The Fashion Items You Can Actually Make Money On
Playing the stock market can be lucrative, but for those with sartorial tendencies, it can also be boring. In an age when investing in speculative indexes is all the rage and confidence in cryptocurrency is catapulting, buying rare, limited edition, vintage and designer wares can pay off just as well—if not more than traditional investment opportunities.
But first, it’s important to understand how to increase your return on investment. “If you hope for your purchase to not only accrue value, but to do so in a short period of time, then it’s wise to pay attention to limited edition releases from timeless luxury brands,” says Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing with comparison shopping site DealNews.
Pay attention to limited edition releases from timeless luxury brands
This is especially true of items that aren’t available online, but beyond limited editions, Sakraida says it’s usually safer to stick to brands that have a timeless appeal when considering investment pieces. “The name should connote quality both now and in the future, and that’s difficult to predict from newer brands. Hermès, Chanel, Tiffany & Co. and Rolex are all brands that have persistent value,” says Sakraida.
Nicole Lapin, New York Times bestselling author of Rich Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan for Getting Your Financial Life Together…Finally agrees, but she has some advice for those questioning whether or not they should pull the trigger on a five or six-figure handbag. “I’ve come up with a financial justification for splurging—basically you have to look at the cost of the item, and then you divide it by the times you use the item, factor in some maintenance and see whether that amount is greater than 65 percent of the original price,” says Lapin.
Regardless of how much something costs and how well-known its label may be, investment pieces need to be kept in exceptional condition in the event they end up being resold. “The more wear and tear an item appears to have, the less you’re going to get for it,” says Sakraida. But just because you wear it, doesn’t mean it will lose all of its value. Lapin says, “If you buy wisely, you can enjoy the item while you have it and have the peace of mind that it will retain value if you ever need to sell it.” For this reason, bags can be a better bet than shoes because they’re easier to maintain, even with regular use, whereas, in order for shoes to amass an impressive amount of return, soles should be gently worn at most.
Inflation also plays a role in value—the current rate of inflation is 2.1 percent, meaning a $10,000 purchase in 2007 is the equivalent of $12,000 today. NerdWallet’s consumer savings expert, Courtney Jespersen, says there can be risks involved when making these purchases and that putting money into a retirement fund or high-yield savings account is a better option for some. “Purchasing luxury bags as a side hustle may require a hefty initial investment, possibly thousands of dollars, without a guarantee of the payoff. There’s a risk that your purchase could lose value and be worth less than when you originally bought it,” says Jespersen.
The more wear and tear an item appears to have, the less you’re going to get for it
So what are the gems in your closet that are likely worth more than you paid for them? Alison Stiefel, VP of marketing at ShopStyle says, “We’re seeing luxury iconic handbags trending because shoppers see them as forever classics worth the investment because the value consistently increases year after year.” And surprisingly, there are quite a few sneakers that not only hold their value, but actually command even more than their original price the older they get. “The Golden Goose Deluxe Brand was our number one searched sneaker in 2017 and the Balenciaga Speed Knit Sneaker was a close second,” she says.
For someone like former stylist JoJo Cohen Fleiss, who admittedly has a knack for acquiring investment pieces, holding on to her designer wares allows them to become family heirlooms. “I have a closet full of treasures—including Gucci and Hermès scarves from my late grandmother. I have the first Prada bag I received when I was 13 and even though I haven’t worn it in decades, I’ll never get rid of it,” says Cohen. “I hate to say it, but some of these things are like my version of a pet!”
Here are some of the smartest investment pieces:
The highly coveted, ultra-luxurious Birkin and Kelly bags have always been in demand due to their extremely limited availability. Vestiaire Collective’s United States VIP manager Greta Kuper says the Birkin will never go out of style—hence its hefty price point that begins at roughly $10,000 for the smallest style.
“When purchasing a second-hand Birkin, be sure to closely examine the photos and description of the item," says Kuper. "Vestiaire Collective checks every item to ensure they’re authentic pieces and exactly as described and pictured, checking for significant call outs like measurements or markings." Previously owned Birkin bags easily sell for $10,000 with many styles and sizes selling between $20,000 and $40,000.
