By Denisa Marginean
There are some days when we instantly feel the pull. The urge to buy overtakes us and we spend the rest of the day reasoning with ourselves. I mean, who really needs 5 pairs of the same jeans? Maybe it’s the way it hugs our body or the hhow it simply sits on the hanger. Regardless, the desire to leave with said-item becomes so strong it’s difficult to fight off. But what happens when the opposite happens? What about the days when we don’t necessarily want to wear the garment? What if we want to buy not for ourselves, but as a financial investment?
The resale market is one of the fastest growing sectors in our global economy and is expected to grow even more (127 percent by 2026). This growth is especially felt in North America (8 times more than anywhere else) where online pre-loved platforms make shopping for vintage and pre-owned items more accessible and easier to navigate for new demographics of consumers. People don’t have to message mysterious sellers online anymore or dig through piles and piles of clothes to find that one special gem. Resale is more accessible than ever before.
People have thus started to notice that a handbag that was once purchased for $2,000 can now sell for $3,500. But how do we pick what to invest in? We have chosen 8 items for you that based on our four-decades long experience in the resale market continuously make for a safe and sure choice:
1. Chanel Classic Handbag
It might feel too easy to start with the obvious, but the reasons Chanel maintains a high resale value have certainly changed in the past few months. From increasing their prices to limiting the amount of purchases per year and opening a VIP store, Chanel is rising even more in the resale game. Chanel has officially stated that this value increase is due to their price harmonization policy as well as their rising production cost in order to increase the quality and sustainability of their products (and not a cheeky attempt to imitate Hermes’s Birkin strategy). However, because of this policy Chanel is guaranteed to continue gaining resale value to match. We highly recommend going for the classics such as the flap bag (especially in black) for investments because of the purchase limitations and the demand for them. Chanel costume jewelry is also on the rise and recommended for value-growth.
2. Alexander McQueen Vintage Ready-to-Wear
It’s not uncommon for a fashion designer’s products for their namesake brand to resale higher than their contemporary alternatives. In the case of Alexander McQueen, this statement rings truer than most. With celebrities like Kim Kardashian wearing vintage McQueen to largely publicized events such as the Vanity Fair 2020 Oscars Party, the interest in Alexander McQueen ready-to-wear has taken a jump in the past few years. More interest equals more demand, which means the prices are going higher and higher causing a suit-set that retailed for a few thousands now to sell for 45 thousand dollars. Ready-to-wear vintage from the 1990s especially are setting records in the resale market. We recommend Alexander McQueen, specifically runway items because of the interest and rarity of those pieces.
3. Louis Vuitton Special Editions
As any heritage luxury brand, Louis Vuitton has had a large rotation of creative directors in both womenswear and menswear. This means that each designer has had a particular interpretation of the Louis Vuitton house codes. Take for example, Nicolas Ghesquière’s understanding of a time machine for the Louis Vuitton Spring 2020 Ready-to-Wear collection. Monogram totes became VHS bags where famous movie names were slightly tweaked to match the history of the brand (Gaston & Louis replacing Thelma & Louise). Then, there’s Virgil Abloh's joyful crew of animated characters in the project 'Zoooom with Friends' for the Men's Spring-Summer 2021 collection that trace the locations and homes of Louis Vuitton. A trunk from that collection now resales for $45,000 USD. If an accessory is closely associated with a Louis Vuitton creative director, those items will not only maintain their value but gain more over the years.
4. Designer Sneaker Collaborations
High-value sneakers have always had a high resale value because of the amount of sneaker resellers in the game who can directly increase the selling price. With comfort on the rise and millennials taking a larger part of the consumer demographic, sneakers (especially rare ones) have become a coveted option for investment. Collaborations between a luxury brand and an artist or two luxury brands are the ones to look out for because of their limited availability. Also, the more years pass the more the likeness to find a rare sneaker in good condition decreases. Some examples: New Balance sneaker collaborations sell for up to 387% of the retail price and Dior Jordan sneakers sell up to 310%.
5. Vintage Gucci
First-time sellers and buyers usually gravitate towards pre-loved Gucci because of the brand's unique designs and quality, which can usually be accessed for an affordable price. However, investing in Gucci in the next few years will be extremely important. Gucci Vault, the new online immersive concept store by the brand's creative director Alessandro Michele sells art and vintage pieces selected by the designer. Among the large selection of unique products, the team will also find Gucci vintage pieces, repair them with their in-house artisan and sell them for an updated price. This means that a bag bought for a few hundreds by the group will sell for upwards to $6,000. This will create a demand and price rise of vintage Gucci that will exponentially affect the resale value of Gucci items in the next few years.
6. Prada Nylon Bags
In the case Prada nylon bags, the resale selling price already starts at 98% of the retail one, which causes a lot of confusion for first-time customers. If the colour way is rare (i. e. Alabaster Pink) and the condition is excellent, the price can even surpass retail. The bags from the men's collection, in particular, currently have a higher resale value than retail because of their production numbers. Prada, like Louis Vuitton, has specific design eras and focusing on the active creative collaboration between Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons will be critical for future investment as the duration of their partnership is still unknown. Simons doesn't stay with one brand for too long so the collaboration is (potentially) finite.
7. Tiffany Jewelry
The resale value of Tiffany rose by 23% in the last year. Items with the legible Tiffany logo or unique designs have been trending across more than one generation. With Tiffany's recent acquisition by luxury conglomerate giant LVMH, the brand will experience a restructure and marketing revision as seen by the recent Beyoncé x Basquiat campaign. This will bring Tiffany to a younger demographic and push the interest and demand of the brand. Since Millennials and Gen Z are part of the largest portion of resale buyers, this will be an important change for Tiffany.
8. Hermès Scarf
Like Chanel, Hermès is one of the long-standing safe bets in the resale game. Their retail policy based on limiting production to increase demand has always affected the resale value of each item, especially silk scarves. A lot of clients are confused by the price of silk scarves since they are close to the same as retail or (very often) even higher. That's because many of their scarves are made with an artist who also affects the resale value of each item. This is where the art market and fashion resale market meet. The value of Hermès also grew by 13% in the last year, which is estimated to rise steadily in the next few years. When investing in a silk scarf, it's important to find two things: the signature of the artist and the name of the scarf.
There you have it: the 8 best resale items to invest in for the year 2022. No matter the way you got here, if you are just starting out your understanding of the resale market or a long-time collector and seller, it's important to have fun and get curious about each of the items you see. Resale is constantly changing and evolving, which makes it a hard industry to pin down. But with recent investments in resale ($134 million since April), we are assured of an interesting journey ahead.