Gucci vs. Hermes

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Which Bag Will Hold Its Value?

  1. Hermes Birkin

  2. Gucci Hobo (85th Anniversary)

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. From the Wall Street Journal....

    What It's Worth
    Tracking How Luxury Goods Hold Their Value

    By CHERYL LU-LIEN TAN
    September 9, 2006; Page P4
    Can expensive designer handbags sell for more than the original price? We compare a classic from Hermès with a newcomer from Gucci.

    Gucci 85th Anniversary Hobo

    WHAT IT IS: Hobo-style bag that comes in a variety of skins and fabrics, such as crocodile (pictured) and patchwork velvet, with Gucci's signature horse-bit detailing.

    BUZZ: A limited number are being sold July to December, says Gucci. The fashion media has been pushing it as an instant classic.

    CONSTRUCTION: Fabric versions are hand-made in Florence. Fabric is woven on 19th-century wooden looms, which Clare Sauro, a curator at the Fashion Institute of Technology museum in New York, says makes for a tighter weave.

    INVESTMENT OUTLOOK: Moderate. Gucci won't say how many it will make. "If they're making 500 world-wide, that's great" for investors, says Clair Watson, director of couture at auction house Doyle New York. If it's in the thousands, she expects little long-term resale interest. Ina Bernstein, owner of eponymous fashion-resale stores in New York, figures she could sell a used one for 50% to 75% of the original price.

    But Andrew Bolton, Costume Institute curator at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, predicts it won't be a collector's item unless it becomes a cultural icon like the Birkin.

    Hermès Birkin


    WHAT IT IS: Large leather shopper in a variety of skins that's designed to be a carryall for working or traveling women.

    BUZZ: Introduced in 1984, reportedly after the Hermès president sat next to British actress Jane Birkin on a plane and offered to design a bag to replace her shabby straw shopper. Has since gained notoriety for being on the arms of Martha Stewart and Lil' Kim during their trials. First bag to have a waiting list. Demand was so strong at the New York store that the wait was five years -- a list that's since closed. Hermès makes about two bags a week -- so only about 100 new bags are released each year.

    CONSTRUCTION: Each Birkin is made from start to finish by a Parisian craftsman, who spends up to 72 hours on one bag. Ms. Sauro says that offers "consistency of quality."

    INVESTMENT OUTLOOK: Very high. At Doyle New York's Couture and Accessories Auction this spring, a tan Togo leather Birkin that cost about $7,400 retail was resold for $16,800 due to intense bidding by two women. These bags have a "remarkable fashion mystique," says Mr. Bolton.

    Write to Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan at cheryl.tan@wsj.com