‘Floopy’ Birkins are in the news again.
Last year I noticed the move towards not-so-pristine heritage handbags, the kind that look like they’ve been inherited from a wealthy aunt rather than bought box fresh from Luxury Promise. Vogue Business (pay wall) has dug deeper into the phenomenon with new stats from The RealReal that show people are buying visibly lived-in Hermès Birkins and Chanel Double Flaps at a lower price than the ‘mint’ standard usually expected on vintage sites. In the past, luxury resale sites wouldn’t really entertain shabbily treated luxury bags, so it’s very revealing to note the shift.
According to The RealReal’s 2023 Luxury Consignment report, demand has doubled for luxury bags in ‘fair’ condition since the site started accepting them for resale last year. In a global cost of living crisis, it seems there’s still many a consumer who wants to flex a status bag. These lived-in luxuries provide a gateway for those consumers, letting them buy them for 33% less than their ‘perfect’ cousins. In the ‘fair’ condition category, unsurprisingly 60% of the market goes to heritage brands – Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermès and co.
As Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute commented in the FT while discussing the resilience of legacy brands and how they retain their perceived value in the current financial climate, “they’ve targeted a mindset, rather than a demographic. [And the mindset is] ‘Grandma (or Great-Grandma), can I borrow that Kelly bag?’”
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Mary-Kate Olsen
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