Handbags have long been a staple in the wardrobes of fashion-conscious individuals across the world, with some of the top designer brands making a name for themselves with innovative designs, unique colourways, and rare and exotic fabrics and materials. And it’s not just the stylish wearer who covets these high-end and luxurious handbags, with the investment potential of the market’s leading brands also creating a buzz amongst those who want to safeguard their financial security with tangible products.
With that in mind, what are the most expensive handbags in the world right now, and which brands do they belong to? Let’s take a closer look.
What are the most expensive designer handbags in the world?
The following handbags are all designed and created using the highest level of craftsmanship, the finest materials, and the most intricate of features and finishes. One thing that consistently drives specific brands to successfully market and sell their handbags and other luxury goods at such exorbitant prices is the lack of supply and the incredible demand – though this is not the only factor at play.
Certain trends hint at the buyer’s willingness to pay for such expensive handbags as being connected to a high sense of self, and the fact that we, as consumers, don’t just want high-end and luxury items because they make us feel good, but also because the reaction we get from others gives us a positive buzz. Everything from the very experience of buying a luxury handbag to the knowledge that its value only increases with time and proper care, drives us as consumers to accept and pay for the high price tag – something which designer and luxury brands recognise and play on when hiking prices and releasing increasingly high-priced models.
Some of the brands that exercise this the most, and whose brand names are found on some of the most expensive handbags in the world, include Chanel, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton, as well as the likes of Marc Jacobs and Mouawad. And here is just a small selection of their most iconic, expensive, and elite luxury handbags.
Hermès Himalaya Birkin Bag
The value of this handbag lies in the use of Niloticus crocodile skin, which is exceptionally difficult to come by and which has been artfully dyed in this case to create a gradient to mimic the Himalayan mountains. There are a few handbags of this ilk which have made headlines in the second-hand market recently, with a classic Himalaya Birkin selling for $500,000 in the USA in 2019, while a Himalaya Kelly handbag, made using the same fabric but in the Kelly design, was named the rarest handbag in the world in 2023.
Hermès Kelly Rose Gold
The Hermès Kelly Rose Gold was designed in a collaborative partnership between Hermès and jewellery designer Pierre Hardy, and is not only constructed from solid rose gold but is also encrusted with upwards of 1,160 diamonds. It’s said that each bag takes around two years to come, with just twelve pieces in circulation – and it’ll set you back around £1.62 million.
Chanel’s ‘Diamond Forever’ Bag
Chanel is one of those brands that is considered a founding member of modern fashion, with founder Coco Chanel responsible for the long shoulder straps that allow us to carry handbags over our shoulders, as well as the little black dress, which remains a style staple. The Chanel collection of handbags has thus long been on the coveted end of the luxury market; however, the Diamond Forever bag took on a life of its own when it was released.
Made from white leather and with 334 diamonds, white gold straps, and a classic Chanel design and structure, this handbag was released in a batch of just 13 pieces – each worth over £200,000.
Louis Vuitton Urban Satchel
Louis Vuitton boasts arguably one of the most recognisable monograms and logos in the luxury industry, and as such, has long retained its status as a coveted brand that everyone wants a piece of. Specifically, there are a few bags which are up there as Louis Vuitton’s most valuable from a financial standpoint, including the Twist MM with its signature lock, though the one in the top spot is the Urban Satchel. This bag was reported to be on the wish list of major A-listers, and is made from a blend of Italian leather and recycled water bottles, cigarettes, and chewing gum wrappers.
Mouawad 1001 Nights Bag
Finally, we can’t create an entire article on the most expensive handbags in the world and not talk about the one piece which has been ranked the most expensive handbag ever by the Guinness Book of World Records. Created by brand Mouawad, which boasts five records to its name and is recognised for its quirky designs, the 1001 Nights Diamond purse was worth around £2.37 million when it was recognised by the Guinness World Records company in 2010, and boasts a complete 18K gold structure adorned with 4,517 diamonds.
Where can I find handbags from these brands?
All of these bags have made headlines thanks to their price tag, which is bolstered by both the brand name and its coveted status, as well as the high-quality and often rare materials which are used to bring each bag to life. While all of these bags are all but impossible to get hold of on the retail market, some of them are models and pieces that we occasionally see on the second-hand market – feeding the appetite of both style and investment buyers alike.
Here at Love Luxury, we have seen a few bags of this ilk in recent months and years, and are proud to deliver a reputable service paired with formal valuation and authentication offers, which enable both buyers and sellers to put their full trust in us when seeking and selling high-end luxury goods. Visit our website or come and see us at our Knightsbridge boutique store to learn more about what we offer and to browse current stock.