If you asked my dad how many Chanel bags my mom has, he’d probably say twenty. If you asked him how much they cost, he’d probably say $100. And my mom lets him think that, because otherwise, his already high blood pressure would sky rocket and therefore cause him to have a heart attack. And no one wants that. But the truth is, a Chanel bag costs a little bit more than $100, about 20 times more, and it’s only going to go up from there.
Madison Avenue Spy speculates that the price of Chanel bags will rise 20% starting August 1. According to the article, a 227 Reissue, which is a classic Chanel flap-over bag, cost $2,850 in 2008 and the same bag today costs around $3,600. According to a sales associate, Chanel is trying to be more like Hermes, where you have to put your name on a wait list to get onto the actual wait list. In doing this, they would create a bigger gap between their brand and brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci, which make themselves overly accessible.
I get it.There’s something to be said about maintaining the image of your brand. I would put Hermes and Chanel in the same category, not only because of their high price tag (although that does play a major part) but because of their ability to make a bag that is a classic. The same 2.55 Chanel bag my mom picked out when she was 19 is still sold in stores today. The classic quilted Chanel bag and the Hermes Birkin bag are like investment pieces, bags that you can hand down to your children and their children. Bags that are not going to go out of style.
Although brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci do maintain a high prestige, there’s something about that Birkin and those intertwined Chanel C’s that stand out. As for the price shift on the Chanel bags, it might prove to work. In this economy, you see most products lowering their prices while raising prices might be seen as retail-suicide. But something tells me that a 20% increase in price won’t stop women from putting on their red-soled stilettos and running to the nearest Saks to get their hands on a bag.
Ask my dad what an investment means to him, he’d say a piece of real estate, stocks and certainly my college education. If you asked him if a Chanel bag is an investment, he’d laugh. Maybe he’s right and everything I said was wrong. Maybe he’s the voice of reason and my head is too cluttered from all the fashion magazines I read and I’ve been brainwashed ever since I was five and playing dress up in my moms closet. But I’m gonna stick with Chanel on this one. Sorry Dad, but I believe in the power of Karl.