The world today is crazy, topsy-turvy, and increasingly seems to be going to the dogs. With that in mind, now is as good a time as ever to rethink global currency, and perhaps consider luxury handbags on the same level as gold or diamonds. Do I understand the economy? A little. But I definitely know that Hermès Birkin bags are oft auctioned at Christie’s, and can run upwards of $10, even $20 grand. I also know that re-pricing a Ferrari as “16 Birkins” has a nice ring to it.
Recently, Bloomberg reported that the sales numbers for Hermès leather goods have increased—quite a feat in the declining luxury market. Hermès did this by allowing more bags to be sold in the first place. The storied French brand initially created exclusivity by deliberately making its products scarce (who hasn’t heard of the fabled Birkin waiting list?). But the brand doesn’t need to rely on scarcity to ensure exclusivity anymore—in this economy, its products’ price points already do that.
Chanel, meanwhile, has employed a different tactic to ensure exclusivity: raise the prices. Last month, Baghunter reported that Chanel’s 2.55 bag (its Medium Classic Flap Bag) had increased in value by 70% in the last six years, rising eight times faster than inflation in the United States.