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The luxury bag industry is booming. In fact, it’s predicted to be worth $35.4 billion by 2031. But why do so many people choose expensive handbag brands over more affordable options?
What is it about designer purses that make them so desirable?
Without question, a handbag is a woman’s most treasured accessory. Not only do they give us somewhere to put our things and glam up an outfit, but they are an essential shopping companion.
Let's go over the details of why they are so popular.
The allure of designer handbags
For some, owning designer handbags like Chanel and Hermes is a status symbol. It shows that you have good taste and also possibly wealth. For others, it may be a reward for hard work, some self-love, or an investment, though this isn't a guarantee.
Known for their incredible quality, designer handbags are more than just practical fashion items. They are also a piece of luxury that you can wear with many different outfits.
No matter what you wear, a designer handbag can be the perfect accessory and can make your outfit look better and even more expensive.
How much does a designer handbag cost?
Thinking of treating yourself to a new designer handbag?
Well, unless you have tons of money secretly hidden under your mattress, you'll need to carefully consider the cost of a designer handbag.
Some bags actually increase more in value, more than watches and pieces of art! For example, a Hermès handbag sold for a record price of €352,800 ($346,802) at a Sotheby's auction. Now that’s an investment!
So, what determines the cost of an item made by expensive handbag brands? Here are a few factors:
Smaller bags typically cost less than larger ones because they use fewer materials and take less time to make. However, this is not always the case. Some small handbags can cost more due to the intricacy of detail.
The material of the bag is important. The higher the quality or rarity of the leather, the more you will pay. For example, there is a significant price difference between regular leather and exotic skins.
High-end designers release different collections. Some may also be limited editions, which will demand a higher price tag.
Many expensive designer handbags are made by hand by skilled artisans, with very few, if any, parts made by a machine. So handcrafting a bag takes skill and a lot of time. How long will also depend on the size and complexity of the bag.
For example, Hermes is well known for its handbags being fully handmade.
The 15 most expensive handbags brands
It’s time for the exciting part….the most expensive bag brands in the world. They come with pretty large price tags and pricing depends on a variety of factors. These include:
- The type of leather including rare and exotic leathers
- Where the bag is purchased e.g. direct from the store vs. from a reseller
That said, here are the most expensive handbags brands and examples of some of their most popular bags. We’ve got plenty of inspiration for you!
Hermes is known for their beautiful handcrafted bags, in particular The Birkin, Kelly, and Constance. These bags have risen in value over the years, making them the perfect investment piece for your wardrobe.
The Birkin is often referred to by collectors as the “ultimate bag”. Celebrities and everyone else obsesses over the Birkin.
It can take a craftsman up to 40 hours to make a Birkin bag! Birkins range in price from about $10,000 for a basic leather bag to $500,000 for a Himalayan Birkin bag.
The origins of Hermes’ most classic style handbag date back to 1852. With an eye-watering price tag of $3,000+ (depending on the model).
The Hermes Constance bag features a signature “H” shaped fastener and an adjustable strap, making it a popular statement fashion piece.
And also, if you buy designer bags as an investment, you can’t go wrong with a Constance as it holds 161% of its retail value in the second-hand market.
A bag from Chanel is instantly recognizable from the CC lock that features on the majority of this high-end brand’s products.
Classic flap bag
One of the most expensive designer bags made by Chanel is the Classic Flap bag. In addition, it was actually the first bag ever made with a shoulder strap, revolutionizing the way women carried handbags.
The $8,000+ price tag is totally worth it though as it’s one of those bags that continues to increase in value every year.
3. Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton (LV) is the best-selling French fashion brand. LV bags are not only stylish but durable too. The creators use coated canvas and high-end leather to create products that last for many years.
Another bag to add to your LV collection is the Capucines bag. Featuring distinctive side rings, detachable straps, and reversible flaps, celebrities also love this bag. The cost of a Capucines will vary depending on the size, collection, and material.
If you're looking for an elegant compact designer handbag, the LV speedy is a perfect choice. Prices start from around $1500, though it could be more or less, depending on where you buy.
4. Christian Dior
Christian Dior is an iconic designer in the fashion world and most women dream of owning a Dior handbag.
This expensive handbag brand is famous for its timeless and easy-to-use bags, with the Lady Dior bag taking center stage.
Featuring soft lambskin, the iconic Cannage motif, and rounded handles, what’s not to love? Maybe the over $4000 price tag; but it’s an investment, right?
5. Yves Saint Laurent
This designer fashion brand offers a luxury range of leather handbags and purses, from shoulder and crossbody bags to clutch bags and wallets.
Sac de Jour bag
One of Saint Laurent’s most popular statement pieces is the Sac de Jour (retailing around $2,500+). This tote bag is made from high-quality calfskin leather and comes in a variety of sizes.
