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March 26, 2015

By Jody Hume

ASK GRAHAM: WHICH INVESTMENT BAG WILL LAST?

Investment Bag Chanel Grand Shopping Tote SHOP HANDBAGS
Have a question about luxury designer authenticity? We’re introducing our Ask Graham series so Senior Director of Authentication Graham Wetzbarger can share his in-depth knowledge on designer handbags, telling real from faux and more. In our first installment, he tackles how to choose an investment bag that will stand the test of time.
Q: I’m saving up to buy an investment bag and I want one that will last. I need to be able to use it in real life every day, and I want to keep it for years. I love Céline, Balenciaga and Chanel, but am open to other luxury brands. What features should I look for and what do you recommend I buy?
GrahamPic

Senior Director of Authentication, Graham Wetzbarger

A: That’s a great question! While everyone has unique needs and desires for their perfect handbag, there are some qualities you can’t go wrong with.
First, you should look for a handbag constructed from a durable material in a dark, neutral color. I recommend caviar or saffiano leather, LV coated canvas and togo leather from Hermès. Any bag by the brands you mentioned will look luxurious, and by choosing a long-lasting material, you ensure your handbag won’t show wear quickly and won’t be weather-sensitive. Secondly, a structured bag that stands on its own is most likely to retain its shape in the face of daily wear, as rigidity will take stress off of the leather and hardware. You’ll also want something lightweight — anything too heavy on its own will be uncomfortable for daily wear. Finally, look for a handbag that’s timeless. A style that’s produced year after year is not only likely to appreciate in value over time, it will also ensure your go-to bag stays relevant.

Investment Bag Chanel Grand Shopping ToteChanel Grand Shopping Tote in midnight blue caviar leather, orig. $2,900, now $1,995

With these in mind, the Chanel Grand Shopping Tote (or GST) is the ideal candidate for your everyday investment bag. Crafted in durable caviar leather, which resists scratching and shows little wear even after decades of use, it combines luxury with workhorse functionality. Black, navy, grey and dark red all make for versatile color options. Try to stay away from more seasonal versions such as patent leather or lambskin, as well as colors like beige, pink and yellow which are more likely to show wear. The interior layout is designed to be used by someone who has a lot to carry and needs to stay organized, and the chain and leather handles of the GST lay flat on the shoulder and provide enough drop length for the bag to be easily carried.
The Chanel GST is a classic and iconic style which maintains its popularity due to its functionality and durability. In production since the 1990s, the value of the GST has continued to increase. With a current retail price of $2900, the GST can be picked up on The RealReal for around $1995, which is even more of a reason to choose it as your ultimate investment bag!
Have a question about luxury designer authenticity or what to wear where? Ask Graham and our fashion editors! Send questions to: ask@therealreal.com.