Chanel. Hermès Birkin. Louis Vuitton. The names alone make us swoon (admit it—you love those brands too). Attach the names to purses … well, it makes us understand why these handbags are hot. We predicted in our January newsletter that couture handbags were going to be big in 2023. We were right! For people with a large budget, handbag collecting can be fun. In 2019 alone, high-end handbags increased 13 percent in price, with the Hermès Birkin a top choice.

The most expensive handbag ever sold was a white Himalaya crocodile diamond Birkin, auctioned by Christie’s in 2017 for $379,261. The rare Himalaya Birkin was made from Nile crocodile hide and treated with a special dye process which turns it into a unique white that fades to smoky grey.

It is estimated that Hermès makes from 12,000 to 70,000 Birkin bags a year; the actual number is kept secret. And Hermès only sells them to top clients.

New Chanel bags also are skyrocketing in price, going up as high as 17 percent in retail price between February 2023 and March 2023. Chanel SA’s small Classic Flap bag was always a luxury item, but after three price hikes last year, it is selling for $8,200. That is up from $5,200 in 2019. These price hikes are contributing to the increases in price in the used market. 

Here are examples of these pricey bags:

hermes porosus crocodile diamond birkin 25 bag purse handbag

Hermes Porosus Crocodile Birkin 35 Bag, Porosus crocodile leather with shiny black finish, 18K white gold and diamond hardware, sold with clochette, diamond encrusted lock, keys, dust cover, rain jacket, paperwork and box, never used, 10 in. h. by 14 in. w. by 7 in. d., $287,500Photo: GWS Auctions, Inc.


chanel black lambskin small double flap bag purse handbag 2006-2008

Chanel Small Double Flap Bag, quilted black lambskin, gold tone hardware, Grade B condition, includes serial sticker, 2006–’08, 6 in. h. by 9 in. w., 9-in. shoulder drop, $6,986. Photo: Bonhams



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