Unless you’re someone with a disposable income, shopping the luxury market is…not for the faint of heart. It’s a hefty part of your paycheck, after all! That said, when you are ready to treat yourself with a designer bag, watch, or anything else (you deserve it), odds are you want to be sure you’re making a smart purchase—especially if you’re doing it for the first time. You aren’t the only one, and thankfully, there is plenty of data to help you determine if the high-ticketed item you’re eyeing is actually worth it. Just look at the 2022 Clair Report from Rebag.
If you aren’t already familiar, Clair uses information from Rebag—the luxury resale site specializing in designer bags, accessories, shoes, watches, and more—to pull data and analytics so you, dear reader, can research a brand or product to your heart’s content. According to the 2022 Clair Report, there are three brands well worth the investment: Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel.
This may come as no surprise, especially since these three houses took the top spots for the best luxury brands on the platform for the second year in a row. However, 2022 marks the first year Chanel, which now retains 87 percent of its value, and Louis Vuitton, retaining 92 percent, join Hermès as “unicorn brands.” Elizabeth Layne, the CMO of Rebag, explains that a large part of this is due to both brands’ price increases over the past year. Combine that with each one’s limited primary market supply and overall allure, and you have yourself a unicorn brand.
Maybe those brands aren’t really your thing. No worries—to each their own! In which case, there are plenty of other designer brands you can invest in. “Prada, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, and Fendi made significant gains on the Clair Index,” Layne adds. “Specific models that hold their value include the Fendi Baguette with a 115 percent average retention value, the Prada Re-edition 2000, which carries 112 percent of its original retail value on the resale market, and the Gucci Soho Chain Crossbody, keeping an average of 122 percent of its retail price on the secondary market.” And just in case you aren’t sure what to buy, tote bags and crossbody bags have become two top-selling styles on Rebag. Layne attributes this to their functional qualities.
The buzziest bag from the Clair Report might surprise you, because it isn’t one among the luxury labels—but it has a value retention that exceeds them. “Telfar’s secret sauce is a mix of exclusive limited-edition drops, buzz-worthy sales events like the Telfar Bag Security Program, and the recent Rainbow Bag drop,” Layne shares. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the brand’s products come in a variety of colors and people like Oprah Winfrey, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Dua Lipa, and Beyoncé have been spotted wearing them. But at the end of the day, it’s simple economics. “The demand for the Telfar Shopping Tote outweighs its supply, subsequently raising its value.”
If you’re getting a bag with the idea of potentially reselling it, Layne offers some key tips to keep in your back pocket: “Timeless, classic styles often hold their value,” she says. “Mini editions greatly appreciate in value because they’re produced in lower quantities and have a high demand. Finally, keep the handbags in pristine condition, and aim for handbags with high demand and low supply.”
Dale Arden Chong is the Senior Fashion Commerce Editor at ELLE.com. Previously, she was an editor at MensHealth.com and has written for Who What Wear, GLAMOUR, The Coveteur, and more. She loves fashion, food, and art, among other things—but her greatest love is K-pop idol V of BTS.