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How to store, protect, and enjoy your luxury handbag collection

luxury bag collection

Like many collectibles these days, the pre-loved market for luxury handbags is growing faster than primary retail sales. With online and auction sites now touting preowned and vintage luxury handbags, collectors are seeking out second-hand bags for their value and sustainability–both for personal enjoyment and as an investment.

According to Bonhams, “Until about 10 years ago nobody really thought about collecting handbags seriously. But what you see nowadays is that if you look after your handbag collection, it can appreciate in value far quicker than more traditional categories.” In fact, Hermès Birkin bags have increased in value by 500% in the last 35 years – that’s 14% per year1.

Three of the most collectible bags include the Hermès Birkin, Hermès Kelly, and Chanel Classic Flap bag2.


How to store your luxury handbag

Like any investment, a luxury handbag is only as good as the condition it’s in. That’s why it’s so important to store your bag the right way. To keep it in top condition, store your handbag:

  • Empty out everyday items but keep it stuffed using acid-free paper or a bag pillow / shaper, to help maintain its shape.
  • Inside a soft, breathable dust bag or cotton pillowcase of a neutral colour (to prevent colour transfer). Wrap any exposed hardware (including buckles and zipper pulls) in lint-free cloth to prevent imprints on your bag over time. If there is a detachable shoulder strap, remove and store it inside the bag or in a separate dust bag.
  • Inside the original box with the lid open to allow air to circulate. You can also store the bag inside a dust bag, upright on an open shelf. It should be out of direct sunlight, in the dark and away from any heat sources such as hair dryers.
  • In a climate-controlled room with a stable relative humidity (RH) between 45-55%3.
  • If the RH is too low, tanned leather will become brittle over time. If it is too high, the leather may develop mould. A fluctuating RH can also cause leather to become darker and brittle. Do not use moisture-absorbing sachets to try to control humidity, as they can dry out leather.


How to keep your bag in good condition while you’re using it

Like any organic material, leather needs time to rest, breathe, and recover from daily use. After every use, consider emptying your handbag and removing any loose dirt and dust from the leather and hardware with a dry lint-free microfiber cloth. If your handbag is made of suede, use a suede brush to remove dirt and restore the natural texture after each use.

Also consider these tips to protect your handbag from wear and tear:

  • Avoid oily, alcohol or perfume-based products.
  • Avoid rubbing against dark, textured, or embellished clothing.
  • Keep any sharp objects like keys, nail files, and pens in pouches to avoid leaving scratches on the leather inside of your bag.  Make sure water bottles, make-up, or other spillable items are tightly sealed to avoid leaving stains.
  • Use a portable handbag hanger to hang the bag instead of placing it on the floor when not in use. This will help ensure it is not exposed to dirt, glass shards, liquids, or people stumbling over or stepping on it.
  • Avoid packing heavy or bulky objects inside the bag to help it stay in proper shape.
  • Keep it away from water. Always cover your bag to protect it from rain, as water can leave leather stained and blistered.
  • Have your bag professionally cleaned and restored it if it suffers severe water stains or other marks. Consider reaching out to your seller’s after-sales service team and consulting with a professional specialist.


How to protect your luxury handbag so you can enjoy it for years to come

As with any other valuable you take with you, make sure to keep your bag on your person or within sight and reach at all times, never leaving it unattended or in a vehicle where it could be stolen or damaged.

To protect your collection at home, consider installing a central home alarm system that includes a monitored motion sensor in the room where your handbags are stored. Be sure to arm any accessible doors or window openings, even if they are above the ground level.

And, as always, talk to your insurance agent or broker about a Valuable Articles policy that can help protect your luxury handbag collection so they can last a lifetime and beyond.

If you need assistance with putting an accurate assessment on your luxury bag collections or would like to find out more on how you can protect your valuable possessions, leave your contact details via the ‘Contact Me’ button below and our representatives will get in touch with you.


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Disclaimer - The content of the above article is not intended to constitute professional advice. Although all content is believed to be accurate, Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited (Chubb) makes no warranty or guarantee about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the content of this article. Users relying on any content do so at their own risk.

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