Vintage is a word thrown around a lot, but what exactly makes a designer piece vintage? While everyone has their own definition, we believe it’s a pre-owned designer item that was made at least 10 years ago that’s more difficult to find than a typical consignment bag. These treasures are not only in short supply, but also if created by a top luxury brand, their secondhand value skyrockets.
If you are searching for vintage designer bags like the Chanel Camera Bag and the Dior Lady Dior, you know you need to fulfill their needs and our suppliers have exactly what you’re searching for. And while some vintage bags are priced around the same amount as a brand-new bag, it’s important to remember that back in the day some of these bags were made of higher-quality materials than they are today.
For example, many aficionados claim the quality of Chanel bags has decreased drastically since the early 2000s, and we can see why this may be true and cause shoppers to consider vintage Chanel. Some vintage Chanel bags were made of even better-quality materials than today, with real 24K gold hardware on many bags produced before 2008. When nowadays it’s just gold-tone hardware, and sometimes the stitching is uneven, the lambskin is dented, and the flimsiness of the materials causes it to lose shape much more quickly that the bags of 15+ years ago.
As luxury retailers continue to raise prices on their brand-new bags, more and more suppliers are turning to vintage to fulfill their needs. And sure, sometimes these bags show some signs of age, but if you have an expert handbag repairman on your hands (like Leather Surgeons) you can flip that bag in no time and make it look almost as beautiful as the day it was first purchased.
TOP 10 TRENDING VINTAGE BAGS
While items like the Louis Vuitton Neverfull, the Speedy, the Saddle Bag and the Fendi Baguette continue to fly off our shelves, there are other bags you may not have thought about in over a decade that individuals have started searching for and purchasing again. From limited-edition collaborations to the early aughts it bags like the Fendi Spy and the Chloe Paddington, we think these bags should be on your radar too. After all, you never know when one of these designers might relaunch the line, causing hysteria and deep feelings of nostalgia.
Fendi Spy Bag
On the heels of the successful Baguette, the Spy bag became another cult classic in 2005. Everyone from Beyoncé to Nicole Richie and Sofia Vergara had this slouchy boho design that featured a hidden coin purse, braided handles, and a fold-over flap closure. Not to mention, another incredibly long wait list just to get your their on it. Well, the Spy Bag is back and renewing interest among the fashion set.
Prada Re-Edition Re-Nylon Bags
Prada’s relaunched and revived their nylon bags yet again and this time with the Re-Nylon Re-Edition 2000, 2005 and 2006 shoulder bags, baguettes, and top handles. Sustainably made of innovative Re-Nylon which is produced from recycled, purified plastic trash collected in the ocean, fishing nets, and textile waste fibers, these bags are an eco-friendly option. All of these designs are an updated version of the classic totes from the 90s, and available in a variety of colors, sizes, and additional materials such as ostrich and Saffiano leather.
When Phoebe Philo introduced the fashion world to the Chloe Paddington bag in 2004, this must-have tote quickly reached cult status. One of the original IT bags, the Paddington, which is defined by an oversized padlock and dangling key, is crafted in ultra-soft and slouchy leather with two oversized top handles and plenty of room to tote your essentials. Since this bag is currently trending in stores and online, we’re predicting it’s about to make a huge comeback.
Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami Bags
In 2003, Marc Jacobs joined forces with Takashi Murakami to not only create the Multicolor Monogram we mentioned above, but also introduced us to some of the most in-demand designs on the secondhand market today. Following the success of the Monogram Multicolor collection, Murakami went on to create other successful collaborations such as the Cherry Blossoms, Panda, Cerises, MOCA Hands, and Monogramouflage. The partnership ended in 2015, making it the longest collaboration that the brand has ever had and with Louis Vuitton’s price increases, individuals are becoming more interested in limited-edition collaborations, especially if they’re pochettes, more than ever before.
