By Lisa Armstrong OBE
When I first heard that a website called Covett was offering timeshare bags, I thought it might be a prank. But if you’ve been paying any attention to the financial world recently, you’ll be aware that (some) bag purchases have outperformed more traditional investments by miles. Why not timeshare them?
Perhaps you’re hankering for a statement piece, without the eye-watering outlay. The service, a collaboration with fashion rental platform Front Row, is potentially a way to enjoy a glam purchase that might otherwise be out of reach. Alternatively, if you have designer bags you no longer use but you aren’t ready to get rid of, you could consider the timeshare model.
Covett bags are strictly high end and in perfect condition. Alongside this large Lady Dior, there’s a Louis Vuitton Petit Sac Plat, a black and white Roman Stud the Handle Bag from Valentino, an ivory leather Bottega Veneta Arco tote and several Hermès Kellys, which reliably return big on their initial outlay. There’s also a capsule of key clothes from Fendi and Prada as well as fine jewellery from Theo Fennell and Nadine Aysoy. Prices are 20 per cent of the original (plus a sourcing fee) – a share in this Lady Dior, which retails at £4,700, is £1,034.
£4,700 Retail Value
Sale Price £1,034 Share
Sale price £462 Share
Potential customers can approach Covett in a syndicate of five, or as a singleton. If you’re on your own, they’ll find you four other partners looking for the same or similar model. Together with Covett, you’ll work out which 10 weeks of the year you get the bag. You can book it out for a maximum of a month at a time. Clearly you have to be someone with a highly organised diary for this to work for you.
Covett takes care of repairs, cleaning and also of the insurance in case of damage or loss. If your bag goes up in value and you want to cash in, they’ll help find a buyer for your share.
It’s too early to say whether Covett will flourish and become the first of many. ‘What we do know is that there has been none of the stigma or resistance that we used to find with rental,’ says its co-founder Cynthia Morrow.
What’s interesting is the way consumers are now approaching bags as bona-fide investments, just as they have wine, cigars, cars and memorabilia. ‘I love the idea of a handbag being part of your global investments,’ says Phoebe Chamier, senior investment manager at Female Folio by Brooks Macdonald. ‘Traditional assets have performed abysmally in the past year or so, whereas a Chanel flap bag has gone up 30 per cent since in 2019, limited-edition ones even more.’
The lipstick I’m wearing isn’t timeshare by the way, although there are platforms offering second hand make-up, but I’m funny like that. Armani Ecstasy Shine Lipstick in Eccentrico is exceedingly moisturising and a warm raspberry-red that’s less harsh than pure red – a good match for the Lady Dior.
Top image: Lisa wears: Jacket, from a selection, Jane Atelier; Organic-cotton tank top, £55, Ninety Percent; Tailored trousers, £220, Dai;. Shoes,£55, Charles & Keith; Red Patent Lady Dior, £4,700 retail value, £1,034 to share; Sunglasses and earrings, Lisa’s own