Chanel handbags for sale at PORTERO

How to Care for Your Chanel Bag; by Elizabeth Bernstein

Elizabeth Berstein, Senior Director of Handbags and Accessories at PORTERO

As you know, here at PORTERO we sell authentic, pre-loved and pristine designer handbags, including Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Céline, and more. It’s important to keep your designer bag in the best condition possible, because with the proper care, they can be passed on from generation to generation. Should you ever wish to sell or consign your bag, you will get the best price if you’ve kept your Chanel bag in the best condition possible throughout the years.

Our Senior Director of Handbags and Accessories, Elizabeth Bernstein, explains how to keep your Chanel bag in excellent condition.

Before using a Chanel bag for the first time, are there any steps one can take to keep it in excellent condition?
Never use product on your Chanel bag yourself. If your Chanel bag ever needs conditioning, take it to a Chanel boutique for servicing. Once you or a third party does work on a Chanel bag, it loses its quality and product integrity, and may lose most of its resale value as a result. Best to only let Chanel take care of Chanel!

What are some of the things to avoid when carrying your Chanel bag? 
I always say NEVER put pens in your bag. You can always borrow a pen from someone, but you cannot ever remove major pen stains from the inside of your bag. If you need one, keep it in a plastic container. Same with all liquids, or makeup. Keep anything that could damage the bag inside of a plastic bag, and then inside of a makeup pouch. I very often use a small shoe dust bag to house all of my pouches in, like cosmetics, cell phone case, etc. This way you also do not put dents on the inside of your bag.

How can one best protect their Chanel bag from the rain?
Don’t let it get wet! If you know it’s going to rain, keep a plastic bag inside your purse, to bag it if you have to run through the rain. If you don’t have one, stop at a store to ask for one, or cover it up with your coat. Don’t be shy! Chanel bags do not come with a raincoat like Hermès bags – so better safe than sorry!

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Souvenirs from The Victorian Grand Tour

By Nick Marmol, Creative Director of

Grand Tour

An important European travel tradition, dating back to the 1700s, was The Grand Tour; a hiatus between formal schooling and their work life for young male aristocrats; a “gap year” that spanned from at least a few months, to two-to-three years abroad. The Grand Tour was an important milestone for young wealthy men, who got a chance to not only travel and see important sites in Europe, but to also have theopportunity to be exposed to the arts, and different cultures. They traveled to study ancient Europe, like ancient Italy and Greece.

At the end of the 18th century, with the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars, travel across Europe ceased. However, once the war ended, The Grand Tour saw a revival in the early 19th century. The main difference between this Victorian Grand Tours and the Classic Grand Tours, was the invention of easier methods of travel. Instead of traveling by carriage, a Grand Tourist could travel by train, which made the once very-exclusive Grand Tour more affordable to those in the Middle Class.

The Grand Tour served as a great exchange of culture and cultural artifacts, that would not have otherwise been available to the young man. It was not uncommon for a Grand Tourists to return home with trunks, like this vintage Louis Vuitton wardrobe, full of books, paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and other objects he could display around his house and office; making The Grand Tour a symbol of wealth and freedom. Below are some examples of some of the items Grand Tourists may have collected during their travels:

1. Antique Victorian Cameo Brooch $889. Before there were photographs, there were cameos. Cameos first came into vogue in the 17th century, and stayed in style throughout the Victorian Era. Queen Victoria was a fan of cameo herself, and they were so popular that at some point, the demand for the stones was so high they started to run out. Fortunately, there was lots of lava from Mt. Vesuvius available to make more. Cameos were a popular souvenir during The Grand Tour because Grand Tourists could take back home with them pictures of what or whom they had seen.

2. Antique Victorian Horse Brooch $695. Before the invention of motorized vehicles, people used to travel long distances on a carriage pulled by horses. A young aristocrat would undoubtedly been well-versed in equestrianism, and probably had a favorite horse he would use for shorter travels. Images of horses were a popular souvenir, because they not only symbolized elegance and freedom, but they also represented the journey made by the Grand Tourists.

3. Antique Victorian Diamond Ring $1,895. While on The Grand Tour, young gentlemen would undoubtedly bring back some gifts for their female family members and betrothed; like this Victorian Navette cocktail ring, made with old mine cut diamonds.

