The old adage 'What Goes Up Must Come Down' is undeniably true when it comes to luxury houses. While a brand can be on top one day, with their most popular bags being sold out everywhere, just as quickly as they gained popularity they can become obscure in even less time. Think of Chloe.
Chloe was one of the hottest brands in 2016, 2017, and 2018 with IT bag after IT bag. From the Chloe Drew to the Chloe Nile Bracelet bag to their Chloe Tess bag. When the Chloe Nile was released there were waiting lists and it was near impossible to get your hands on one. Today, Chloe is no where to be seen as you scroll on Instagram or watch unboxings from your favorite YouTubers.
Right now, we don't know when Chloe will rise up again, let alone be back on top. Most brands recover relatively quickly while others suffer for years, even decades. Think Dolce & Gabbana.
I believe Gucci is gaining traction in 2022 especially with their new Blondie bag, I’m in love with it but one can’t deny, that in 2016 and 2017 Gucci was the most popular ‘mainstream’ luxury house, every single blogger and fashion girl on IG and YT featured Gucci non stop and it got oversaturated in the market. Brands, trends, they ebb and flow. Anything that is up at the very top of the popularity ladder will dive down at some point and there’s no denying that Gucci took a massive dive in popularity the past 3 years. Resale value of the Marmont bag arguably their most popular bag in 2017 dropped significantly to well under 60% resale. Gucci has rarely been worn by any of the top fashion bloggers in the past 3 years unless it was for their fashion week shows which dressed the blogger, celebrity, etc.
Many people believe that Chanel and Hermès are always on top, no matter what. While the prestige of both those brands is always going to be at the very top echelon of luxury fashion, in recent years the popularity of the Chanel Classic Flap bags have skyrocketed as has both the Hermès Kelly and Birkin in the smaller 25 sizes and Mini Kelly. The Chanel Classic Flap used to be thought of by most to be an 'older woman's handbag' while today the Chanel Classic flap is synonymous with the trendiest fashionistas on Instagram with girls wearing them across the bodice making them look very contemporary and casual chic as an every day bag.
The same is true with the Hermes Kellys and Birkins in the small sizes. Prices since 2020 have skyrocketed. You used to be able to purchase a Kelly 28 in Black for on average $16,000 USD on the resale market on sites like Fashionphile and the Real Real. If you were happy to purchase a more obscure color and not a neutral you could often find them for $12K-$13K, just a few thousand more than retail. In 2020, 2021, and today in 2022 those prices have more than doubled. You won't be able to find one in close to new condition for less than $30,000 USD with many going for well over $40,000 USD.
Personally, I think we're in a Luxury Bubble. Have you heard what has been happening on the luxury watch market with Rolex? A Submariner that retails for just over $9000 USD (which has been unavailable in store the past 18 months) surged to over $30,000 USD resale and when the crypto market tanked this summer so did the resale value of these watches. You can now find them for $15,000 USD - still well over retail but 50% less than what they were going for just a few months ago.
I believe that if the stock market worsens and we fall into a confirmed recession (some believe we're already there) then the value of Chanel & Hermes will fall back to pre pandemic levels. Hermes and Classic Chanel bags will always retain their value and be worth more than retail but not necessarily 300% to 400% more than retail. Right now it feels like there is nothing exciting other than these classic coveted hard to get handbags but with the ebb and flow of luxury brands I do believe in the next 3 years there will be brands who will rise to the top of the popularity ladder and Chanel Classics and Hermes Birkins & Kellys won't be as saturated as they are today. Whether it's new designers like Daniel Lee at the helm re-imagining these fashion houses as he has done with Bottega Veneta or new exciting brands like Jacquemus emerging, I think several of the following fashion houses who are 'out' will emerge once again on top.
Who's on top?
Who's currently out?
- Miu Miu
- Dolce & Gabanna
- Saint Laurent
Then there's brands who are in a limbo of neither here nor there such as Louis Vuitton, they don't currently have an IT bag such as they did in 2017 with the Pochette Metis and Palm Springs Mini or Dior with their Saddle Bag. Bottega seems to be on it's way out with the chunky chains and pouch clutch style of bags dying out. But who knows what will be released next.
So who's on top today, who's out, and who do you think is on the way out?
Stay tuned for my upcoming video on this topic and other luxury topics.
DV & Cricket