#CNILux: The Eternal Allure Of Handbags
Christie’s has handled some of the world’s most sought-after goods, and its International Head of Handbags and Accessories, Matthew Rubinger, is responsible for some of the most eye-watering records of all time, which are important, he told the conference, as they attract sellers possessing the best property.
Today, he outlined some of his best sellers:
1. A Himalayan Birkin bag, crafted from crocodile, and treated using a complicated dye process. It is currently the most iconic and best-known collectable and has gone up in value from €30,000, when it was originally bought, to €160,000 when it sold at Christie’s in 2015.
2. A Kelly Doll bag, which was designed in the early Noughties. Although not valued highly when it was first released in 2000, in the 17 years that has followed, today’s collectors regularly snap them up for anything between €15,000 and €25,000.
3. Louis Vuitton trunks and travel luggage are always popular, but a collection originally belonging to Elizabeth Taylor sold in 2013 for over $100,000, when it was originally estimated to fetch between £3,000 and £5,000.
But amidst the impressive figures, Rubinger is aware that mindful luxury – the theme of this year’s conference – needs to remain central to the auction process, despite, as he put it, not being a part of the normal retail game.
“I see it from two separate angles,” he said. “We have to be more mindful of our clients than we have in past. The old luxury angle of ‘if we build it they will come,’ doesn’t work any more; we need to build relationships with them. Secondly, considering how mindful the luxury consumer is, it’s important for us to make sure we’re offering them something extraordinary and unique, as well as offering unique expertise.”
“The importance of relationships and the importance of trust is more crucial than ever,” he said. “We could spend a little less time sending emails and more time educating and building relationships with the consumer.”