4. J.W. Benson Demi-Hunter Pocket Watch $1,670. A gentleman’s outfit is not complete without a good watch. Pocket watches, like this one from the now-difunct house of J.W. Benson, makes for a great accessory to show off your good taste, and to impress your acquaintances.

Today, in a way, The Grand Tour still exists; with more and more young people, men and women alike, taking time after high school or college to explore Europe, Asia, Latin America, or even Africa. To quote Saint Augustine, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”

Popular Birkin colors

The 10 Most Popular Hermès Birkin Colors

In the House of Hermès, purple is not purple, but Anemone, or Parme. Blue is not blue, but Blue Atoll, Mykonos, or Ciel. When is time to shop for a Birkin you can choose different leathers, different hardware, and of course, many different colors. But what are some of the most popular ones out there? Our Senior Director of Handbags and Accessories, Elizabeth Bernstein, gives us handy guide to the most popular Birkin bag colors.


Black BirkinBlack Hermès Birkin with Palladium Hardware $22,500


The classiest of colors. If you’re a first-time Birkin buyer you can’t go wrong with black; it goes with everything!


Gold Birkin bagGold Hermès Birkin Bag with Gold Hardware $17,995


Gold is actually the Hermès signature camel color, not to be confused with gold metallic. This color is one of Hermès’ oldest and most classic. It goes with everything as its a perfect neutral camel color.

Orange H

Orange H Birkin bagOrange H Birkin bag $21,750


Orange H is the most famous Hermès color. It is their signature orange, which is highly representative of Hermès because of their orange boxes. Surprisingly enough, this color is also a good neutral to be paired with tan, brown, blues, greens, reds, etc. Hermès adopted the Orange H in the 1960s, when they were inspired by the Orient and their mysticism.

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Vintage Victorian accessory

Vintage diamonds; Old Mine Cut vs. Old European cut diamond

A Mine Cut diamond is a vintage diamond cut, very popular from the 1830′s to the turn of the century. Prior to discoveries of mines in places like Africa, Canada, and Russia, the very old mines were found in the Goldconda region in India. These  mines are now depleted, but they gave the original name to the Old Mine Cut stones. These stones were cut by hand by crafted artisans, meaning not two cuts were ever alike; unlike today, when most diamonds are cut with precision lasers. Although Mine Cut diamonds don’t reflect light as well as other modern diamonds, they  have a unique personality, and are truly one-of-a-kind.

Old Mine Cut diamond ring
The shape of the Mine Cut diamond is the original version of what has become today the cushion cut, though with gently rounded corners.

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The Five Brands with Staying Power in the Secondary Luxury Market

Here at PORTERO we don’t want to just help you find the best luxury items, but we want to educate you on the secondary market, on what makes a great purchase, and which luxury accessories will hold their value over time.

“The secondary marketplace is very much like a commodity. Brands and their collections gain and lose value based on specific factors,” says Alexis Clarbour, the director of For example, you may pay full retail price on a certain bag, only to sell it a few years later and find out it has lost more than half of its retail value. The demand for certain brands and items varies over time, but there are five brands that have staying power in the secondary luxury market; meaning they are always in demand, and, should you wish to resell your items, will always get you a good profit.

Brands with Staying Power


  1. Bulgari. We have noticed an increase of interest in Bulgari, especially the Serpenti and Tubogas collections. The brand is also known for their colored gemstones, like these 18K yellow gold and pink tourmaline earrings.
  2. Cartier. Cartier is known for its fine jewelry and watches. The Cartier LOVE Bracelet, an iconic symbol of love, is a highly coveted piece that is in huge demand in the secondary market.
  3. Rolex. One of the brand’s most popular model; the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, is one of the most sought after timepieces by luxury watch lovers. It’s a great collector’s item that will undoubtedly hold its value over time.
  4. Chanel. As Chanel retail prices continue to rise, Chanel handbags and accessories, like this still Chanel Classic Double Flap Bag, can be found at excellent price points in the secondary marketplace.
  5. Birkin bag. It’s very hard to purchase a Birkin bag directly from Hermès, due to the high demand and low supply. However, you can find many Birkin bags in the secondary marketplace (here at PORTERO we have more than one hundred), which you can buy immediately; without having to get on a wait list. “If [a Birkin bag] is in excellent or pristine condition…one can receive a high premium to retail for that bag,” says our director, Alexis Clarbour. To find out more, see our feature on
Iconic Handbags

Iconic handbags; how a handbag becomes iconic

There are certain handbags that are immediately recognizable, and coveted by many. Handbags that express status and signify good taste; but what makes these handbags so iconic? PORTERO’s Senior Director of Handbags and Accessories, Elizabeth Bernstein, explains.

