ designs incorporate the house’s famed heritage. This proves popular amongst Chanel aficionados, making these styles covetable finds for collectors and fans of the brand. The Chanel Central Station Bag is embossed with ‘31, Rue Cambon Paris’, the address Coco Chanel acquired in 1918 as she expanded her namesake fashion house. The address holds a very special place in the house’s history and Chanel still occupies a row of buildings on the street today. The bowler style bag, like the few other designs which bear the address, acts as a token of Chanel’s beginnings over a century ago and therefore makes for a popular pre-owned Chanel find.
Since the 1950s, Chanel has continued to release a wide variety of bags in many different styles. Classic styles like the backpack continue to fade in and out of fashion. And with backpacks being some of Chanel’s most lusted after vintage designs, they remain a staple Chanel offering on the pre-owned market. Pieces like the Chanel Timeless Backpack present the house’s key design elements, like the diamond stitched quilting and interlocking double C logo, but in the form of a backpack. This makes them Chanel staples and desirable pieces even decades after they were first released.
A huge part of the pre-owned luxury market’s appeal is the availability of popular classic styles at more accessible prices. Styles like the famous Chanel Classic Flap are sold at Chanel boutiques. However, its price has increased significantly in recent years and the popular design is becoming harder to get hold of. Therefore, more consumers are turning to the resale market to secure the covetable bag. There has been much speculation surrounding the house’s decision to increase its prices, particularly of its most classic and popular designs. It is largely considered to be part of Chanel’s attempt to increase its level of exclusivity as a brand. The Vintage Bar offers a wide selection of pre-owned Chanel Classic Flaps for considerably less than consumers can expect to pay for new versions of the bag at Chanel stores. This ties in closely with our desire to make luxury more accessible and transparent in terms of both price and availability. On the luxury resale market, consumers can also find Chanel Classic Flaps in colors and prints exclusive to collections which are no longer available at Chanel boutiques.
Chanel bags are beautiful and exceptionally well made. They subsequently deserve to be circulated back into fashion once those who originally purchased the designs are finished enjoying them. The growing pre-owned luxury market is the perfect tool to make this happen. It offers Chanel’s designs at more accessible prices and can bring a vast array of Chanel bags to consumers, including those no longer available on the first-hand luxury market. As a result, more people can enjoy more of Chanel’s designs for longer.
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