Luxury bag prices to rocket even higher!!!

bottegacroc78k.jpgBlackDiamondBirkin07.jpg

Bottega woven croc: $78,000 Crocodile birkin with diamonds: $148,000

Is leather the new diamonds? Bag prices have been steadily climbing for several years yet retailers say they have not reached their potential ceiling?!?! Terry Lundgren, CEO of Federated Department Stores, described it as “To infinity and beyond!” It’s not unusual to see prices of luxury bags range from $5,000 – $148,000 these days, steep even for Bag Snob standards but they plan to increase them even more? How stupid do they think we are? It’s not as if some miracle cream has been added that will banish cellulite and wrinkles when you come in contact with the bags (which would actually make it priceless). Industry sources say component costs are higher but come on, it’s leather, a by product for goodness sake! Popularity of exotic skins are also to blame and you all know I adore croc and python but I won’t stand being taken advantage of!

Almost every luxury brand has a bag in the 5 figures nowadays. So who are regularly buying $10,000 bags? Mostly Europeans who take advantage of the weak dollar, namely consumers from England, Germany, Italy and Russia. And there are clients on waitlists for crocodile birkins with diamonds that costs $148,000! There is no reason why a bag should cost that much, I don’t care if it’s made of crocodile with diamonds on the hardware. In a world of strife and conflict, it seems ridiculous to be spending this kind of money on a bag. But what do I know, I’m just a girl blogging about her obsession of bags. Seriously, I love bags more than anyone but I have my limits. I study all the bags available and make informed choices each season to add to my collection. And yes, I buy more than one bag a season, but I have a vast wardrobe of bags that range from funky inexpensive clutches to Hermes birkins and it’s a collection I have slowly built in the last 20 years since I was 16 and it’s filled with classics, not “it” bags that cost more than cars.

Even our beloved Bottega Veneta has a crocodile bag this season priced at $78,000, what, was that crocodile fed caviar and champagne and given regular IPL peels and facials? Women who pay $100,000 for special bags claim it guarantees they have a bag their friends don’t own. I, too covet special bags noone else has, but I am not insane.

Wait ’til Kelly hears about this, she is going to hit the roof. We’ve long discussed launching our own line of luxurious bags at reasonable prices. Perhaps it’s time we did. What do you think? How much are you willing to pay for luxury?

Photos: Bottega.com and Doyle New York Source: WWD

34 thoughts on “Luxury bag prices to rocket even higher!!!

  1. divaliscious11 on said:

    I remember there being some discussion shortly after Katrina that croc bag prices were going to skyrocket because of the destruction of the breeding farms – apparently something like 90% of the crocodile used for bags/shoes comes from the NOLA area, but you are right. There is a limit. What I find most insane are the asking prices for the uber-trendy bags. I have no qualms paying whatever I feel like paying for a bag, but not if the bag will be dated in 6 months. That’s why if you go with classics, you actually get your money’s worth IMO…..

  2. We’re all waiting for you gals to come out with a line, so hurry up already :)

    In all seriousness though, handbag prices have been ridiculous. I try to keep my purchases to $1,000 and under per bag and only one bag per season (though this is tough). The last bag I bought was an Anya Hindmarch teal mock croc carker on sale at her boutique for half off!

  3. fashion neophyte on said:

    Even if I HAD $78,000.00 for a luxury item (and for purposes of clarity, I don’t) it would not be on that bag. Pretty as they may be, not a style I’d drop that kind of money on.

    I’m throwing yours and Kelly’s hat into the ring. Start designing. I’ll do your licensing agreements.

  4. thank you for this post. i was actually thinking about this the other day, and it was starting to make me feel a bit depressed. who are we, in the pursuit of luxury and style, to be spending so much money on such items? there has to be a limit or else it’s just socially irresponsible. i’m glad that even though the bagsnobs could seemingly snap up whatever 5-digit, fabulous bag they wanted, there is a sense of restraint and thoughtfulness in their purchases!

  5. You’re right selling bags that are worth more then a car is just ridiculous. It’s hard enough to afford nice bags since I’m still in school…I get to settle for whatever down the line “inspired” bags juicy couture or whatever label decides to design.