How does a handbag become iconic?

An iconic handbag is a bag that anyone can recognize, even if they don’t know a lot about handbags in general. A handbag becomes iconic by being classic, chic, highly functional, of great quality, and timeless. It is a bag that speaks volumes. Created by one of the top luxury brands, an iconic bag has a classic, recognizable style, and can be worn any year, any season, and any occasion. It takes this special combination of attributes and a top tier luxury brand for a bag to be considered at an iconic level. Bags that are difficult to carry, open, close, etc. generally never become iconic because they are too impractical to be carried regularly. I would say over 15 years of stability would be the shortest duration before you can call a handbag iconic.

What are some of the most iconic handbags?

Some of the most iconic handbags today include the Chanel Classic Flap, the Hermès Birkin Bag, and the Hermès Kelly Bag. These are bags that have been wardrobe staples and recognized as iconic for more than 20 years.

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Bag Authentication; what you need to know to spot fake designer handbags

Elizabeth Bernstein

At PORTERO, we are dedicated to offering the finest in pre-owned luxury handbags, jewelry, watches, and accessories. We have our very own team of seasoned authenticity experts to help us bring you nothing but authentic, pre-owned luxury bags and accessories.

We sat down with our Senior Director of Handbags and Accessories, Elizabeth Bernstein, who happens to be one of the leading industry experts in authentication in the secondary marketplace for luxury handbags, to learn more about how she began her career and to get deeper insight into the authentication process.

When did you start authenticating bags?

I have always had a strong passion for luxury goods and accessories, since I was a child. I would say it came from my mother’s influence, as she was always dressed impeccably. I have been interested in authenticity and have been studying it independently since I was a teenager, but my expertise in understanding the counterfeit market grew when I was studying in Italy.

What is the counterfeit market like in Italy?

Italy has one of the most sophisticated counterfeit luxury marketplaces in the world, as they actually make bags and accessories with the same high quality materials stolen from the factories in cities outside of Florence. It is very hard to tell the difference between these fake and real items, as they are often sold in warehouses in Italy as authentic bags, and eventually circulate into the streets, shops and online.  Anyone who says a luxury bag, scarf or belt is “directly from the manufacturer” is generally selling counterfeit merchandise, since it has not been created by the brand itself.

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Bug out! Fashion Bug Jewelry

Fashion Bug Jewelry

While most people are not fans of spiders, beetles, caterpillars or roaches, fashion bug jewelry is making quite a statement this season. The fashion of adorning oneself with bugs can be traced back to the Egyptians who wore scarab beetles amulets into battle, as they believed they were a source of supernatural powers of protection against their enemies.

For many centuries, various cultures, like the Mayans, wore live insects and bugs as accessories. Today, the idea of wearing a live bedazzled cockroach may not appeal to many, but fortunately, here at PORTERO we have fine jewelry inspired by bugs, but made with much finer materials.

1. Vintage 14K gold and enamel beetle brooch $595. A great way to add pizzazz to an outfit is with a pin. This beetle brooch will definitely be a conversation starter, and you can always tell them about the Egyptians (see below).

2. Vintage 14K gold Egyptian scarab beetle pendant $495. For the Egyptians, the scarab beetles were a symbol of rebirth and regeneration. The Egyptian god, Khepri, was often depicted as a scarab beetle.

3. Vintage 18K gold and enamel Double Bumblebee  Cocktail Ring $1,595. The bumble bee is a lot less aggressive than the more common honey bee, and it is a symbol of joy, harmony, and the inspiration for Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Flight of the Bumblebee.

4. Vintage 14K gold and diamond bumblebee brooch $895. Spring is the perfect time of year to wear this bumblebee pin, as bees help pollinate the beautiful blooming flowers of the season.

5. Vintage 14K gold and enamel ladybug beetle bug charm bracelet $479. Another member of the beetle family, the lady bug brings love and abundance wherever she goes. This charm bracelet will no doubt have you smiling and feeling lucky every time you look at it.

