How to invest in luxury fashion


How to invest in luxury fashion

Make your money — and your Chanel — work for you

By Justine Carreon  May 3rd, 2017

Until recently, you’d have to pry my AmEx out of my cold, dead hands before I’d consider a purchase that wasn’t sold at an outlet or shipped via Amazon Prime. But the fact is, once you buy that perfect, goes-with-everything-use-it-every-day black bag of your dreams, the desire to buy another bag disappears. “A trench [coat] from Balenciaga or Gabriela Hearst, a pair of loafers from Loewe or Nicholas Kirkwood, a biker jacket from Acne,” lists Natalie Kingham, buying director at MatchesFashion.com. “Items such as these are worth the investment. Not only are they eternally cool and chic, but they are timeless and never date.”

Including Kingham, we tapped three luxury buyers to give us their expert advice on shopping smart. Unsurprisingly, they unanimously agreed to stick to to quality basics when investing, but the rabbit hole goes deeper than that. Read ahead to see their 7 lesser-known tips on the best way to spend—including the items you should never splurge on.

Best tips for investing in luxury fashion

 
Do: Redefine what is "worth it" over time

"My personal rule is to always to buy the best you can afford," Kingham says. "For example, when buying a navy cashmere sweater, the first one you purchase might cost around $100. You love it and wear it all the time. So the next one you purchase is a little more—maybe $500." Over time, you will redefine what is "worth it," and in turn, what isn't. "It is a journey of luxury investment," she says.

Don't: Tuck away your purchases for special occasions

"I have one rule that I try to follow: If I'm going to spend the money on something, I want to use it," says Jeffrey Kalinsky, Nordstrom's fashion director and founder of Jeffrey stores. "I don't believe in saving things for special occasions." For those who treat designer goods like stolen treasure locked away in a safe, know that fashion is meant to be functional. Treat it that way.

Do: Spend more, save more

If you can, Kalinsky says that "shoppers should invest in every single thing they buy." Echoing the idea of sustainable fashion, aim "to buy better things and have them last rather than trying to save money." At the end of the day, you'll save by not racking up piles of clothes you wore only once. A tight edit of quality, classic items is the foundation of a good wardrobe. 

Don't: Splurge on throwaway items

"The only time I would recommend buying an inexpensive version of something is if you know you're only going to use it once," Kalinsky says. "I have an amazing customer who wanted to buy a backpack specifically for her trip to Disney World. There's no way she was ever going to use that backpack after that trip was over, so I advised her to get an inexpensive backpack rather than a luxury version." 

Do: Know what you love

If you're not a bag person, there's no need for you to splurge on a Chanel 2.55. "When purchasing an investment piece...I have to know that I'll love living with it for a long period of time," says Roopal Patel, Saks Fifth Avenue's fashion director. For Patel personally, "this rule applies to fine jewellery."

Do: Understand the long game

"It is important to look at an investment piece as a long-term item, not short term," says Patel. "You are investing in the fabric, design and quality.... The piece must be timeless, which allows for more use." 

Don't: Buy expensive sneakers

Athletic sneakers, that is. "Don't invest in sneakers, gym clothes, or phone cases," Kalinsky says. These high-use items wear out over time, and are required to be replaced often. 

From: Elle US

Sonam Kapoor’s guide to luxury shopping

If there’s one person who lives and breathes luxury fashion, it’s Sonam Kapoor. The couture savant has built a lust-worthy wardrobe over the years by balancing trendy (and inexpensive) buys with smarter luxury purchases. Nowhere is this skill more obvious than in her bag collection. Take a look at the superstars in her closet, if you’re looking for some inspiration to guide your next shopping expedition.


Wait, is that Sonam sneaking in a quick hug to her Mark Cross sling bag there? Given the number of times this boxy piece has stood her in good stead, we can’t really say that we blame her either. A bit higher in the pecking order than a regular sling but with enough room to negate the need for lugging around a tote, Mark Cross’ little trinket is hard to put down. 


If they ever make a movie on Sonam Kapoor’s life, her little Hermès Kelly will definitely be snapped up to play a starring role. Out-and-about in Mumbai or rubbing shoulders with the stylish crew at Cannes, Sonam’s close friendship with her tan Kelly is the stuff high school slambooks write about.


When it isn’t working double duty as a desk-to-drinks buddy, this Chloé sling bag is enjoying major facetime on Sonam Kapoor’s 9 million strong Instagram fanbase. All-white ensembles or print-on-print madness, this tan number will be there for you.


Did you honestly think that you could read an inventory of Sonam’s lust-worthy bag collection and the words ‘Hermès Birkin’ wouldn’t show up? Sonam's classic Birkin sees the light of the day, and the lens of her phone camera, regularly; sometimes, with a minion accessory for company, because she’s Sonam Kapoor and she can.


Chanel’s classic flap bag is fully equipped to go the distance, and further proof to that end can be sought in the fact that Sonam’s Chanel bag has been by her side since her struggler days. 


We aren’t quite sure what the initiation process into the most stylish club of Bollywood involves, but we imagine there’s some amount of worship allotted at the altar of Louis Vuitton. When she isn’t wheeling around classic trunks from the label, Sonam is slinging on a casual Louis Vuitton bagpack for instant brownie points in the airport fashion stakes.