Fashion

6 of the World's Most Expensive Designer Bags

Their prices will make your eyes pop.
IMAGE CHRISTIE'S / PREVIEW PH
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This is precisely the kind of math exercise we're fit for. If your idea of thrill-seeking is spinning your own head dizzy with the sheer costliness of things, let us indulge your hobby. It's one we share! An innate love for luxury purses and a fascination with expensive stuff is nothing to be ashamed of. So here, in no particular order, learn a fact or two about some of the world's most expensive designer bags.

1. Chanel Diamond Forever Classic Flap

Our general admiration for Chanel's eternally relevant Classic Flap couldn't have possibly gone unnoticed. Still, nothing is going to beat this! First showcased in 2008, the French house's Diamond Forever handbag looks almost exactly like the usual simple, elegant 2.55; the difference is that, if you peer in even closer, you'll spy that it's made out of fine crocodile leather bejeweled with a whopping 334 diamonds, weighing 3.56 carats in white gold. The name Diamond Forever and those sparkle-strewn double Cs should've been a dead enough giveaway. In addition, the conveniently detachable strap is made out of an 18-karat solid gold chain and can be worn as a necklace or belt. Rarity is also another factor to seriously consider—so far, only 13 of these have ever been created. This beaut costs, give or take, around $270,000. 

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2. Hermès Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Birkin

We know you were waiting for this one. Hermès' most infamous, exotic Birkin bag isn't madly expensive for nothing. Yes, it's made from the supple skin of the Niloticus crocodile, but apart from that, it takes hundreds of hours for the dyeing process alone to lighten the hue of the material. Fun fact: The subtler the coloration, the more difficult it is to craft! As for the topic of names, the Himalaya Birkin's moniker takes its roots from the label's desire to evoke images of the majestic Himalayan peaks, boasting of a rich brown from the mountains' grounds and daintily snowcapped, cloud-grazing white summits.

The most recent Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Birkin came decadently sprinkled with over 240 diamonds encrusted on its 18-karat gold shell and was sold during an auction at Christie's in Hong Kong for roughly $500,000, beating the 2016 sale of a similar purse priced at an already-jawdropping $300,108. Folks sure don't kid around when they say Hermès' value just keeps skyrocketing at an alarming pace every single year.

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3. Louis Vuitton Aluminum Explorer Trunk

Now here's a grand old dame—literally. Although aluminum is currently common and accessible, back in 1892, it was apparently much more precious and difficult to handle than gold, making this Louis Vuitton Explorer Trunk from that same year infinitely priceless. Sort of. Its current estimated tag scales from £50,000 to a mindblowing £100,000. While the luggage itself may actually cost more than its proposed contents, this pricey travel bud is 127 years old and therefore a total historic artifact worth collecting should you have some serious funds to spare. Oh, and you know how chrome-toned suitcases are hot thing right now? Your coveted Rimowa and Tumi may ultimately consider this valued collectible their peg. "Every specialist has an object that they dream of having in their sales," says Matthew Rubinger, Christie’s Head of Handbags and Accessories, of the Explorer Trunk. "The market is full of silver-colored metal trunks, but this piece is their inspiration."

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4. Hermès Rose Gold Kelly

Thought the aforementioned Birkin was the costliest Hermès number on this growing list? Well, you're proven wrong. Meet the Rose Gold Kelly which, as bluntly promised, is crafted out of solid rose gold molded to mimic croc skin. Now that's the redefinition of an embossed effect. And, quite frankly, it's going to set you back a cool $2 million. This is pretty much a piece of jewelry, after all—designed in collaboration with Pierre Hardy and covered in a generous 1160 diamonds, it can be carried conventionally by its little handles or worn dangling around the wrist like a bangle. We reckon it'll be the only statement trinket (putting it lightly, as it's the second most expensive handbag in the world as of 2019) you'll need on a glam night out. Just don't lose it in the fray, because there are only a dozen of these in existence at the moment.

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5. Lana Marks Cleopatra Clutch

Introducing a certified fan favorite among top tier celebrities. Versatile and unassuming, this is no ordinary rectangle. The shimmering yet understated Lana Marks Cleopatra Clutch costs from $100,000 to $400,000 and is exceedingly rare, with each year only seeing one newly made Cleopatra Clutch, each of them varying in color and design. That's a whole new level of 'one-of-a-kind,' and likely the reason it's so sought after.

In case you were wondering about bespoke options and possible customization, bear in mind that, to date, Chinese actress and singer Li Bingbing officially owns the most expensive Cleopatra Clutch. Palm Beach designer Lana Marks herself and the star's stylists brought to life the American alligator leather piece jauntily encrusted with 1600 stunning white diamonds (amounting to a hefty 40 karats, by the way) to match her evening gown at the 2012 Oscars. For an even more intimate, personal touch, blush-hued diamonds and pink gold were also used to lovingly spell out "Li Bingbing" scrawled in gleaming script below the clasp. What's in a name?

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6. Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse

Valued at $3.8 million, the Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse has been crowned the globe's most expensive handbag ever, a title it has gloriously retained since 2011. The pinnacle of token Middle Eastern glamour, the United Arab Emirates-based luxury company has always had a penchant for catering to the wealthiest's whims; it holds five Guinness World Records for producing some of the most exorbitantly costly items on the planet. The famous quintet naturally includes the heart padlock shaped Purse, a handcrafted 18-karat gold masterpiece created by hardworking artisans who dedicated 8800 hours to its production. Time is money, as they often say. It comes adorned in its full, blinding glory with 4517 diamonds—that equals 105 yellow diamonds, 56 pink diamonds, and 4356 colorless diamonds in total. 

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*This story originally appeared on Preview.ph

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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