For some women, handbags are more than just carrying a pouch with their personal belongings. Some flaunt these expensive accessories as a means of self-expression, display of wealth or as a status symbol showcasing and exuding individuality.
Can you blame them? Designer bags are the definition of extravagant! However, these top 10 most expensive handbags are more so. These handbags are one-of-a-kind limited-edition originals – some are created using unique leathers and others are encrusted with real diamonds (yes, you read right, real diamonds!).
The more limited and unique the item, the more costly it retails in the market. This is truer than ever for designer handbags with only a few available in their unique design. This results in highly-priced handbags that only the top 1% can afford. This is especially true for items decorated with diamonds and other kinds of jewellery, that grow in value and are later auctioned off at a higher price point than they were purchased for!
Take a look at some of the most expensive high-end handbags in the world!
10. Marc Jacobs: Carolyn Crocodile Handbag – R440,00 – R550,000
At the bottom of the list, this designer handbag still comes at a steep price. Yup, you could probably buy several used cars with R550 000, but this pretty purse is obviously more desirable! The Carolyn Crocodile Handbag is one of Marc Jacobs‘ most expensive handbags and highly sought after. It has tons of admirers and those with the means to get it are quick to buy one, even at its hefty price tag. This comes as no surprise as Marc Jacobs is a name distinguished by its high-end fashion accessories and exceptional quality!
Why so expensive you ask? The Carolyn Crocodile Handbag is made of exotic leather. This rare leather is also dyed a fabulous shade of purple but can be found in quilted blue, in a coloured pattern that is reminiscent of tie-dye. In addition to the dyed leather, the handbag has a highly efficient segmented pocket system inside and a wealth of fine details.
Those who crave exclusivity and a bag that few others have, tend to like the Carolyn. However, there are also a number of celebrities and fashion influencers that have been seen strutting around this beauty. Outside of the wealthy crowd, it’s rare to see this handbag, which just makes it part of the allure!
9. Fendi: The Selleria Handbag – R550,000
Knowing that a designer piece is vintage just makes it even more coveted! This Fendi handbag was first launched over 80 years ago in 1938 and is exactly what the iconic Italian fashion giant moulded their brand image around.
The attraction of this designer handbag is that it features two of the world’s rarest and most expensive animal skins: sable and chinchilla. What’s more, is that these beauties can take up to an extensive 4 months to be produced by Italian master craftsmen (talk about exclusive, right?).
It is valued at R 550 000 and not only exudes luxury and sophistication with its sublime finish but is one of the few bags in our list which is practical!
This gorgeous piece is spacious enough for daily use and can accommodate all of your accessories comfortably within its soft hide. Tempting to say the least for any handbag collector!
8. Blue Crocodile Hermès Birkin Handbag – R2,200,000
Hermès Birkins are one of the most established and recognisable luxury brands sought after by millions of people! So, it’s not at all surprising that Hermès is on this list as this beauty comes at a price tag of two million rands. However, every designer aficionado will tell you that they’re well worth the pretty penny!
The Birkin bag was first sold at the first-ever Christie’s Auction that was dedicated for handbags at Mayfair in London. It was then bought by an anonymous buyer. Are you still not convinced of the price tag? Well, besides receiving a place as one of the most coveted designer items in the world, this handbag also features white gold accents along with 18-karat diamonds!
7. Fuchsia Diamond-studded Hermès Birkin – R3,200,000
Hermès Birkins are notoriously hard to come by and demand an eye-catching reaction as a result, and this trend has no sign of ending just yet! They are one of the most coveted designer handbags in the world, known for their classy style and practical elements. However, there are also a few Birkins that have additional unique features that make them even more exclusive. This Fuchsia diamond-studded Hermès Birkin is definitely one of them!
As the name suggests, this handbag comes in a pretty pink colour and features bold and eye-catching 18-carat white gold along with sparkling diamonds. In case you didn’t catch that, that’s real diamonds, not fake diamantes! It was sold during an auction of Christie’s in Hong Kong in 2015 for 1.72 million Hong Kong dollars. But today, it is valued at $222,000 which works out to a whopping 3 million in South African Rands.
Being one of the most expensive handbags in the world, the Birkin has found a niche place for itself among the high-profile celebrities that love to carry this gorgeous Hermès handbag!
