October 24, 2016
By Candace Longfellow
SELL THIS NOW: THE HERMÈS BAG WORTH MORE THAN EVERCONSIGN HERMÈS CONSTANCE BAGS
When it comes to It bags, the holy grail has always been the Birkin, but lately, another Hermès handbag is having a moment: the Constance. “Though it debuted in the late 1950s (before the Birkin), the demand for the Constance is higher now than ever,” says Senior Authentication Director Graham Wetzbarger. “Like the Chanel Flap, the Constance has a timeless aesthetic but it’s also super functional.” The versatile shape means the bag can translate seamlessly to a variety of outfits, but shoppers also love it for its understated look. “Right now, it’s all about quiet luxury,” muses Women’s Category Director Sasha Skoda. “While the Birkin screams luxury, the Constance is like a polite nod. It’s such an under-the-radar bag, but is gaining visibility on the arms of our favorite It girls from Chiara Ferragni to Miroslava Duma.”
With the rise in popularity, the resale value for the Constance has soared by 60% in 2016, making it a great time to sell. We sat down with our editors to get the scoop on what shoppers are looking for now and how much you can earn for your Hermès Constance.
Give us some background on the Hermès Constance.
GW: The Constance is a perennial favorite of the Hermès stable. It was launched in 1959, and has been carried by many celebrities over the years, including Jackie O. In more recent years, variations on size and shape have been introduced with the Elan, the elongated and less square-shaped version, and the Micro and Mini, adding personalization and versatility to this classic style.
Why the sudden increase in popularity for the Hermès Constance?
SS: Mini bags are a huge trend this year. Everyone from Valentino to Fendi to Gucci are re-imagining their bags through a mini lens. The Constance has always been the mini of the Hermès world — particularly when you compare it to the house classic, the Birkin, which is practically an overnight bag!
GW: No one can doubt that a lot of the popularity is due to the brand recognition that the large Constance H hardware provides. It’s kind of an Egyptian spin on the traditional H logo with the serif across the top and bottom. Thanks in large part to the men’s market, we’ve also seen an increase in popularity and resale value of the Constance H buckle belt. Unfortunately, the increase in demand has led to an increase in counterfeits. The construction of the Constance bag isn’t overly complex so fakes can be quite good. The first thing we look at when authenticating are the hardware components — the H closure and the strap attachments. Specifically, we make sure that only flat-head screws are used, and that the brand marking is placed near the left-hand corner of the clasp, not centered as you often see on fakes.
How much does the average Hermès Constance bag go for on the resale market?
GW: Demand is such that the Constance is fetching higher prices, often around $1,000 above retail in the secondary market, as they are so hard to acquire from Hermès boutiques and also because Hermès produces such a small quantity each year.
Just like with any Hermès style, color can make or break a bag’s value. Neutrals always sell no matter what, but rarity of color and material makes certain bags more covetable than others — candy colored ring lizard or other exotics feel more youthful and fun and the enamel hardware is also really modern. If you’re looking to buy a Constance at a more accessible price, look to a vintage style. It’s difficult to spot the difference between new and early versions without an expert’s eye. The longer, more rectangular Constance Elan also sells particularly quickly.
It’s been said that the Birkin is now a better investment than gold. How does the Constance stack up?
GW: It’s just as good an investment as the Birkin, maybe even better. In terms of longevity, it’s less certain to maintain such a high resale value, merely because it’s not as well-known or iconic as the Birkin. We don’t foresee any diminishment in popularity for this style at the moment, but it’s a good idea to capitalize on the demand now to ensure a great return.
Ready to earn more for your Constance? Start consigning here.
Or, make the investment with our curated selection of Constance bags here.