What is the first brand that comes to mind when you think of luxury handbags? Hermès is bound to be at the top of anyone’s list.
This iconic brand has produced iconic products, including the Birkin and the Kelly. But how do you complete this holy trinity? It’s simple – the Constance.
The Constance bag is the third most popular handbag made by Hermès and is unfortunately no easier to get hold of. Hermès’ infinite popularity means that the handbags are snatched up by eagle-eyed fashionistas as soon as they are available in a boutique.
This huge call for demand opens up possibilities for scam artists to sneak in and exploit the scene, leaving Hermès products being some of the most frequently duped and then passed off as the genuine article to an unsuspecting customer.
So how can you be sure that the Hermès Constance you have finally sourced is the genuine article? One excellent way to be sure is to check the price.
As Hermès follows a pricing structure, you can use this guide to help verify that the Constance bag you have sourced is genuine.
The two main factors that dictate the cost of a Hermès Constance bag are the material the bag is made of and the size.
The Constance is available in four sizes:
Be aware that the Constance Micro and Constance Elan are becoming increasingly difficult to find in boutiques.
This may suggest that Hermès are getting ready to discontinue the products as increasing scarcity will prevent a backlog of dead stock after discontinuation.
This leaves the Constance 18 and Constance 24 as the most commonly bought sizes.
The Constance 18 or Mini is certainly compact, perfect for those who like to carry only the essentials. The bag measures around seven inches by five and a half inches (18x15cm), making it the perfect compact bag that is easy to wear.
The Constance 24 is the best option for those who like more space to carry essentials (or not-so essentials).
The 24 bag measures just over nine inches by five and a half inches (24x15cm) but still remains the perfect compact finishing accessory to any outfit.
The Hermès Constance conforms to tradition and is made from a variety of treated leathers, the most frequently available being Epsom leather, box leather, and Evercolor leather.
Epsom leather is a stamped grain leather, meaning the grain is pressed into the leather during the processing phase. This leather is a little more rigid than other types, giving a bag a more structured appearance.
This form of treatment also limits the appearance of scratches on the bag – an inevitable calamity no matter the price.
Box leather is more rigid again and has the distinctive sheen found on vintage Hermès Kellys and is synonymous with the Hermès brand.
Indeed, it was the original leather in the Hermès crafting stores thanks to its durability and ability to hold onto color pigments.
In more recent years it has become a rarely used material for Hermès bags, particularly the Constance, but is sometimes seen in boutiques.
Finally, Evercolor leather is one of the newest materials introduced into the Hermès range and is primarily used for smaller leather goods. It is famed for its firmness and matte appearance and is quite often the choice material for a Constance 18.
As it is rarer, box leather is much more expensive than Epsom or Evercolor leather and this is reflected in the price of the handbag.
If you are looking for a Constance in a bright color, you will most likely be looking at an Evercolor leather handbag which will cost a little less than a brightly colored Epsom leather bag, as the leather dying process is easier for Evercolor materials.
It is important to note that the Constant can be made in alternative, more exotic materials, including crocodile, lizard, or ostrich skin.
The rarity of these materials will make the overall cost of a Constance made with these leathers significantly more expensive than the three most common types of leather listed above.
If sourced brand new from a Hermès boutique, the Constance 18 made of Evercolor will cost you roughly $8,200 if bought in the US. In Europe it is a little cheaper, retailing for €5,850 (roughly $6,900).
If converted to USD, a Constance bought in Europe will be $1,300 cheaper than one bought in the US.
If you are in the US and in the market for a Hermès Constance 18, why not take advantage and enjoy a quick trip to Europe? This might even work out cheaper than buying from the US with the added bonus of a vacation!
The Constance 24 is most readily available in Epsom and like the Constance 18 is cheaper in Europe than the US. US Hermès boutiques are selling this bag for $10,300, whereas the same bag in Europe is retailing for €7,350 ($8,700).
Purchasing the bag in Europe works out at around $1,600 cheaper. So, while you are making savings by purchasing a European Constance 18, why not save even more money by also getting a European 24!?
Many people purchase Hermès bags as investment pieces and the Constance collection is no exception. In fact, the only difference between the Constance and other Hermès bags at resale is that the Constance has the highest monetary value.
According to recent work by RealReal, the ultimate luxury goods specialist, a Constance bag has a resale value of 105% of its purchase price.
This is the highest resale value of any bag in the holy trinity, with the Kelly coming in at number two with 92%, and the Birkin with a surprising 80%.
Part of this impressive resale price is the rarity of the Constance 14 – also known as the Constance Micro.
This bag is so rare it is often impossible to source so, in the unlikely event that one does become available, do not be surprised to find yourself paying an incredible price. These bags sell instantly and at the premium going rate.
Checking out the price of a Hermès Constance is one excellent way to check for authenticity.
These bags are cheaper to purchase in Europe – often over $1,500 cheaper – so if you are planning a trip to Europe and want a Hermès Constance, do bear this in mind.
The Constance is incredibly rare and difficult to source so do not be surprised that the resale value can often be more than the original purchase price. A Constance bag is more difficult to get your hands on than a Birkin or Kelly.
Obviously the larger the bag the greater the price but be aware that exotic materials like crocodile and ostrich will drive the prices up.
Remember – if the deal seems too good to be true then it probably is!