Dressed for success: the investment potential of luxury brands

One of Wonderinterest's recent analyses looked at non-traditional investments in plants. This time, we look at fashion. After all, auction houses have long since ceased to be just a room full of people bidding on vintage furniture, various types of art and rare collectibles. With the development of digitalisation, buyers' attention is also focusing more on online auctions, where buyers have the opportunity to acquire fashionable luxury and designer pieces, from accessories, to clothing, to special pieces from the wardrobes of famous celebrities, which can increase in value significantly over time.

Investment, fashion and sustainability

Demand for luxury retail is still on the rise, according to the latest Forbes data. This is nothing new. Lovers of expensive "fashion" know very well that their pieces increase in value over time. A 2016 study by luxury handbag e-tailer Baghunter.com reported that the value of the "legendary Birkin" has increased up to 5-fold over the previous 35 years. On average, it grew over 14 percent a year, outpacing the rise in the value of both gold and the S&P 500 index over that period. And the value of a given piece grows even more significantly over time if it is a limited edition. In addition to online sales of exclusive pieces via e-shops, auctions and auction houses are increasingly coming into focus. The trend for slow fashion and sustainability, and the associated second-hand shopping, is not avoiding luxury brands either. According to Statista, the second-hand luxury goods market will reach USD 52 billion by 2026.

Auctions in the spotlight

Auctions have the advantage of a global reach that increases the number of potential bidders. Among other things, it offers the opportunity to gain product data, analytics, marketing strategies as well as an overall improved shopping experience. It is not only buyers who benefit, as for luxury brands, auction houses are also able to "feel exclusive" and offer limited and rare editions of their collections, so they are not solely dependent on generating profit from the sale of new editions. According to Medium.com, it is the online sale of such pieces through auction houses that can have a positive impact on increasing revenue for luxury brands, while also helping them build trust with buyers.

Nike - the king of sneakers

Unique pieces, meanwhile, don't always have to be synonymous with luxury, but also comfort. Sneaker enthusiasts will appreciate the offer of Sotheby's auction house, which is selling Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 Low sneakers for $190,000. This model, along with others, were designed on the occasion of the Luis Vuitton (LV) fashion show and were co-created by the now deceased American fashion designer and entrepreneur Virgil Abloh. Limited to 200 pairs, the sneakers are made of leather with LV's legendary designs and you won't get them in a plain box, but in an orange case with LV monograms and a luggage tag. Of course these aren't the most expensive sneakers Sotheby's has offered. In 2023, he sold a Nike Air Jordan 13 model for $2.2 million. Michael Jordan wore them during the 1998 NBA Finals game and they were even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive sneaker ever worn.

Other record holders

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most expensive dress auctioned is the one Marilyn Monroe wore when she sang to President Kennedy for his birthday in 1962. This flesh-colored gown with 2,500 crystals and 6,000 hand-sewn rhinestones was auctioned for a whopping $4.8 million. It happened at Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles in 2016. They even outbid her iconic dress from The Seven Year Itch, which she wore when she stood on the gridiron and a gust of New York City subway air lifted it up. It was auctioned off for $4.6 million in 2011 during an auction of actress Debbie Reynolds' memorabilia.

Next up is Elton John

Are you a fan of Elton John? If you answered yes, don't miss out on the opportunity to join in the auction of his clothes from his performances and his own wardrobe. The auction will start this month at Christie's auction house in New York, where you can bid on everything from accessories to shoes to costumes with the estimated amount ending at $15,000. Of course, paintings, sculptures or his piano can also be auctioned off, with price tags even exceeding $1 million. Let's be surprised what the final bid will be.

Olivia Lacenova, chief analyst at Wonderinterest Trading Ltd.

This text constitutes marketing communication. It is not any form of investment advice or investment research or an offer for any transactions in financial instrument. Its content does not take into consideration individual circumstances of the readers, their experience or financial situation. The past performance is not a guarantee or prediction of future results.

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