Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

SEP-OCT 2017

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Page 59 of 155

58 More than just arm candy, a fashion statement, or a status symbol, a good handbag can be a serious investment. Take the Birkin bag by Herm├Ęs: the company maintains a waiting list in excess of six years of orders for the iconic bag, and examples nearly always bring more on the secondary market than retail direct from the French manufacturer. Recognized as the most collectible and best investment among designer handbags, Birkins grow in value based on two sound principles: scarcity and quality. Each B irkin is carefully constructed under the strictest controls, using the finest materials available. Only a handful are released each year, with custom-designed bags quickly becoming a coveted accessory when spotted on the red carpet. Drawing on what we know about how growth in value occurs, a Birkin passes the supply:demand ratio test with flying colors. In May, a new auction record was set when a 2015 gold and diamond-encrusted Birkin raced to $380,000 at Christie's in Hong Kong. But, there is life beyond Birkin for those of us in a more, ahem, modest price range. Great, timeless bags by Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior and others are readily available through a variety of resellers thanks to the "great American downsize". As more and more baby boomers hit retirement age, estate sales, auctions and online consignment stores have seen a remarkable increase in the supply of luxury goods. Simultaneously, as savvy buyers have become conditioned to the concept of buying second-hand, demand has followed. Bu y i n g a n d s e l l i n g d e s i g n e r h a n d b a g s h a s b e c o m e big business, with big returns; some analysts have reported that annual returns for handbag investments consistently outperformed the New York Stock Exchange. However, the difference in risk is notable: while you may be subject to Apple's stock dropping due to the latest public relations issue, you don't have to worry that someone has faked the stock. On the Curating a Lifestyle: In the Bag Written by Amelia Jeffers Spread, clockwise from top left: Two of the most iconic and collectible designer handbags: the Birkin and Kelly. Courtesy, private collector. is group of Louis Vuitton luggage was "well- loved," but still seems like a steal at $2,000. Sold, Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers. A mid-century clutch by Emilio Pucci. Courtesy, private collector. A vintage Valentino shoulder bag and scarf. Sold, Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers. A Judith Leiber brushed metal evening purse. Sold, Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers.

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