  6. You guys should definitely start your own bag line. I have wanted to do the same for quite some time. I totally agree with the first comment above. I don’t mind spending a good amount on a great quality bag that will last for years, but $78,000 is EXCESSIVE. You could buy a beautiful crocodile Birkin and still have $40,000 left over to donate to charity.

  7. Well Said!! It’s one thing to love fashion and be a collector- as long as you have your priorities in order. But, this will pass as all trends do- and the classics will remain at the top…

  8. Hi-

    I just remembered that I have seen that Birkin before. It was on the last page in Vogue about 3-5 years ago, not more. It was $68,000 thousand dollars. I am dying to know why it is now $80,000 dollars more ?

  9. Katie in the Titanium Triangle on said:

    Okay, so while the croc & diamond Birkin is totally fabulous, someone has GOT to be out of thier proverbial mind to spend that amount of money on a bag.

    Hubby and I had this discussion about the Birkin last week in regards to what bags I would buy should I hit the lottery or some other cataclismic event that dropped a ton of money into our laps, and we came up with this:

    Yes, I would probably run out and shop my little heart out, however, I would never buy something as ridiculously expensive as a diamond encrusted birkin. Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE diamonds, but not on my bags, and definitely not with that price tag attached.

    It’s ridiculous to think that a bag would cost as much as a Porsche. And that some poor idiot would actually pay for it.

    Oh, the woes of being a minion to the fahion beast. But at least this minion has her limits, too.

  10. Thank you for posting about this. When you design your bag, please add my name to the top of the list. It’s nice to know we all have our own restraints.

  11. Bag Snob Tina on said:

    Irena is right, the croc birkin with diamonds has risen dramatically in price. Mostly because there are women who, in the pursuit of happiness through material things, will buy them. I am not saying I don’t indulge in a nice birkin occasionally and dream of a graphite croc myself(without diamonds thank you) but where do we draw the line between fabulousness and stupidity? I am not interested in keeping up with the Joneses. I will buy a $50 bag if I love it, price, for me, is not the sole determinant of a great bag but retailers seem to think that it is, which is why they keep raising prices.

    Buy what you love ladies and what you can afford (whether it’s a $195 clutch or a $2,000 Chanel classic) but don’t buy it just so you can have it on your arm as a trophy because at the end of the day, no one really cares.

    xoxo

    Bag Snob

  12. You know what you girls? You could do really, really well designing your own line of bags, especially priced from the $150 (clutches) to $500 mark. You know what’s chic, you aren’t gimmicky (cough, here’s looking at YOU marc jacobs), and you’re not so pretentious that you think if a girl can’t afford to fork out a couple of thousand dollars for a bag, she doesn’t have style.

  13. I totally agree with eclair. I trust you gals’ sense of style, and you don’t go for those gimmicky trends.

    I love bags to death, but as a college student, I can’t afford anything. As I’m about to graduate, it depresses me that although I’ve worked so hard these past 4 years, I will not be able to afford any bags (or anything for that matter of fact) when all the price on everything is so inflated, but salaries haven’t. Ugh!

  14. Never mind Leonardo and Jennifer in Blood Diamonds….how about Tina and Kelly in Blood Birkins? As always, absolutely, spot on, correct. Love you two for telling it exactly like it is.

  15. Great idea! A line of tasteful and classic bags made from the most luscious leathers, I can’t wait. My bag collection consists of a handsome chocolate medium Muse and a Petroleum blue Francesco Biasa hobo. The 2 bags differ greatly in price. While my Muse is more indestructable, I often ask myself if I would have bought the Muse if I had had met Petrol first. I think the Furla, Biasa price range would be great for you guys. You could have more pizzazz than Furla and more taste than Biasa. I also feel that stylish wallets are very rare and it’ll be great if you gals could work on that too.

  16. I just saw a Birkin with diamonds on ebay that sold for $40,000. Who pays that kind of money for a bag??? I paid $4,000 for a Hermes Kelly and I thought that it was alot of money. I agree…you should start producing your own bags made with Connolly leather…I would definitely buy one (or more) from you!!!

  17. Interesting, interesting story…when you consider most people in the world don’t even live in HOUSES worth $148,000! Wow. I love reading BagSnob (and BeautySnob!). You girls are very informative & always make me laugh. See you soon!

