Purchasing an expensive bag can be a commemorative life moment. More likely than not, you’re buying to celebrate a big achievement, like a job promotion. As such, it should be an investment, one that will hopefully increase over time. Luxury goods, including bags, can generate some major income. Studies have shown that an Hermès Birkin bag is a better bet than gold. Chanel bags also tend to appreciate, sometimes up to three percent a year, and Louis Vuitton bags have long been considered an investment purchase. There are people who play the stock market, and there are people who play bags.
While Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel have long reigned supreme in this world, there is another label in town that is creeping into this rarefied territory: Bottega Veneta. The bags have enjoyed an unbelievable amount of hype since Daniel Lee took the helm of the Italian brand in 2019. His squish-able, sometimes thatched leather purses are undeniable It bags. They infiltrate my feed, street style photos, and daily life. I am blinded by the little stomach-shaped Jodies in a shade of lime that reminds me of Nickelodeon Slime, and the classically shaped square Cassette with its puffy Interaccio leather. A few weeks ago, our Slack channel blew up with images of Victoria Beckham trotting around New York City carrying two versions of Bottega Veneta bags. Clutching them to her chest like a football, she showed them off front and centre.
People will go to great lengths to get these bags. One colleague who is often in New Jersey told me that women from New York were travelling across the Hudson to a newly opened shopping mall with a Bottega Veneta store in lieu of the brand’s Madison Ave shop to beat the New York sales tax. After all, these bags aren’t cheap: The Cassette retails for $4,100; the Pouch is priced at a cool $3,690; and the Jodie is $1,900. When I put out a request on my Instagram feed, asking who had the pieces, the answers flew in. People were scooping up these bags at retail, too. One person told me she bought three! Another colleague DM’d me that her friend who works in a Bottega Veneta store told her it’s “hard to keep product on the shelves.”
The demand is so great that it has increased resale price. The luxury resale e-commerce site Rebag, which specialises in bags, watches, and high-end accessories, released its annual Clair report in mid-October, which shows that the Bottega pieces can sell for a pretty penny. The Chain Cassette Crossbody maintains 87 percent of its value when it is resold; the Chain Pouch maintains 80 percent, and the Jodie maintains 90 percent. The Pouch Intrecciato Nappa, which looks like a nondescript feed bag save for the house’s storied weaving technique, has increased 45 percent in value, meaning Rebag would pay almost half as much for the bag than the year prior. According to a rep from Rebag, Bottega styles like the Pouch 20, Cassette Crossbody, and Padded Cassette have all sold for over their retail value. While the Bottega bags in Parakeet, the aforementioned green, are perhaps the best well known, more classic shades such as black, navy blue, brown, and burgundy tend to sell better than other colours, according to Rebag.
While the brand has received a significant bump in the past few years, it isn’t quite at the “unicorn” level of Hermès or Chanel. But Bottega Veneta has crossed over from being considered a high-risk purchase—i.e., a bag that holds 40 percent of its retail value or less at resale, according to Rebag—to a low-risk buy. In the low-risk category on Rebag, Bottega ranks higher than Celine, Prada, and Fendi, and slightly higher than Balenciaga. Though Bottega Veneta sits below the “safe bet” category, which includes Gucci, Dior, and Saint Laurent, it’s not by much.
Still, the jury is out on whether or not people are buying these bags as an investment. Bottega Veneta’s quick rise to trendiness might deter some from even believing it is a safe bet rather than a passing fad. According to P.R. rep Sophie Gubernik, she bought the piece, naturally, because she liked it, later adding, “I’m not sure these are actually a good investment, because they seem too trendy to have staying power.” Writer Dena Silver, who purchased a Mini Jodie in green from Net-a-Porter, also agreed. “I bought it as a gift for myself for getting a new job and thought it would be a good investment,” she writes. “But I worry that it’s now a super-trendy bag.” Other comments followed the same train of thought. As for whether the bag will continue to hold its value five or 10 years down the road, the jury is still out. There simply might not be enough data. Though even if a BV suddenly experienced a downturn, there is still hope there would be a comeback. “But as we’ve seen time and time again, handbags like the Dior Saddle, Balenciaga City, and Fendi Baguette have the potential to make a comeback and their return on investment increases as they come back into trend,” says Rebag’s CEO, Charles Gorra. However, regardless of the bags’ trendiness—and whether or not that is fleeting—the numbers are there for now. They’re great bags and the demand is there. What more can you ask for?
Padded top handle bag
Chain Cassette crossbody bag
Padded Cassette crossbody bag
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.