Going vintage has never been so en vogue, but at some point those vintage pieces were bought new, so by the process of deduction folks have to keep making new investments in pieces that will stand the test of time in order to become the vintage fashions of the future, won’t they?
So what’s the difference between vintage treasure and old tat? The rule of thumb in terms of defining the vintage time period tends to be that clothing and accessories made before the 1920’s are antique, items created between the 1920’s and 1980’s are generally considered vintage.
But doesn’t that make some items of pretty questionable quality and style “vintage” and therefore up the price? Most vintage merchants rely on their eye for a good piece, and define a vintage item as being something that holds value for the years after its trend has passed e.g. Mary Quant mini dresses, original aviator sunglasses, 1980’s Versace clutch bags etc.
Leather handbags and accessories present ideal vintage pieces to most merchants. Well cared-for leather handbags can last for years, and since leather never really goes out of fashion the spectrum of bags available makes them accessible vintage pieces from every decade.
The very fact that leather handbags, satchels, shoulder bags and clutch bags can still be sold for close to their original purchase cost (often more) is a sure sign that a new leather bag is an investment. However, it’s worth considering who’ll see that revenue in the future – perhaps just the vintage store? Retro wear and vintage is big business. Investing in a vintage leather bag now could be great in terms of fashion and budget as long as the lifespan of the bag suits its modern day usage levels. On the other hand, buying a new leather bag is an investment in the vintage of the future – it’s really down to a matter of taste… retro or recent?