  18. Lauren, London on said:

    Who are the people going out and paying that amount for a bag? Insane!

    I love a bag, as we all do on here but there are limits as to how much a bag is actually worth and they are way over stepping the mark with those prices!

  19. My goodness. . . I can NOT believe how expensive these bags are! Who on earth is buying them at these prices? Pretty much only Oprah can afford them at that price, and you know that she’s not crazy either, so it isn’t her. I don’t know many people that can afford to put down $2000-$5000 on a bag, and I live in the OC!

    I’m trying to be more like a bag snob girl. . . practical, fab bags that will last for a lifetime only. I have 3 classic Michael Kors bags, some of the more laid bag leather Coach bags and just this weekend bought the biggest of my purchases so far- a tan Tod’s tote! I have dreamed of this bag for a long time!

    I beg you girls to put out your own line- you would do so well! With the style you have and a great price point, you could build a great empire! I volunteer to do product testing!

  20. All i have to say is “WoW”

  21. Wow! There is something called diminishing returns…Lucky for the luxury companies, there are some women out there who don’t understand the concept!

    I read recently that the rise in the price of bags over the past five to ten years is the result of two key trends.

    First, women are continuing to snap up bags season after season despite rising prices. There are bags that designers were charging $600 for, say, 6 or 7 years ago, that now cost $1200. I really don’t know what is behind this trend other than women demonstrating strong demand for such bags even at higher prices, which let bag producing companies know that we’ll pay that much, so that now every decent bag costs about $1000 today. I suppose the dollar-euro exchange rate was a factor in the price increase, although it doesn’t explain a 100% price increase in your basic high quality leather bag. It seems to me that in recent years fashion houses have begun to focus more on the business side of things than they used to…and if that is actually true then I wonder if they raised prices of bags in part because they generate so much revenue.

    One reason I’ve heard for luxury companies producing $148,000 bags is that there is a sense that luxury has been “democratized,” so luxury brands feel they have to produce outrageously exclusive items to maintain their “prestige”…

    Enjoyed the post. I totally agree with your shopping philosophy!

  22. Thanks for the info Elsa, you are, as always, our smartest blogger friend :)

    xoxo

  23. I think that prices for the bags are already too high. It is not just the amount but WHAT you get for the money. For example, I looked at Gucci Bags and was appalled. How stupid do they think I am? It probably costs them 50 bucks to produce and they want 1000 for it? Just because everybody is charging 1000$+ NO WAY!

    And in Europe they cost the same therefore it’s not just the $. And believe me I compared!

    BTW I think Hermes does this crocodile-diamond number for marketing purposes. Haw many of those do they actually sell? But we wouldn’t have this conversation about a regular black Birkin ;-)

    Just my 2cents

    Tinka

  24. miss ghesquiere on said:

    Christine, you asked who buys these bags? its the RUSSIANS! and the saudis, of course. i am terribly sorry but mopst just really don’t care about what they buy as long as its flashy and the more expensive than what their friends have. I’ve seen these women buy up an entire store with their 12 year old daughters in one sitting in Dubai and Rome and London and Sardinia! Its ridiculous! Anyways, the prices nowadays are completely insane! They expect us all to be teenage poptart-wannabes following the likes of Lindsay Lohan and stuff, buying up seasonal bags for no less that five thousand dollars a pop! Absolutely preposterous considering that most of them will go out after two seconds and look… well, cheap!

  25. THIS IS UTTERLY RIDICULOUS. WHO CAN AFFORD A BAG LIKE THIS?? CERTAINLY NOT NORMAL PEOPLE WHO SPEND THEIR MONEY ON SENSIBLE THINGS LIKE RENT! THE DESIGNERS OF THESES BAGS SHOULD BE ASHAMED, NOT ONLY FOR KILLING ANIMALS, BUT FOR MAKING A HUGE PROFIT ON IT. I AM UTTERLY DISGUSTED.

  26. Kristy Victoria on said:

    I just made my first significant purse purchase last year for $120 – it was a huge scary step for me! I know lots of people are used to spending more than that on a purse but I just don’t have the money to and so it was a very special treat for me. I’d like to see some really unique and interesting but affordable bags for those of us who are not making that kind of money!

