9 Best Designer Brands To Invest In, For Value Retention & Appreciation
Many people see the purchase of high-end items as a long-term investment. However, a high price tag isn’t necessarily a guarantee of long-term value retention.
If you’re buying something for its potential resale value, you need to know what holds its value over time and what doesn’t. Some bags also appreciate in value, though as it’s harder to judge what will go up in price, I prefer to look at value retention.
Below is a list of the best designer brands to invest in.
What began as a Florentine luggage shop in 1921 has grown into a worldwide fashion powerhouse known as Gucci. Like other high-end designers, Gucci bags tend to retain their value over time.
Most of the brand’s handbags maintain up to 80 percent of their original value. Designs in high demand but produced in limited quantities maintain between 100% and 120% of their actual value.
The brand’s bags are a worthwhile investment because they feature classic looks, the finest workmanship, and high-quality materials. Although expensive, they’re well worth the cost.
For instance, you can get a Gucci bag for $3,000. If you treat it well, it could hold its value for years to come. Or depending on the style and the design, the bag’s worth could increase by 5 to 20 percent. It doesn’t matter how often you use it. If it’s in excellent shape, the value will only increase.
Furthermore, the scarcer a given design is, the more money it will fetch you. Gucci classic handbags came up in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Assuming you have one still in good shape, the resale value on the second-hand market is quite impressive.
The classic designs are rare because the brand stopped selling in-store and online. In addition, Gucci only produces a limited number of items when unveiling new designs. However, the handbags are still in high demand on the secondary market and will fetch you double their retail price.
A Gucci belt also retains its value. It’s possible to dress the belt up or down and assist in elevating any outfit, rendering it popular among millennials.
The belt is made from full-grain leather and has an antique brass buckle, so it will age gracefully with only minor watermarks and imperfections. Due to Gucci’s rigorous quality assurance procedures and instantly recognizable emblem, the belt is unquestionably worthwhile.
2. Louis Vuitton
The French luxury brand opened its doors in 1854. The brand has become synonymous with inventive designs, flawless craftsmanship, and easily recognizable logo print. Louis Vuitton enjoys consistent popularity as one of the world’s biggest luxury brands.
Many of Louis Vuitton’s vintage handbag models are still among the brand’s best-sellers today, and each design has its fascinating backstory. Their products are evergreen items on bag enthusiasts’ wish lists, given the brand’s association with elegance.
Furthermore, the brand has launched several limited-edition collections and collaborative lines that are highly sought after and often fetch double their initial purchase price. They’ve stood the test of time as a reputable brand to invest in because many of their bags sell for more than their retail price.
While Louis Vuitton’s creations are luxurious, some styles are better investments than others. But even if your bag’s value doesn’t increase over time, there’s still a good chance you’ll keep a bigger portion of your initial investment on them if you choose wisely.
For instance, Neverfull’s resale value is roughly 91%. A monogram Louis Vuitton Neverfull that’s in pristine condition and still has its tags attached can fetch as much as 96% of its retail price.
On the other hand, a Louis Vuitton Bum Bag may give you a resale value of 119% of the original price. The bag’s high resale value is attributable to its availability in many variations that sell quickly and are in high demand. So long as its production is at low quantities, it would be best if you fetched more than the retail price.
Chanel’s birth dates back to 1910. Chanel uses only the finest materials and craftsmen to produce its products. Although the products are machine-stitched under close supervision, the fabric is hand-cut and shaped to ensure a flawless fit.
The brand produces bags in small quantities meaning supply can’t keep up with the demand. That translates into high prices because the products’ rarity renders them a favorite. The rising prices of Chanel handbags on their primary market results in a rise in the bags’ resale value.
The brand’s average value retention is 87 percent, but certain bags retain more than 100 percent of their original value. For instance, if you spent $4,900 on a Chanel bag in 2015, it can fetch $8,000 to $10,000 on the secondary market today, depending on the size and condition.
A thriving secondary market joint with demand implies that Chanel’s products will forever hold some universally distinct attraction that compels individuals to spend more on them.
The French luxury brand came up in 1837 as a harness workshop in Paris. Today, the brand’s high price tag reflects the meticulous workmanship, unique appeal, and groundbreaking designs that go into producing each item.
The exclusivity of Hermès products is a significant reason many people prefer them. Even though an official Hermès waiting list doesn’t exist, there’s still a wait time until you can get your hands on that coveted Birkin or Kelly.
The Birkin is the brand’s most sought-after release. The bag’s appeal has grown because it’s a favorite for renowned personalities such as Victoria Beckham, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Kate Moss. The demand for Birkin bags goes far beyond the retail and primary markets.
Prices for authentic Birkin handbags can go up to $223,000 on the secondary market, while they often sell for between $9,000 and $150,000. If you are lucky enough to acquire one of the brand’s products, it can fetch you double its retail price.
Prada is among the world’s giant luxury brands, established in 1913. Prada handbags have a reputation for retaining value over time. If you decide to resell your Prada bag, you’ll most likely earn more than you spent because some models’ prices go up yearly.
On average, most Prada handbags cost 100 percent to 122 percent of their original price. The bag’s value may continue rising consistently depending on how popular a given design remains.
The Prada Re-Edition Nylon Mini Bag is a prime example. The bag came into the market in 2020 with an introductory price of $495. It was such a successful moneymaker for the brand that they ran out of stock everywhere. A year later, the bag retailed at $650 due to the massive demand.
