Vintage vs. New: A Question of Quality

  1. If I can decide on a leather and color, I'm hoping to buy my first bag later this year (most likely a Kelly). However, a comment by Hello on the thread about the Kelly with the unraveling stitching made me wonder whether I would be better off buying an older bag. I don't want anything much older than 20 years as I plan on using this bag a lot and I might be overly cautious about using anything that old. What age would you ladies suggest I look at for the best quality bags? Or is the boutique still the best option because authenticity can be insured and quality issues are rare and easily remedied? TIA for your advice :flowers:.
  2. MsJ, it's always a compromise with used bags. They are used. You can come across some that look brand spanking new but still they are used, i.e. not store-fresh. So that's the first thing to consider.
    We've had a couple of ladies telling us that the new barenia cannot be compared to the old barenia, that the new box is thinner than the old box. Then there's the quality question. I have seen some bags that were store-fresh that should have never left the workshop. I guess that 99% of the bags are OK, but if you happen to get that 1%, then that's a headache (they will fix it of course).
    I have a couple of bags from the mid-/late 90s, early 2000 and they are all super in terms of workmanship and leather quality. So if you decide to go the used route, you don't need to go back to Adam and Eve.
  3. I know my vintage stunner is in fabulous shape regardless of her 61 years of age. If you se a quality issue with a newer Kelly, H will of course fix the problem. It´s all about your preference.
  4. regardless if its vintage or new- you can never go wrong with HERMES. :tup:
  5. Hi,

    I believe that it is the quality of Hermes that we are discussing here. Let's just put it that way, no matter how bad the shape of the bags are, once it is sent for spa, it would come back good as new.

    Can I assume this?
  6. I am no expert but a lot of ladies on here say there are a lot of things that cannot be fixed with a spa so you have to be careful.
  7. Hmm, interesting things to think about. I can be so picky in some ways, and I'm a super planner, so if I'm going to put a lot of thought and effort into buying and H bag, I want it to be perfect (who doesn't?). I like the whole boutique experience and would love to buy straight from the source. I guess I will have to keep visiting boutiques and if I see my dream bag, snap it up. Otherwise, I won't feel too bad going the reseller route. Thanks for your advice.
  8. Apples and oranges. Vintage box, VN or barenia generally come with a lustrous patina - which of course comes with time and use. The flip side of it is, those bags tend to also come with some scuffing, scratching, cracked leather, loose stitching. Other signs of use and the passage of time - and not all of which can be fixed.

    Ultimately, a vintage bag and a new bag bring different vibes and looks to the table. They also have very different price points, and of course, with the new you get the boutique experience.

    I've gone both ways, and frankly - I feel like you can't go wrong, provided you understand your own expectations.

  9. * definitely not true *

    Some damage can simply not be repaired: the leather is torn, scuffed too deeply, etc. Sometimes you can pay for a new handle/new straps, but sometimes it would require essentially rebuilding the bag for $$$ equivalent (or near) to just buying new. I have a vintage 1950s beautiful box Kelly that, for 500L sterling, had the strap attachment pieces rebuilt. The leather (new box in the same colour as the bag) is also a slightly different colour - which is another consideration.
  10. If there is a fault with the workmanship Hermes will fix it - Hermes cannot spa away the passage of time - scuffing, sagging etc. But if you want perfection Hermes is a as close as you will get.
  11. For me personally, concern over current Hermes quality alone is not enough of a reason to buy a vintage bag. The stitching issue is unfortunate, but I really don't think it's the norm for new Hermes bags.
    Beautiful vintage Hermes in great condition is a real find. Sometimes I wish my mother had bought some Hermes just so that I could have some from her.
  12. Yes!
  13. Well, first there's only so much a visit to the spa can do. No amount of spa visits will fix cracked or torn leather and badly scuffed and bent corners. If you choose to go the vintage route, be sure of the condition of the bag before you commit to buy.

    On the flip side, there is NOTHING to compare with vintage Box calf and I mean nothing. I have a vintage Box calf Kelly that is about 50 years old and the leather on this bag is nothing short of amazing. Thicker and almost spongy, softer to the hand.....MUCH different than the Box calf you find today. These bags also come with well established patina so no anticipating that first scratch that sends you into orbit. So, I'm all for vintage vs new for at least ONE of your Hermes bags.....and, although I have both and LOVE heart is always lost to vintage Kelly's.
  14. ^ I agree. I have a Kelly from the 80's that is much silkier than new Box leather and it is much thicker as well. The key is to get as pristine a Vintage bag as you can get. Mine happened to be found inside a dresser sold at auction. No one bothered to check the drawers or maybe they just didn't care. It has some moth ball odor issues that Hermes removed (I had another Vintage piece that had the same moth ball odor from the early 80's). The Crafstperson told me it didn't look like it had ever been carried as evidenced by the lack of scratches inside the bag. The leather wasn't cracked or torn and the corners were pristine. I verified this a million times before paying and lucked out with an honest seller.

    Just like with new bags, you just have to ask ask and then ask more questions about the quality and get as many photos as you can before deciding.
  15. That´s amazing:heart: