The growing trend of luxury vintage handbags and consignment shopping


Gillespie is also very selective of the brands and types of bags she sells. “By far our most popular brand is Louis Vuitton, and it’s the most common types like the monogram and the checkered Dalmier handbags that sell really well.”

Colour also matters. While limited edition patterns and bright hues may seem more valuable, to Luxe.It.Fwd’s average consumer, black is the shade of choice. Prices also range anywhere from $500 to $27,000 (from Louis Vuttion to Birkin) with the average spend about $1100.

While limited edition patterns and bright hues may seem more valuable, to Luxe.It.Fwd’s average consumer, black is the shade of choice.

“Everyone wants versatility in their bag and colours other than black just won’t fetch the same price,” Gillespie says.

Handbags have always been a large part of Sydney-based luxury consignment boutique Di Nuovo’s business, and founder Viktoria Barber says they “would probably have the highest turnover”.

She says while there’s always been demand for authentic, quality pieces that hold their value and style, clients today are “way more concerned about sustainability”.

The store’s best sellers – which Barber says often go in minutes – include Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Celine, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Prada, Gucci and Chloe. Edgier brands such as Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler and Ulla Johnson are also popular, particularly with younger people.

It was a brown faux-crocodile Vivienne Westwood number valued at $1647 that captured 22-year-old Samarra Ewing-Crellin’s attention on luxury resale site, Vestiaire Collective. The bag, part of the designer’s 1993 Red Label collection, is a smaller version of one walked by model Naomi Campbell that same year.

Ewing-Crellin purchased a brown faux-crocodile Vivienne Westwood bag valued at $1647 on luxury resale site, Vestiaire Collective. Credit: Wayne Taylor

Ewing-Crellin had been wanting something unique and with a story. The ethical consumption part also appealed to her.

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“Buying vintage, when it’s original and not recreated, is good for the environment as well as being cool,” she says.

But how to know you’re getting the real deal? Gillespie recommends buying from a reputable seller where possible.

“Look at the reviews online and make sure the seller has been around for a while,” she advises. “Also look at the description of the condition and ask for photos.”

Make sure to also do your research. “Resellers can over-value their items on marketplaces, so always look online to see how much the bag you want costs elsewhere,” Gillespie says.

Before I purchased my Gucci bag, I did just that, and in the end I got a bargain. While I did get it through Facebook Marketplace, the receipt, dust bag and make of the bag stood the test of quality, enough to convince me I have the real deal.

And besides, it just looks bloody great.

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