An Interview with Creative Director Nick Marmol: His Love for Watches

Nick Marmol Creative Director of PORTERO

When did you first start admiring vintage watches?

I started admiring watches while visiting antique auctions in England at the age of seven. My father used to be an antiques dealer. I often stopped to check out the vitrines of jewelry and watches and was fascinated by pocket watches.

How has your knowledge of antiques influenced your passion for vintage watches?

I like design and how things are made. Same as with antiques, watches are made by skilled craftsmen.


What qualities should buyers look for when purchasing a vintage timepiece?

Buy something with a good quality movement. If it’s your first, or one of your first watches- an entry level watch, as we’d say- go for a vintage Omega. Or if you can spend a bit more, go for a nice vintage Rolex Oyster.  Try to get something with its original papers and box. And lastly, buy something you love.

What are some of the brands that hold their value over time? In other words, what watch makes for a great investment?

Rolex always seems to hold some value, as does Patek Philippe. Both brands are highly collectible.

Why should one buy a vintage watch?

My reasons for buying a vintage watch are that I love the history attached to it. I always wonder who wore it before me and what that watch has seen! A vintage watch can also make  you stand out from the crowd, as it adds just a little je ne sais quoi to a business suit or casual outfit.

Vintage Rolex Oyster

What is your most treasured watch in your collection?

I just love my 1966 Rolex Oyster, and I have all its original paperwork. It was purchased at the Raffles hotel in Singapore, and had one previous owner before me. Everything, including the metal strap, are original. You can check this by matching the serial numbers on the strap to the ones on the back of the case.

What is your favorite watch on

My favorite watch currently on PORTERO is a Vintage Rolex Cosmography Daytona, found here. I love that is a pretty rare Daytona model from 1962. I love the large face, and the whole style of it. You’d be a fool not to buy it!

vintage Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

Chanel Flowers

Flowers in Spring; the Coco Chanel Flower

Chanel lovers are familiar with the camellia, the Coco Chanel Flower; a motif we see over and over again in the maison’s design – an emblem of House Chanel. Camellias originate in eastern and southeast Asia and are most revered in that region. For instance, in Korea, they are a symbol of longevity and faithfulness, making them a popular choice at weddings. In the West, they have come to symbolize desire, passion, and refinement. The camellia has inspired many artists, like author Alexandre Dumas, who wrote La Dame aux Camélias, or The Lady of the Camellias, which in turn inspired Italian composer to create his famous opera, La Traviata.

Madame Chanel was also inspired by the flower’s beautiful simplicity and round symmetry. It is said the camellia was Coco Chanel’s favorite flower. Her love for it originated thanks to her lover, Boy Capel (the origin of the Coco Chanel flower).

A sophisticated addition to your spring wardrobe would be one of these Chanel flower brooches. You can pin them to your lapel to spruce up your outfit, or to your bag to give it some authentic Chanel flair.

Coco Chanel Flower

White Chanel Camellia Flower Brooch Pin $229. The perfect way to tell someone they’re cared for is with a white camellia.

Beige Chanel Camellia Flower Brooch Pin $185. Camellias come in various shade of white, from cotton white, to having a bit of a cream tint. This beige camellia, though not found in nature, will add a touch of sophistication to any outfit.

Vintage Velvet Chanel Camellia Flower Brooch Pin $180. Brown is one of the colors we find most in nature, and according to color psychology, is a color that grounds us and makes us feel safe. The color of Mother Earth, this Chanel Flower brooch makes for a great neutral accessory.

Black Velvet Chanel Camellia Flower Brooch Pin $229. Black was a highly favored color of Madame Chanel, after all, she’s responsible for inventing the Little Black Dress.

Black and Gray Chanel Camellia Flower Brooch Pin $189. A pin with a print, for those days you need a neutral, yet exciting addition to your look.

Green Chanel Camellia Flower Brooch Pin $170. Though there is a genus of camellia that’s green, the camellia sinensis. It produces a white flower, and its oil is used for tea.

Large Chanel Multicolor Large Vinyl Flower Brooch Pin $139. This large vinyl flower will give the most conservative of outfits a fun and touch.

Light Blue Large Chanel Camellia Flower Brooch Pin $160. A nice color for summer, this large pin will certainly be a conversation starter.

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