Even amid tough times, there is no shortage of people looking to score a Chanel bag.
Designed by Gabrielle "CoCo" Chanel in 1955, the 2.55 flap bag has become a classic among style lovers everywhere and is one of the rare fashion items that can actually become more valuable over time.
The price of a medium 2.55 flap bag has grown by more than 71.92% in the last few years
It now clocks in at $8,880 after four price hikes since the start of 2021.
Just 18 months ago, its retail price was at $7,800.
No Third Chanel Bag For You
Over the years, Chanel has taken certain steps to prevent people from buying off certain popular items and then hawking them.
Price drops are almost unheard of and its employees are reported to be strictly monitored in their use of the employee discount.
Along with fellow luxury house Hermès (HBO (HBO) show "Sex and the City" immortalized the years-long waitlist that can come for those who want to buy a Birkin bag), Chanel has also been toying with the idea of quotas on the purchase of certain popular items.
In January, the fashion house's South Korea branch changed its policy to one in which each consumer can buy "one Timeless Classic flap bag and one Coco Handle bag every year."
Six months later, Chanel confirmed that it has not dismissed the idea of instituting similar quotas to additional countries and products.
It did not, however, disclose specifics of what countries or items would be affected.
"We have sometimes to limit the number of items a single client can buy,” Chanel CFO Philippe Blondiaux told Reuters, adding that they do it to maintain exclusivity and reduce the price differences between different nations.
This type of manufactured exclusivity has been heavily criticized but also served as a tool in fashion's fight against counterfeiters and resellers.
Bondiaux also said that a global quota is not in the works.
Americans who can afford to shell out $9,000 for a bag can still buy up multiples if they're available.
"It can be implemented on certain product ranges – not only the flap bag – it could impact some items which are in hot demand and fortunately, or unfortunately, there are quite a lot at Chanel, so this is the kind of measure which we could implement in different countries at times," Blondiaux said.
Reports of professional "line standers" being paid a few hundred dollars a day to line up for rare items emerged out of South Korea.
The World Is Burning (But Luxury Isn't)
The market for luxury goods and fashion often follows a trajectory independent of major global conflicts and sociopolitical events.
It can soar during turbulent times and flounder when things are relatively stable.
While its stock is currently on a serious downward spiral, luxury house LVMH (LVMH) closed last quarter with a 30% rise in fashion and leather goods sales. Demand for Dior and Louis Vuitton, in particular, drove its strong sales.
As Chanel has been so firmly cemented into our collective idea of what constitutes classic fashion, demand for everything from the flap bag to the two-tone ballerina flats has also been unwaveringly strong for decades.