Prada handbags retain their value since they feature long-lasting materials. The brand’s distinctive re-nylon is eco-friendly and well-known for its durability. Furthermore, Prada’s go-to Saffiano leather is waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about carrying it in the rain.
The brand’s innovative designs also drive the bags’ resale prices. Because of their durability and timeless aesthetic, classic designs tend to fetch higher prices on the second-hand market. That’s particularly true for classic bags in gray, beige, brown white, and black that can match any outfit. In addition, the brand produces its bags in small quantities, rendering them rare.
The brand’s inception dates back over a hundred years ago. For watch lovers and non-lovers, a Rolex is a smart purchase due to the brand’s unrivaled reputation for quality. The brand focuses on high-quality workmanship and aesthetically pleasing designs.
Since its inception, Rolex watches maintains or even increases value, partially because of the following things:
- Stringent price controls
- Limited production
- High brand equity
The Rolex Submariner and the GMT Master are the two most iconic and sought-after watch models in the brand’s collection. The models are popular with both sexes and have a classic look, rendering them an excellent investment choice.
Rolex watches maintain strong demand relative to the number of pieces made available each year. The brand’s allure largely stems from its rarity. Consequently, the demand for second-hand Rolex watches outstrips supply, keeping prices high.
Currently, the luxury watch market is approximately $20 billion, with Swiss timepieces such as Rolex offering a safe investment in times of economic uncertainty.
If you successfully acquire a new Rolex, you stand to make a profit of up to $10,000. For example, the selling price of a Rolex Submariner was $7,375 in 2010 but now retails at $9,500.
You can expect the price to be higher on the secondary market. Despite the rise and fall of luxury brands, Rolex will still have loyal followers because of its classiness, reliable functionality, and prestigious reputation.
Originally, Supreme was just a skate store in Manhattan’s SoHo district. Today, it’s among the most successful fashion labels worldwide, and it’s definitely a designer brand to invest in. The popular streetwear label was worth a staggering $1 billion in 2017. Fans and collectors wait in long lines to buy t-shirts, hoodies, and shoes. The brand’s reputation stems from its limited offerings and artist capsule collections.
The most recognizable aspect of Supreme’s design is the box logo. The brand appropriates imagery by modifying pop-cultural symbols and trademarks so that the designs resemble contemporary art or graffiti rather than a clothing line. Supreme has a design with famous phrases printed, enabling wearers to communicate through their attire.
The brand’s worth on the second-hand market is by far outstanding. It’s common knowledge that a product’s price increases when supply is low, and demand is high. Supreme only distributes a limited number of their merchandise at a time.
The rarity means you can buy at a cheaper retail price and sell for more on the second-hand market. The price can even be ten times more than the retail price.
The Supreme x Louis Vuitton collaboration was undoubtedly the greatest and most successful in streetwear’s history. A t-shirt from the partnership retailing at $485 had a resale value of $2,500 on eBay, whereas a $935 hoodie fetched $5,000.
8. Christian Louboutin
Christian Louboutin is among the most popular shoe designers in the world. The shoes’ red soles have become widely recognized as a sign of elegance and fame. Today, the brand sells more than one million pairs of shoes annually.
Most people won’t look at you twice when you mention wearing or even purchasing previously owned shoes, but not when the shoes in question are a pair of Christian Louboutins. There aren’t many shoe brands that can stand the test of time, but as long as they have that iconic red sole, you’re good to go.
The shoes retain their value because of their perennial appeal. If you maintain them properly and choose more adaptable and classic styles, you should have no trouble selling them later. The Follies Strass pump retails for $1,195 new and can fetch up to $1,025 on the thriving secondary market.
Founded in 1847, Cartier is a French luxury goods designer and manufacturer known for its exquisite timepieces and jewels.
Investing in a piece of Cartier jewelry is a secure bet, as it maintains its worth and appreciates with time. That’s because of the meticulous work that goes into producing the gorgeous pieces to give them the luxurious feel that fine jewelry collectors adore.
The world’s monarchs and famous people have worn the Cartier throughout history. The brand’s association with wealth contributes to its rising popularity and appeal. The brand’s prominence translates into premium prices and the opportunity to purchase and sell second-hand pieces for a value higher than the retail price.
For instance, the Cartier Love bracelet is among the most prized luxury items. The bracelet retailed at $250 during its early days in the market in 1969. The same bracelet now retails at $6,550.
Therefore, depending on where you bought yours, it may have risen above its original retail price. Even if your jewelry’s value doesn’t increase with time, it will retain a huge proportion of its original worth in the secondary.
Cartier’s reputation for excellence originates from more than just its historical significance. The brand produces jewelry using the finest materials, including solid gold and high-grade diamond. That means that the products are less susceptible to wear and tear.
Even if there were suddenly no interest in Cartier, a diamond bracelet would still be worth a lot of money. RealReal’s listing for pre-owned bangles begins at $4,195 for an 18k white gold version that retails for $4,350 when new.
Top Designer Brands To Invest In, Closing Thoughts
Since the luxury industry is so wide, it might be challenging to identify the best designer brands to invest in.
If chosen carefully, a designer item will fetch double its original value in the second-hand market and serve as a fantastic treasure. And because it’s hard to foresee the future success of modern designer brands, your best bet is acquiring items from brands that offer a timeless appeal. We hope our guide on the best designer brands to invest in was helpful.