As much as we love the instant gratification of going into a shop and picking up the newest it bag that has been pictured across social media, there’s a certain charm that accompanies a beautiful, well-designed vintage bag.
And it doesn’t just apply to bags but clothing, jewellery and shoes too. Sure, you could have the latest Givenchy release but there’s immeasurable cachet when it comes to owning a vintage Chanel made in the 20th century.
To help you on the quest of collecting the best vintage designs that luxury brands such as Hermès, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent have to offer, we’ve consulted Ace Tan of Oldsowhat, a local collector who specialises in collecting and selling vintage clothing, bags and accessories, to give you tips on ways you can ensure your piece is authentic.
Trust us, you’re going to want to bookmark this piece before diving headfirst into a flea market, vintage fashion or an antique store.
After all, you don’t want your hard-earned money to go down the drain because you can’t tell a fake from the real deal.
1. Inspect the leather
Vintage leather bags are made with calf or lamb leather. The former is slightly harder while lamb skin is soft. Both of these skins will soften as they age but they will also last for a long time when kept in proper conditions.
Here, Ace recommends looking out for flaking. You wouldn’t want the vintage bag you’ve gotten to end up shedding like a snake right? While she states that flaking might occur due to wear and tear, it could also be a sign that the bag has been restored or treated with artificial mink oil during cleaning.
Pure, real mink oil acts as a moisturiser for the leather and you would need very little amounts when using it. However, Ace adds that many of the mink oil sold commercially are mixed with chemicals to increase the lifespan of the oil, and it is these chemicals that result in the leather flaking.