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Top 5 designer items worth the investment

·5-min read
Compilation image of $100 notes and luxury designers: a Rolex clock, Burberry label in a trench coat and a Chanel classic flap bag in mint green
Buying luxury designer items is a treat for some and a worthwhile investment for others. (Source: Getty)

Louis Vuitton, Prada, Chanel, Gucci and Cartier are the crème-de-la-crème of fashion and have remained this way since their launch.

They may cost a small fortune, but many of these well known brands have appreciated in value multiple times over the original sales price.

Below are five classics, which have stood the test of time, and thanks to their reseal value, are also worth the investment.

1. Burberry Trench

Be prepared to pay upwards of $4,000 for a classic Burberry trench, although you might get one a little cheaper depending on the length, material and silhouette. Pre-loved Burberry trench coats are known to sell for more than $1,000 plus, and are known to increase in value, even with regular use.

2. Hermes Birkin

The Hermes Birkin has always been the most sought after handbag.

A 2017 study conducted by luxury online retail platform Baghunter, found that the value of Hermes Birkin bags has increased by 500 per cent over the last 35 years, which is an increase of 14 per cent per year.

Currently, Birkin’s bag prices vary when purchased brand new but expect to pay anything from $40,000.

Resale prices, depending on the material and gems used, prices have reached into the hundreds of thousands, making Hermès a designer that appreciates in value.

One Birkin bag fetched a record auction price in Hong Kong for HKD$2.9 million, which is approximately A$524,896.

3. Chanel classic flap bag

Chanel nailed the classic flap bag when it was first launched back in 1955. The bag originally sold for US$220 (A$314) but today, expect to pay upwards of A$13,000. Price hikes combined with the demand mean the Chanel Classic Handbag will always hold a universal exclusive allure that customers are willing to pay more for overtime.

4. Rolex watches

Nothing says wealth and class better than Rolex, and it has to be hands down the most sought after and in-demand watch brand. Even to the point that recently, over demand has led to a shortage. One small example is the classic Rolex GMT-Master11; valued at $19,000 in November 2020, which rose to $25,500 in November 2021.

5. Patek Phillippe Watches

Patek Philippe distributes only around 45,000 new watches per year which helps to uphold both Patek Philippe’s exceptionally high ‘seal of quality’ guarantee and creates an insatiable amount of demand and scarcity in the resale market, prices range $21,000 - $485,000.

Resale is booming

According to online designer retailer, The RealReal, 2022 Luxury Consignment report, second hand marketing is booming when it comes to name brands.

The report focused on the state of luxury resale, trends and what to sell now to earn the most. Some outstanding returns include the following.

  • Tiffany and Co vintage clip on earrings sell for up to 381 per cent of the retail price.

  • Vintage Rolex watches sell for up to 298 per cent of the retail price.

  • Chanel Vintage necklace sell for up to 697 per cent of retail price.

Some of the most valuable pieces sold online at include: Hermes Himalayan Birkin at $210,000, a 1996 Alexander McQueen pant suit sold for $45,000, Cartier diamond stud earrings sold for $42,500 and for a pair of used Nike SB Dunk Low Staple NYC pigeon sneakers sold for a whopping $18,000.

What’s not hot?

We've gone through the designer items which are worth the investment, but what about designer items which don't hold their value?

The Luxury Consignment report also found that contemporary logos are not so hot.

In fact, the following brands have even seen returns decline.

Michael Kors logo pieces -9 per cent, Tory Burch log bags -15 per cent and Kate Spade log pieces -4 per cent are the top three most notable.

Retail advisor and stylist Lauren Di Bartolo from the Australian Style Institute also lists the following designer items to stay away from.

  • Dolce & Gabbana camouflage, or leopard print shopping bag, $2,900. Heavy on the print and hardware, these items won’t be the mainstays you reach for season after season. Instead opt for a Dior, Marni or Loewe shopper bag.

  • Balenciaga Garbage Bag, $1,790. This infamous "Trash Pouch" handbag is directly inspired by the humble garbage bag which some might consider genius free marketing; don’t fall into that trap if you’re looking for investments.

  • Supreme t-shirts. While the brand might have earned its value in status for now, a t-shirt won’t hold its shape if you intend on wearing it.

3 tips to ensure your items hold (or increase) their value

Di Bartolo offers the following three tips to consider when purchasing designer items.

1. Capitalise on the booming fashion resale market. Designer items grow in value over time so hold on to them and their original packaging including boxes, receipts, tags and authentication.

2. Think long-term cost per wear. High quality designer production means you will be able to expect longer-term use, reducing the cost per wear. Ensure you follow the garment care tags, such as dry cleaning, leathers protection sprays and storing in dust bags.

3. Avoid buying trends. They don't hold resale market value and we often see people tire of these far sooner.

Classic luxury is fuelling growth

StockX a marketplace trading platform, which buys and sells collectibles, from the hottest sneakers, apparel, electronics, trading cards and accessories reports that classic luxury accessories continue to fuel growth.

French brand Goyard, is one of three luxury labels to rank among the top 10 fastest-growing accessories brands in 2022. Goyard landed in the No. 4 spot with 166 per cent growth thanks to demand for card cases and totes.

Saint Laurent ranked No.6 and Burberry No. 7 also saw triple-digit trade growth year-over-year. Another tote designer, Telfar landed at No. 8 on the list with a 100 per cent growth year-over-year.

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