Designer Bags: Socialite Jamie Chua’s Regrets, And A Bag Expert Shares What To Invest In
Learn from Singapore socialite Jamie Chua’s luxury bag regrets, and find out the best designer bags to splurge on from an industry expert
October 30, 2019
Even Singapore’s very own crazy rich Asian has experienced buyer’s remorse when it comes to splurging on designer items. Earlier in June this year, flight-attendant-turned-socialite Jamie Chua dropped a 20-minute video on the top five designer bags that she regretted buying.
Coincidentally, all five designer bags happen to be from French fashion house Chanel. Her main gripe with them was their size. The ones she got are too small. They were impossible to fit the packet of wet wipes she uses to clean her hands with after every handshake. And if anyone is qualified to be sharing designer bag regrets, it’s probably the 45-year-old, who bought her first Chanel 2.55 at age 17.
Since then, she has amassed one of the world’s largest collections of Hermes handbags. She now keeps over 200 of her Birkin and Kelly styles in full-length glass cabinets at the front of her fingerprint-protected wardrobe.
Despite living in a 10,000 sq ft home, the Instagram queen with over 1.1 million followers concedes that she faces “space constraints”. She now avoids buying handbags that are too small unless she wants them for the sole purpose of having it as a display item.
While having too many Birkins is a #FirstWorldProblem not many of us can relate to, shrinking closet woes are, and Kondo-ing our luxury designer bags will simply be out of the question.
The Designer Bags Worth Splurging On… And Those That Are Not
So, before you commit to shelling out thousands for that arm candy, we got Style Theory’s Head of Bags, Jayme Tan, to spill on the best and worst designer bags one can invest in.
When it comes to investment bags, Jayme evaluates their immediate resale value. According to her, the best ones to put your money on are those that can withstand the test of time. These are bags that are not only popular at launch, but are consistently favoured over a long period of time.
The bags included in that list are the Chanel 2.55, Loewe Puzzle Bag, Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Roma, and Louis Vuitton Twist, Jayme says.
These designer bags have similar qualities. They are practical, well-made and fit well into the day-to-day life of most women. On the other hand, designer bags that don’t make the best investment – regardless of how great they look – usually have a significant price gap between retail and resale value. These are pieces that you can’t see fitting in their wardrobe for more than a season.
If you’re looking to get your money’s worth, says Jayme, such designer bags may not be worth splurging on (unless you’re Jamie Chua). It may be better to rent them.
Designer Bags To Keep An Eye On
If you’re on the lookout for a new statement piece, consider Dior. That’s because the French designer “is having a moment right now, and any new releases becomes extremely popular,” Jayme says.
For instance, the mini Dior Book Tote that will be launching in Singapore in January 2020 is set to be an instant hit as it combines two super-hot trends – mini-sized bags and the already popular Book Tote.
Prefer shopping by style over label? These days, the most popular styles include bags with shoulder straps and mini-sized bags. Jayme explained that there is a growing emphasis on practical designs. This is because women prefer something that’s able to fit all their essentials yet allows them to remain hands-free.
Mini-sized bags, on the flip side, reflect the advent of mobile payments and the decline of the wallet since people don’t enjoy carrying wads of cash and stacks of cards around these days.
Will Your White Elephant Increase In Value?
If you’re a luxury bag aficionado whose wardrobe is getting crowded with one too many white elephants, you might want to consider parting with a few of them. You’d be surprised, some of them might even be worth more than what you paid.
Jayme explains that there are only a few designer bags that appreciate over time due to the luxury brands’ prudent management of demand and supply. Ever noticed some designers never offer heavy discounts or end-of-season sales? These strict price controls allow some designs to depreciate less because those with significant markdowns generally don’t have good resale value.
For example, the Chanel 2.55 has been known to appreciate up to 30 per cent (depending on when it was bought). This is a result of the brand’s frequent upward revision in price to reflect demands from an ever-loyal fan base.
Also, depreciation of designer bags depend on the style, condition and how it has been maintained. Unsure of which style to get? Jayme’s advice is to stick to classic bags in colours like black, navy and brown, since they depreciate less than those in more dramatic hues.