Luxury bag brands have more rules than ever before to keep their products exclusive – from Chanel rationing its most popular handbag styles to Hermès introducing a loyalty points system
- Chanel is rationing its bags to keep ultra-rich customers interested
- Hermès consumers should also buy their other lines – from clothing to furniture
- Purchases of program notes in all stores, where their Hermès Points determine how quickly they can get their hands on a Birkin bag
Luxury handbag brands are introducing more rules and rationing than ever before to keep ultra-wealthy customers interested – from Chanel restricting purchases of their most popular styles to Hermès introducing a points system.
Chanel’s iconic quilted bags — beloved by celebrities and royalty alike — have tripled this year alone, with the price rising a whopping 15 percent.
Fighting back from the pandemic in style, the French fashion house’s revenues have continued to rise slowly after falling 18 percent last year – doubling in the past nine months.
Now the luxury brand has introduced a new policy that allows customers to buy only one of each of the most in-demand handbag styles – the Classic Flap Bag and Coco Handle – per year.
‘Some of our products are particularly sought after by our customers. In order to adequately satisfy them, we can take appropriate measures at the local level,” a Chanel spokesperson said in a conversation with The Telegraph.
Chanel is rationing her bags in an effort to keep very wealthy customers interested. Pictured, stock image
The luxury brand seems to be capitalizing on the recent success of the vintage market, which over time has cashed in on the rising value of its most exclusive bags.
On the second-hand resale site Vestiaire Collectived, The Classic Flap Bag can cost anywhere up to £28,000, while a small Chanel Classic costs £5,410.
When it comes to Hermès Birkin bags, Kate Moss has one in denim, Kelly Osbourne has one in classic black and Victoria Beckham, of course, has one in every color of the rainbow.
Elle Macpherson, Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Jessica Parker and Naomi Campbell are also A-list fans. Even Coleen Rooney has one in the color.
Heidi Klum on the road in Los Angeles, California on March 29, 2021 (pictured left) with her Birkin bag and on the right, Tamara Ecclestone at Heathrow Airport, London on April 26, 2012
But after its popularity, Hermès ensured that their Birkin bag, which starts at £7,030 and goes up to around £200,000, remained a request from the ultra-wealthy by making it nearly impossible to exclusive – with customers on a waiting list of at least two years.
In 2004, a vintage black crocodile leather Birkin with 14 carat diamond pavé set in a white gold buckle fetched £32,706 at auction in New York.
Now, however, shoppers can only purchase one of the Birkin bags after proving their loyalty to the brand and also purchasing their other lines – from clothing, furniture, equestrian, watches and jewelry.
The new system includes a program that records the customer’s purchases in all his stores, with their Hermès points determine how fast they can grab a Birkin.
Elsewhere, Gucci has implemented a different strategy whereby they have opened a pop-up on Shoreditch’s Chance Street, giving the public the opportunity to purchase limited edition pieces made especially for select stores.
The high-end fashion brand has recreated 5,000 tiny Gucci Seville Cadillacs in collaboration with Hot Wheels, and it seems their trick is working because they’re all sold out.
And when it comes to designer suits, Savile Row has limited the number of tailor-made suits that each tailor can make.