When it comes to seeking out a bargain, buying a second hand or pre-loved designer handbag is something to think about. And if you are a touchy-feely person and need to see the quality of the goods first hand, I get it, buying online isn’t for you. So, when in London, where should you go to discover designer handbag gems in the flesh?
As a Londoner I like to think there are few places I don’t know. I’ve reported that the East is the destination for vintage shops even though they have limited second hand designer bags on offer. However, one place that scores highly for the pre-loved designer bag is Knightsbridge. This west neighbourhood is well known for its retail giants, selling the latest and exclusive designer handbags. Well imagine my surprise when I got a tip off from a friend about a small and quiet street worth investigating.
On the northside of the Brompton Road, take a gentle stroll along Cheval Place, a treasure trove for preloved designer bags. Here you will find 3 dress agency shops next to each other which are brimming with a fine selection of second hand designer handbags. All 3 have distinct collections of handbags so all 3 are worth a visit.
Pandora, by far the largest, has a fine display of bags. Most hang from the ceiling which gives you the advantage of inspecting the bottom of the bag – the place where most wear tends to be, which makes guessing the overall condition of the bag quick and easy.
Pandora features the most designer handbags, not just brimming with Chanel but also Louis Vuitton luggage, the odd Balenciaga and more. In general the store features designs from the last two years. Right now is the time to visit with labels being discounted by up to 30%. Visit before the end of August to enjoy their summer sale.
If you only want to be surrounded by haute couture, pop next door to Dress Box. The left hand side of this shop has the bags. This is where you will find vintage and classic pre-owned designer handbags. These guys are the same team behind the pop-up Designer Vintage at Liberty on London’s Regent Street. Find them on the ground floor in the Accessories Department and on the 2nd floor in women’s wear.
Last but by no means least, Salou is next door which features nearly new designer handbags. It has one of the most extensive pre-loved Hermes Birkin bags I think I’ve seen. The second largest collection of handbags from these three shops, you will find fairly recent releases from designer collections.
In my view Knightsbridge has established itself as one of London’s hotspots for designer handbags; not just for the new, on fine displays at Harrods and Harvey Nichols but for the pre-loved, second handbags found in dress agency shops along Cheval Place. If you have more time why not pop south of Brompton Road to Egerton Terrace to Designer Exchange (DE’s online shop has already been reviewed) enroute to the Victoria & Albert Museum to visit the Shaping Fashion exhibition, charting the influence of Balenciaga A day in handbag heaven is guaranteed!