  27. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!!!! I think that the prices of handbags are really becoming a serious problem!!! It makes no sense of having a bag that costs more then a house on your arm…..seriously!!! However, it is FASHION….and it is about being gaudy and vulgar….even if the price comes into play!!!! Here in NYC….a woman who carries her HERMES BIRKIN is looked at as a GODDESS….its all about STATUS!!!

  28. this is ridiculous. i’m a fan of hermes, and i think it’s more classy than louis vuitton and not putting ugly monogram on their product. but 150000 us dollar for a goddamn bag? the person who buys it should go to hell.. coz she should donate it. people spent years to develop new technology and make new cars, but what about a bag? nothing? even those croc bag cost over 50000 are too much. it’s more than a c class merc. how much money does hermes make out of that? i really want to find out.

  29. Just ran across this great rant about luxe bags! With more & more young consumers (teens, 20s, early 30s) having access to higher & higher disposable income & spending that income on luxury bags (among other material things), we older women (40s, 50s, 60s & beyond) often feel compelled to reach even higher (or dig even deeper in our pockets) for our own handbags (labelwise/price-wise) because we don’t want to be carrying the same styles/brands as our daughters/granddaughters/etc. I remember when Coach was high-end for me; now, every pre-teen in middle school in suburbia has one or more Coach bags; same for Dooney & Burke and other brands as well. The same is true for clothing too; I don’t want to wear the same brand clothing as my own 20-something-year-old kids, yet I want quality, modern clothing (but not “too-young” low-slung jeans either!). Unfortunately, I am not super-wealthy with tons of disposable income; this is another reason the middle- and upper-middle class is becoming poorer and poorer. If only we didn’t crave & love all the stuff that we see in magazines, on TV and in stores! Of course, some material things are way over the top, like that $148,000 Birkin bag. But you know what? Our culture has created and embraced the celebs who are wealthy & imbecilic enough to buy those ridiculously priced items. Do you realize what the average movie star earns per picture? Or our ball players’ salaries? TV celebs? (Yet our teachers and now even doctors, except surgeons who don’t accept insurance, are barely eking by!) Regarding charitable donations that several people commented on: In a perfect or socialistic world, we would all donate part of our earnings to charities, that’s true; but don’t assume that the person who spends thousands on a handbag is not also donating thousands (or even millions) to charity each year–because she probably is. And regardless of whether she is or isn’t, it’s really not anyone’s business. Yes, it would be nice to think that we all want to rid the world of AIDS, save Darfur and dolphins, but you can’t dictate what your neighbor does with her own earnings–she might think that her lower-earning acquaintance shouldn’t be wasting money (& calories) on fast food, and should be saving up money instead to purchase a home or car–there are many poorer people out there who squander lots of cash on overpriced, unhealthy food & snacks, video games, Lotto tickets, etc. The point is: To each her (& his) own. What’s good for one person isn’t necessarily good for another. And bless those who can afford to buy a diamond-encrusted Birkin without batting an eyelash! Hey, thanks for letting me have my own rant here. This was a first for me & it was fun!

  30. Haha, yeah it sucks but it’s really no surprise to me. Sadly, most women I know would probably pay double for the bags they so desperately need! lol. If I bought every hobo bag I fell in love with I’d be a hobo for sure. That’s why I choose to rent!

  31. I also consider me a “bag lady” but my Budget is the key factor to determine my purchase.

    I always look for great design.I will pay for what appeals to me estheticly,however within reason.

  32. Expensive bags but are really nice…

  33. Hi, Do you want to purchase unique luxury handbags for special events? Well, those unique accessories can make you feel appreciated and sympathized anywhere you go

  34. I read on an ebay auction:

    “FYI :Know that there are only 100 Hermès craftsmen in the world allowed to make these bags, and a Birkin such as this takes OVER 20 hours of work to make BY HAND by one same skilled craftsman”

    This is their justification… but that still leaves me befuddled. Does it make women feel better knowing that their bag took over 20 hrs to make by one of these skilled people? Fact is, it’s a leather bag, that costs as much as a house. In many countries, twice or three times as much as a house. Disgusting.

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