Bejewelled Handbags Attract Collectors

10 NOV 22

Fendi honoured the 25th anniversary of its most popular Baguette bag during New York Fashion Week in September with a stunning ready-to-wear presentation created by Kim Jones and Marc Jacobs, a front row crowded with A-listers like Kim Kardashian and Sarah Jessica Parker, and some Tiffany & Co diamonds.

LVMH-owned brands Fendi and Tiffany worked together to create a limited-edition purse in robin-egg blue crocodile leather with a clasp that combines their names. The bag was a newsworthy design that also highlighted the rising demand for expensive jewellery bags. High jewellery, which features precious gems in intricate, one-of-a-kind pieces, is the jewellers' counterpart of haute couture.

According to Silvia Venturini Fendi, the company's artistic director of accessories and menswear, "Since Tiffany is an icon in New York, the exhibition was the right occasion to see the baguette reinvented through their glasses, without sacrificing the bag's individuality."

By no means is Fendi the first fashion brand to introduce a high-jewelry bag. In 2019, Victoire de Castellane, creative director of Dior's Joaillerie, and Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of women's fashion, debuted the brand's first gilded purses. There is sense in integrating jewellery and leather accessories into one product because they are two of the luxury goods market's best-performing product categories.

According to Bain, the global market for accessories and jewellery generated €62 billion and €22 billion correspondingly in 2021, up 8% and 7% from the previous year. According to Morgane Halimi, head of handbags and accessories at Sotheby's, "Handbag connoisseurs enjoy a piece that mixes both leather goods of the finest quality and jewellery." She mentions that the most sought-after items on the secondary market are Hermès's gilded purses.

Bags with jewels have a long history. Under the direction of muse/artistic director Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier started making handbags at the turn of the 20th century. Since then, the brand has introduced a variety of models, from bejewelled clutches with six-figure price tags to more affordable leather bags like the Must de Cartier (starting at £1,070) and the new Panthère de Cartier (starting at £2,470).