Balenciaga City Bag
Back in 2001 when Nicholas Ghesquière, Creative Director of Balenciaga, introduced the Motorcycle City Bag he was discouraged from making too many of them because they were too light, unstructured and soft, so he only sent 25 samples of it down the runway. After the show, he then handed them out to celebrities and IT girls of the moment (like Kate Moss) which sparked the frenzy for this IT-bag.
Crafted in a squishy yet sculptural leather, the City Bag is a lightweight, throw-on-and-go type of bag that is surprisingly roomy inside. With multiple inner pockets, and an outside zip pocket, a mirror tied to a tassel, and a detachable shoulder strap, it can easily take you from the office to happy hour and a night out on the town, and the bigger sizes make it the perfect carry-on bag on the airplane.
Dior Lady Dior
The Lady Dior, with its elegant and sophisticated design was renamed in 1995 to honor Lady Diana, the Princess of Wales. This eternally chic tote — that comes in many sizes, colors and materials — features logo charms, dual top handles, a detachable shoulder strap, a footed seat, and interior pockets. Plus, since it’s so incredibly lovely, and almost as iconic as the Chanel Flap bag, this is a true investment bag.
Hermes Kelly Bag
With the current craze over pre-owned Birkins, many businesses have turned to the Kelly Bag. The Kelly Bag, which was originally designed as a saddle holder, became an iconic symbol of wealth and exclusivity, thanks to Grace Kelly.
The Kelly bag is rendered in a trapezoidal shape, and it’s a little slimmer and more compact, which makes it a better choice for evening or weekend toting since it can be paired perfectly with either a dressed up or dressed down ensemble. The Kelly also features a flap, dual-strap closure, two leather buckle straps, a turn-knob and padlock and it’s supported by four feet on the bottom. But unlike the Birkin, in order to close the Kelly, the flap needs to be down to secure the dual-strap closure.
Chanel Diana Bag
Introduced by Karl Lagerfeld in 1989 (production ended in the mid 90s), the Diana Flap Bag was made famous by Princess Diana who carried the small version. This single strap bag, which also comes in a medium-sized version, was crafted in diamond-quilted lambskin leather and features gold ‘CC’ hardware, the classic chain strap, and a border trim on the curved front flap.
With an internal zip and slip pocket and leather lining, this timeless classic is large enough to hold small necessities but shouldn’t be weighed down. The bag was produced in a handful of colors and a color-blocked option too.
Chanel Camera Bag
Launched in the 1980s, the Chanel Camera Bag was a fashionable reinterpretation of the camera cases used by photographers and reporters. Since then, the Camera Bag has become iconic.
This square-shaped bag may be small but has lots of space. Crafted in quilted leather with the CC logo, a top-zip closure and the classic chain crossbody strap, this elegant, elusive design is a highly sought-after piece on the secondhand market.
Gucci Jackie Bag
Not only is the Gucci Jackie Bag iconic and very in demand, but the relaunch of this timeless classic is also gold. The Fifties Constance bag, known for its half-moon hobo design and piston-shaped closure, was first introduced in the 1950s and is thought to be the original hobo bag. This instant classic became the epitome of timeless style after Jackie Kennedy Onassis was regularly spotted toting it around New York City. It was then renamed The Jackie Bag as a nod to her jet-setting style and influence over the fashion industry.
The Jackie O Bag was previously relaunched in 1999 and 2009. In 2020, Gucci’s Creative Director, Alessandro Michele, revived the iconic bag and renamed it The Jackie 1961. He also launched a medium and large Jackie 1961 Tote Bag.
RESTORE YOUR VINTAGE BAGS
Sometimes the vintage bag you find is in less than perfect condition, but that’s ok! These days many resellers are purchasing lower-grade bags to upcycle and restore, and luckily there are a few experts out there who can restore and repair bags to like-new condition. We’ve become quite fond of Leather Surgeons, and once Gerry Gallagher and his leather surgeons complete their work on your pre-loved luxuries, you’ll be amazed by their expert craftsmanship and how they’re able to take a very used vintage bag and make it look 10 years younger.
Content and images for this blog post have been referenced from LePrix.