CHANEL 2.55 BAG
This classic 2.55 handbag debuted in February 1955 for $220 and currently resells for upwards of $4,900 for both vintage and current styles. Emily Perlstein, stylist and co-founder of luxury denim line La Detresse says, “As a personal shopper, I almost always find a Chanel double flap bag in a woman’s closet. I encourage my clients to resell things to keep their closets organized and full of pieces they actually love and want to wear—but this bag almost always stays.”
These famed timepieces have maintained their position at the top according to The Jewellery Editor because Rolex was the first brand to develop a water-resistant case and they’re second to none in terms of quality. “One of my most coveted items is a Bamford & Sons Rolex," says collector Cohen Fleiss. "I treat purchases like this as a true investment and most of them are insured.”
A basic Rolex Submariner costs about $7,500 and pricing increases from there based on the model and materials used. In 2017, Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona sold for $17.8 million, making it the most expensive watch sold at auction.
PATEK PHILIPPE WATCHES
These watches have been known to set auction house records, partly because it’s rumored that fewer than one million Patek Philippe pieces have been made since 1839, according to auction house Christie's.
Selling for more than double their retail price, a Patek Philippe watch that cost less than $20,000 in the 1980s can presently garner more than $400,000. Today, an entry-level timepiece runs about $20,000 and is almost certain to appreciate over time.
With each style of Kanye West’s eight-year-old shoe company being produced in runs of 40,000, and only 5,000 of his Nike Air Yeezys potentially in existence, it’s no surprise that sneaker blog Sole Collector values many of his sneakers at more than five times their original retail value. The Nike Air Yeezy Red October kicks that were released in February of 2014 for just $250 have an average resell value of $5,631.
“They’re a classic buy, but on trend in both new and vintage styles,” says Kuper. Initially designed in 1953, the horsebit loafer is reinvented every season, yet the original black leather variety remains the most popular style. Currently, the Gucci Jordaan leather loafer retails for $730, though the vintage variety and discontinued styles can sell for around $1,100.
CARTIER LOVE BRACELETS
With an entry-level price of more than $4,000 for a solid yellow gold Love Bracelet and a white gold and diamond-paved one currently available on Cartier’s website for $56,000, these classic adornments hold their value based on the fact that they’re made by an elite, world-renowned jewelry company.
Whereas handbags and shoes can sustain damage easily, jewelry carries value regardless of the brand. “Even if there was no longer a desire for Cartier, a diamond bracelet will always be valuable,” Sakraida notes. Designer resale site The RealReal lists worn bangles starting at $4,195 for an 18k white gold version which sells for $4,350 new.
Though their most popular function of late may be an artistic touch to another accessory, such as wrapped around the handle of an Hermès handbag, these silk scarves have always been associated with luxury. Presently selling for $395 a pop, the 36” x 36” silk squares have sold second hand for as much as a few thousand dollars, depending on the style, season and story behind each sash.
With each one produced in France and silkscreened by hand featuring artwork from various artists such as Hugo Grygkar, Kermit Oliver and Eugene Brunelle, the company’s limited vintage pieces are worth the most. Multiple previously owned cashmere silk shawls are available on The RealReal for $995 and though they’re listed as being in “very good” condition, they may show light wear throughout and can be missing fabric tags.
BURBERRY TRENCH COAT
With its iconic plaid accents and classic double-breasted silhouette, this wardrobe staple currently retails between $795 and $7,000 depending on length, material, and style. What if it rains? Lapin says, “A Burberry trench can hold its value or increase value over time even with use.” In the last few years, the British fashion house has reported an increase in sales, largely due to their UK-made line of premium coats. Used trenches can fetch $1,000, depending on the style.
SUPREME SHIRTS, HOODIES, SHOES, ACCESSORIES
In 2017, this cult streetwear brand was valued at a whopping $1 billion. Known for their super limited releases and artist capsule collections, fans and collectors line up in droves to ensure they’ll get their hands on T-shirts, hoodies, and shoes before they sell out.
What’s even more impressive is the brand’s secondary market value—pieces from the 2017 fall/winter Supreme x Louis Vuitton collection have already sold for double their retail value. A new T-shirt from the collaboration cost $485 and later sold on eBay for $2,500 while a hoodie that retailed for $935 hit the resale market for $5,000.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.