Another popular bag is the Saint Laurent Loulou shoulder bag. It's a stylish, practical choice for everyday accessorizing. Treat yourself to one for around $3,000+.
If you want to treat yourself to expensive handbag brands that scream status, a Gucci bag does just that. Gucci increases its prices every year, like all luxury brands, so investing in designer handbags can be very lucrative.
Diana tote bag
The most expensive Gucci bag on the market right now is the Diana tote crocodile bag, made from a rare brown crocodile leather. With a price tag of $38,000 and two distinctive bamboo handles, it’s a bag that will get attention wherever you go.
A Gucci Horsebit handbag is another iconic item. One model in the range features natural-colored anaconda skin with a mustard yellow trim. Get your hands on this remarkable bag for around $3,000, more or less.
Another iconic bag created by Gucci is the Marmont. It has a soft structure, zip-top closure, and the famous Double G logo. However, this designer handbag will set you back over $3,000 in some cases.
Gucci named the Jackie O handbag after Jackie Kennedy and it has been a staple Gucci item for many years. The latest additions in this range are priced at $2,000+.
The Italian fashion brand Fendi is known for its timeless pieces and highly desired designer bags.
Fendi’s baguette bag is small and compact. The purse sits comfortably under your arm so it's easy to carry. There’s nothing small about its price tag though which can be over $5,000.
Fendi First bag
For a more trendy vibe, invest in the Fendi First bag starting at around $3,000. You can either hold it as a clutch or add a detachable shoulder strap for a more practical daytime look.
When it comes to expensive handbag brands, Prada knows what it’s doing. Luxury leather handbags have been a staple product for the brand since 1913 and continue to grow in popularity.
For a classic look, the Prada Saffiano ticks all of the boxes. Saffiano leather bags retail between $1600 to over $4000.
Prada launched the nylon backpack in 1984 and it quickly became a must-have accessory with its high-quality leather and the brand's signature triangular metal logo. Prices for the Re-nylon start around $2,000.
9. Bottega Veneta
The Bottega Veneta brand rose in popularity after the launch of Intrecciato, a unique weave design used to craft bags and other products.
The Jodie bag is an irresistible high-end accessory to add to your collection. However, a brand new Jodie bag will cost you around $2,650 to start, but you can also pick up a secondhand one for a more budget-friendly option.
The Goyard brand stretches back to 1792. Their handbags are known for their geometric designs and are extremely popular among the expensive handbags brands.
The Saint-Louis Goyard bag is a well-known style that many people want to own. It ranges in price from $1200 to over $3000 in resale value.
The Moynat brand is a Parisian company that produces beautiful, sleek handbags. Their subtlety and superior design make them very popular.
The Rejane style boasts some incredibly expensive handbags. The pm version costs over $5,000 while the Rejane BB is $5,000.
12. Salvatore Ferragamo
The Salvatore Ferragamo brand is a bold brand with gorgeous handbag designs. It is known for shoes but also makes high-quality purses.
Studio box bag
The Studio box bag is quite an expense at $28,000. It features alligator leather and a timeless square design.
13. Lana Marks
Lana Marks’ handbags are inspired by nature and architecture, making them truly unique and collectible fashion pieces.
When it comes to rare designer handbags, the Cleopatra Clutch is definitely one of a kind. In addition, Elizabeth Taylor inspired the diamond-encrusted design which is worth a staggering $400,000. We will take two!
14. Judith Leiber
Judith Leiber is a high-end American brand that symbolizes elegance, style, and sophistication. She's known for her quirky novelty designs which involve intricate crystal work.
Rose Romance bag
The Rose Romance bag is a truly stunning handbag and one of Judith Leiber's most popular bags. It's made in the shape of a rose for a unique style that the designer has become famous for.
Variations of this bag are embellished with diamonds, sapphires, and tourmaline cut crystals. The fun and playful design make it a must-have for any designer handbag collection!
Mouawad is known for producing elegant watches and timepieces, but it also produces some breathtakingly beautiful bags too. It’s one of the most expensive handbag brands in the world.
1001 Night's Diamond Purse
Valued at $3.8 million, Mouawad’s 1001 Nights Diamond Purse holds the Guinness World Record for the priciest handbag in the world. And this record has remained unbroken since 2011. It’s a stunning handcrafted 18-karat gold heart-shaped handbag with 4,517 diamonds in total.
Expensive handbags brands may be worth buying if you consider the cost carefully
Expensive bag brands are something to think about. The cost may or may not be worth it to you after considering your budget.
Remember to do your homework about this before buying, and be sure you can afford it by saving up and getting a good deal when possible.
So, will it be a Christian Dior or Chanel bag first? Among the 15 most expensive options, you'll likely find one that's your favorite!
For more ideas, find out if you should rent a designer handbag, and how to get insurance for a designer handbag!