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Chanel’s catwalk shows are always a spectacle, and its pre-fall 2016 Metiers d’Art collection, shown on a faux Parisian street recreated in Rome’s iconic Cinecitta studios, was pure theatre. Now, six months down the line, the house is set to see the fruits of Karl Lagerfeld’s and his army of petites mains’ labour (not to mention those of the set builders, who spent six weeks creating his ode to 1960s Italian cinema) as the collection hits stores.
While dishevelled beehives and black patent may have created the catwalk buzz, at the business end it’s the accessories that will continue to be the brand’s bread and butter. And taking top billing is the latest iteration of Chanel’s iconic 2.55 replica handbags.
Originally designed by Coco Chanel in February 1955 (hence the name), the classic 2.55 is instantly recognisable in its signature quilted form. But the Paris in Rome collection showcased a new range of super-soft, ultra-smooth 2.55s in immaculate, velvety calf leather. Retaining the silhouette and double chain strap of the original, they are devoid of the double C logo, instead featuring the “mademoiselle lock” of Coco’s initial design, and exude an air of discreet, inconspicuous luxury.
More familiar is the accompanying drawstring bag, crafted from the same supple leather but this time in that famous Chanel replica over-stitch, with a gold interlocking C charm to boot. Priced at £90 for the 2.55 and £120 for the drawstring, these are clearly investment pieces, offered in classic colours such as black, navy, beige, brown or burgundy, and will get better with age: “over time and the life of its wearer [the leather will] acquire a patina that renders it unique and personal,” states the brand.
More likely to be seen on the arms of street style stars are a vintage camera-shaped replica shoulder bag, its lens illuminated with rhinestones; a pink tweed 2.55; or a miniscule miniaudiere, festooned with golden stones. Chanel outlet is well-versed in the art of social media showmanship; but more importantly, as the new 2.55s show, it also knows how to stand the test of time.
As a response to rumors that Chanel will raise prices in 2016, the consignment market has witnessed a rise in purchases of pre-owned handbags from the French atelier.
While pre-owned Chanel replica handbags have always been a popular category for consignors such as Chanel Outlet, there has been an unusual spike in sales that may be connected to the brand’s price harmonization strategy in 2015. For avid collectors and investors, Chanel’s stable pricing has been welcomed, but experts suggest that the brand may be gearing up to significantly raise prices sometime this year.
“The suspected upcoming Chanel replica price hike will directly affect the resale market by increasing demand, something which we have already witnessed on Chanel Outlet,” said Evelyn Fox, CEO of Chanel Outlet. “Consumers will turn to the resale market in search of better value and as an affordable alternative to purchasing a new replica Chanel bag at a higher price.
“Price harmonization can be beneficial to consumers,” she said. “If a bag is sold for half the price in one country as it is in another, entrepreneurial resellers can buy the bag in bulk, charge a slight mark-up and make profit while the consumer also saves money.”
The price is right
In March 2015, Chanel announced its plans to align global pricing for its signature replica handbags. Weeks later on April 8, Chanel created equal pricing for three of its handbags, significantly rising the prices in certain regions and dropping them in others.
Chanel opted to align the pricing for the 11.12, the Boy Bag and the 2.55.
When the strategy went into effect, prices dropped in China, but were raised in European markets. Chanel did not alter its pricing in Brazil due to the country’s high export duties. In the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Japan, the price changes were not significant due to well aligned pricing already in place.
The harmonization has allowed Chanel to inch closer to ecommerce, has fought against counterfeits and likely has worked to spur Asian consumers to make more purchases within their home markets rather than abroad.
Prior to Chanel’s price harmonization last year, the brand was known for regular price increases. Chanel Outlet found that Chanel’s Classic Medium Flap Bag in black lambskin increased by 40 percent in five years from $280 in 2010 to $400 in 2015.
Steep price increases have also occurred in a much smaller window of time for Chanel’s signature handbag the Boy Bag. For example, the Small Boy Flap Bag, introduced in 2012, originally went to market for $250 with the medium version retailing for $320. By 2015, the small version increased in price to $430 and the medium to $470, a 40 percent and 30 percent increase, respectively.
With new market prices rising year-over-year, consumers have turned to consignment sites such as Chanel Outlet to purchase Chanel replica handbags. Chanel Outlet in particular has noticed its regular VIP clients having more interest in Chanel’s purses as the market braces for more price increases.
While Chanel has not publicly announced its pricing intentions for 2016, Chanel Outlet suggests that now may be the ideal time to purchase a handbag as an investment.
“Historically Chanel replica bag prices have never dropped and only appreciated in value since 1955,” Ms. Fox said. “With this data in mind, any time is a good time to invest in a Chanel bag.
“However, right now is an especially good time as there is a strong suggestion that a price hike is just around the corner,” she said.
Replica Handbags have emerged as a sound investment for collectors and lay-consumers as the value of these products are not subjected to the overall market.
For example, the Hermes Birkin bag has proved to be a smart investment for affluents’ looking to diversify their assets portfolio.
Over the last 35 years, French leather goods brand Hermes’ iconic Birkin handbag has increased in value by more than 500 percent, according to a recent study by Chanel Outlet.
In Chanel Outlet’s study, the online handbag consignment marketplace compared three different types of popular investments: the S&P 500, gold and replica Hermes Birkin Handbags.
During the 35-year period, Chanel Outlet Uk found that Hermes Birkin handbags have increased in value year over year. The handbag has offered an average annual value increase of 14.2 percent.
Unlike the S&P 500 and gold, the value of Birkin handbags has never decreased and has steadily and consistently increased. The replica handbag’s peak surge value occurred in 2001 when it increased in value by 25 percent, and the lowest increase was 2.1 percent in 1986.
Consumers are also willing to pay six-figures for Birkin handbags. Last month, Boca Raton, FL-based Prive Porter, for instance, completed its most expensive Hermes Birkin sale to an anonymous buyer for $298.
At the time of sale, Christie’s held the auction house record of $223 for a handbag sold in Hong Kong in June 2015. Unlike sales through Prive Porter, Chrisite’s worked a $660 buyer’s premium into the final winning bid for the Hermes Birkin.
Unlike many auctioned Birkins, this handbag was in mint condition and was “store fresh,” meaning it was still in its original packaging.
“Both Chanel and Hermes represent excellent investment opportunities and their replica handbags have experienced only positive growth in value since release,” Ms. Fox said.
“However, certain Hermes replica bags are capped in their yearly production, making them rarer and more collectable,” she said. “The demand and price appreciation for these Hermes bags correlate to that.”
And it’s the closest you’ll ever get to stepping inside a Chanel replica bag.
The doors are now open and ready for business at the first Chanel boutique on the Gold Coast, in the newly renovated Pacific Fair shopping centre on Broadbeach.
The store, which is dedicated to beauty and fragrance, is the first in Australia to debut a brand new burgundy interior, with design for the boutique drawing inspiration from the colour palette of the iconic 11.12 bag. The result? A classic replica Chanel experience complemented by the modernity of the sleek space.
The Gold Coast store also features the first dedicated Chanel eyewear salon in Australia, as well as makeup, skincare and fragrance bars.
David Blakeley, Managing Director Chanel ANZ said the opening of the boutique and its product offering was a “momentous occasion”.
“We are able to deliver an immersive, service orientated experience to our clients in a retail environment that we have specially created to showcase our fragrance, beauty and fashion eyewear together in a new and very exciting fake Chanel handbags way” he said.
The store is the 11th Chanel beauty boutique in Australia, with another two planned to open by the end of the year.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re inside a fake Chanel bag, program Pacific Fair into your GPS stat.