6 Rare Bags You Can Only Buy Resale
There’s nothing worse than the one that got away — and by “the one,” we mean “the bag.” Maybe you dreamed about it for weeks and then it suddenly disappeared. Maybe it’s been ten years since you saw it and you’re still thinking about it. Not to worry. You’ve got access to the resale market. Bags you once loved and lost, bags you haven’t seen for years — with tags and in their boxes, even! — are suddenly at your fingertips.
It’s the rare bags, the ones you never dreamed you’d see again (or ever), that can materialize out of nowhere and truly spark joy. Our marketplace offers an endless variety of designer bags, and we asked The RealReal Valuation Manager Mason Howell to hand-pick some of the rarest options you can buy now. Read on to find out why these are so exclusive and add-to-cart-worthy.
Louis Vuitton Bags: “Kusama Waves” Neverfull
A Louis Vuitton Neverfull challenges you to empty everything into its cavernous interior and carry it all with ease. The fact that it accomplishes this is already a win. The “Kusama Waves” Neverfull? It transforms the act into art. In 2012, Louis Vuitton’s then-artistic director Marc Jacobs partnered with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama on a capsule of handbags, ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories. Available in limited quantities for a single season, as most collaborations are, the collection featured Kusama’s signature dots, a recurring motif that has covered her immense canvases, pumpkin sculptures and Infinity Rooms from floor to ceiling.
The Yayoi Kusama collection may not have been the first artist collaboration for Louis Vuitton, but it was one of many from the house that reimagined art and fashion’s interconnected relationship. “Marc Jacobs was the first designer to bring artist collaborations to Louis Vuitton,” notes Howell. “The iconic Louis Vuitton Neverfull in classic monogram, originally designed by Jacobs, already re-sells for close to the original retail price, and sometimes above retail. But this is a special collaboration that may never be re-issued. The desire for these rare pieces has merely increased since it was released.” Kusama’s status as one of the “most expensive living female artists” in the world only adds to the Neverfull’s value — White No. 28 (1960) sold for $7.1 million at Christie’s in 2014, breaking auction price records at the time.
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Hermès Bags: Lizard Kelly Pochette & Shiny Niloticus Crocodile Jige 29
You never know when ultra-rare bags like the Hermès Lizard Kelly Pochette and Crocodile Jige 29 will turn up in the secondary market. But when they do, it’s shopping magic. “These bags are rare first and foremost for their exotic materials,” says Howell. Hermès artisans handle alligator and lizard leathers with extreme finesse, preserving their finishes by treating them with agate stone or wool felt. “Lizard Hermès bags in particular are incredibly sought-after, as are Kelly Pochettes,” he notes. But when it comes to this particular Kelly, it’s not just the perfectly textured exterior and Pochette style that exudes exclusivity. “In 2018, Hermès discontinued the 18K white gold and diamond hardware. They’re now only available at retail via special order.” Or, of course, on The RealReal.
Dreamy Mykonos blue is a highly coveted color for Hermès bags, and is also extremely hard to find — especially in Niloticus crocodile. These bags are identifiable as crocodile — versus alligator, another popular Hermès leather choice — by a foiled diaeresis (⠉) near the brand stamp. “If it’s missing this mark, that’s a red flag for authenticity,” notes Howell. “Note that the foiled brand stamp should also match the color of the hardware.”
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Dior Bags: The Vintage Saddle Bag
When the Dior Saddle bag emerged at the turn of the century, the fashion world accepted it with unbridled (sorry, we had to) passion. It popped up on the house’s runway, and then on Carrie Bradshaw’s arm in Sex and the City, and then on celebrities left and right; it seemed the Saddle was everywhere. “When the Saddle bag was first released in 1999, they weren’t necessarily hard to acquire,” says Howell. Now, however, particular styles — like the Diorissimo logo bags, the tricolor Rasta (seen above), Adiorable, Girly and Speedway, to name a few — are rare and extremely coveted.
This appetite for Dior Saddles is largely thanks to current Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri’s relaunch of the bag in Fall 2018 (a fresh take which is also available on The RealReal, FYI). “Despite the fact that there is a high volume of recently released Dior Saddles in the resale market, demand for the older styles has not slowed down,” says Howell. If anything, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior Saddle has only increased desire for vintage Saddles. After all, there’s something special about having an original in your collection. Because even if you weren’t an early adopter and don’t have a vintage Saddle hanging in your closet, you can still snag one in the resale market.
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Gucci Bags: The Waist Bag
Fanny pack, bumbag, waist bag, belt bag — it goes by many names. Before it was elevated from dad essential to It bag du jour, though, there was Gucci. True, other legendary brands like Prada and Chanel have created belt bags over the years. When you think of Gucci, though, how can you not picture some iteration cinching an influencer’s waist? And how can you not recall its famous SATC appearance (which even heralded a New York Times write-up)?
Alessandro Michele has since re-interpreted the multi-pocket GG Supreme-covered waist bag, but even that style is sold out and no longer available in the retail market. “The original, pre-Michele belt bags were available for years but are no longer produced,” notes Howell. Naturally, they’ve come back in fashion and are hard to come by. “They have a late ’90s, early 2000s nostalgia to them, which has been a big trend. Belt bags featuring the Web accent, as with many other Gucci bags, always command a higher price point in the resale market. We’ve seen all colorways sell fast, though, even when their list prices rise.” The originals hold a particular allure, and luckily they’re available right here. “Jump on one of these if you’re thinking about it,” says Howell. “Don’t second-guess it, or it may be gone before you know it.”
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Chanel Bags: The Vintage Beaded CC Tote
Chanel is known for many things. Tweed suits? Oui. Little black dresses? Bien sûr. Quilted bags? Certainement. While this vintage, Karl Lagerfeld-designed tote echoes the aforementioned house code — quilting — it’s an unexpected style rarely seen in the resale market. “The tote’s delicate quilted design is implemented with wire and beaded accents, which is all done by hand,” says Howell. “It takes a significant amount of time to construct a bag like this. Though we may not know exactly how many beaded totes Chanel produced, due to its exquisite craftsmanship it’s safe to assume there are very few out there. This is truly a wearable work of art.”
The tote is collapsible, completely beaded and adorned by gold-tone snake chain straps. It’s a bag that leaves little to the imagination, but its clean lines, paired with the brand’s renowned craftsmanship, ultimately makes it timeless. If you’re falling fast (or have had your eye on this elusive style for years), now’s the time to invest. If you miss out, though, it’s futile to shrug it off and say you were never that interested — just like the tote, everyone will see right through it.
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All items are pre-owned and consigned to The RealReal. Trademarks are owned by their respective brand owners. No brand owner endorses or sponsors this ad or has any association and/or affiliation with The RealReal.
Please note: Brand standards, logos and other identifying features may have changed since the time of publication.