6. Cleopatra Clutch by Lana Marks – R3,600,000
The Cleopatra Clutch is truly fit for a queen! This piece by fashion designer, Lana Marks is a unique limited edition item. It includes marvellous metallic silver alligator material and 1,500 black and white diamonds set in a stunning 18-carat white gold frame. It also seems to be the go-to clutch for any celebrity looking to make a bold statement on the red carpet.
Celebrities who have rocked this clutch on the carpet include icons like Helen Mirren, who not only wore it on the 2007 Red Carpet but also brought the purse up to the stage when accepting her Best Actress Award for her role in the movie: The Queen. We told you, this handbag is made for a queen!
5. Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Hermès Birkin – R5,500,000
At a value of R5 million, the Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Birkin has well established itself successfully on our list of the top ten most expensive handbags in the world! This handbag owes its price tag to the master craftsmanship, unique colour, and design. Making it an exclusive and costly item that is revered by its owners as something very special.
The Himalaya Birkin is made with rare material of Niloticus crocodiles. To lighten the hue of the material, the brand has adopted a dyeing process that takes hours, however, it’s well worth the amazing results. The Birkin will transform you into the rich-brown Himalayan Mountains and white snow-capped tops with its stunning design. It’s not difficult to see that this designer handbag is certainly a work of art!
4. Hermès Chaine d’Ancre Bag – R21,000,000
No other designer piece comes close to this unusual handbag. True to its name, the Hermès Chaine d’Ancre Bag possesses a prison-like design due to its anchor-shaped chain links which are encrusted strategically with 1,160 pieces of diamonds.
This steep price is not only owed to its expensive materials, it is also highly sought after as it’s a Pierre Hardy-designed collectible. Strictly, there are only three Chaine’d Ancre bags in existence. Yet another Hermès original that took a matter of years to carefully curate due to its elaborate and intricate styling. The diamonds have a combined weight of 33.94 carats.
3. Hermès Kelly Rose Gold – R29,000,000
Who needs jewellery when you can have gold and a handbag all in one! Crafted to resemble crocodile leather, this stunningly small and luxurious bag made out of solid rose gold was designed in collaboration by Hermès and jeweller, Pierre Hardy. This one is currently valued at a massive R29 million! Why you ask? Well, each of these special Birkin’s is spoilt with attention to detail and took Hardy a full 2 years to create. A masterpiece indeed!
This particular line of totes is much smaller than other Hermès bags and crafted from gold and frosted with 1,160 precious stones which can double up as jewellery! What’s more, is that only 12 with three variants were ever created. We sure love an exclusive and authentic designer item.
2. Hermès Birkin Bag by Ginza Tanaka – R28,000,000
This handbag was designed by Japanese designer Ginza Tanaka, who made the body for this Hermès Birkin bag with 100% platinum. As if this wasn’t fascinating enough, she adorned it with 2,000 shimmering diamonds and an 8-carat pear-shaped dazzling diamond. Both the removable strap and the diamond can be used separately as a bracelet or necklace!
The more you examine this beautifully created Birkin Ginza Tanaka Bag; the more you appreciate the work of art. The most impressive feature is possibly the superb, 8-carat pear-shaped, glittering diamond. Which can also be detached and used separately. There are so many intricate details, which adds to the handbag’s uniqueness.
Naturally, this also makes for an excellent investment. Furthermore, because this is a limited edition item, whenever the owner decides to sell it, the bag may acquire more than it was purchased for. After all, Hermès bags hold their value very well!
With its 100% platinum body and mountains of diamonds to adorn it, there has never been anything quite like it so far. The large and rare, 8-carat diamond is the icing on the already delicious cake!
1. The 1001 Nights Diamond Purse by House of Mouawad – R56,000,000
At the top is the Mouawad 1001 nights diamond purse and it’s not just on our list. The Mouawad broke the Guinness World record for being the most expensive bag in the world! The heart-shaped purse dazzles with an extravagant sum of 4,517 diamonds in yellow, pink and colourless variants totalling to 381.92 carats! Nothing on our list comes close to this stunner. It took ten skilled artisans and a total of 8,800 hours to create this accessory.
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