Nothing says more about a woman than the handbag she’s carrying. The most elegant outfit can be ruined by the wrong handbag, which might be too small or too big, too flashy or simply plain. No wonder women spend considerable time and money looking for the perfect handbag.
Vintage handbags are the most sought after as decades ago companies were more selective about the materials they used and, let’s be honest, craftsmanship was valued more than today.
The most appealing aspect of a vintage handbag is its uniqueness. If you manage to get your hands of an item made 20 or 30 years ago, you can be certain no one will be carrying a similar one at a party or a reception. You will stand out of the crowd even in a room where the rest of the women boast expensive novelty items. A vintage handbag is not about money, but about class. What it says about you is that you’re a connoisseur, you know all about good quality bags, you’re a discernible consumer able to distinguish between something that’s merely expensive and a piece of excellent craftsmanship.
Who doesn’t dream of having a vintage Hermes Birkin from the late 1980s, just one piece you can be sure was handmade from real, maybe even exotic leather. Why settle for a mass-produced item, when you could have a Birkin bag, made in France, hand-sewn, painted and polished over several days. And all that work just for you!
Did you know that the Birkin bag was created in 1983? The company’s chief executive, Jean-Louis Dumas, happened to be seated on a plane right next to famous actress Jane Birkin, who complained she needed a bigger bag. The first Birkin was made for her and this is how the world’s most famous luxury handbags’ line was born.
Now, you might be lucky and discover a real treasure forgotten in your mother’s closet, but not everything that is old is automatically precious.
Here are a few things to consider before buying a vintage bag.
Whenever you find an item listed as vintage, you need to do some research and see if a particular brand really did make such handbags 30 years ago and try to find elements to confirm its authenticity. Designer provenance matters and the most valuable brands on the vintage market are Hermes, Chanel, and Gucci. For instance, you can look for the signature saddle stitching to test a Hermes Birkin bag authenticity.
Condition of the bag
You have to expect some wear and tear signs on a vintage item, like the rubbed edges on the bottom. You’ll probably want one that looks as good as new, but should you find one in poorer condition, remember that a good leather expert can work wonders with it.
Designer handbags will cost you a pretty penny, no doubt about that, but you can also be extremely lucky and find really good deals. Ah, well, price is always relative and mere money shouldn’t stand between a woman and a handbag she falls in love with, right?
We all know how hard it is to find certain luxury items and in the vintage market scarcity is even more of a problem. If you happen to find a handbag you like, don’t hesitate too much or someone else will snatch it up.