All posts by Portero

Our Favorite Red, White, and Blue handbags; Happy 4th of July!

Red White and Blue Bags available on PORTERO.com

By Nick Marmol, Creative Director of PORTERO.com

Happy 4th of July! Whether you wear red, white and blue from head to toe, or you prefer to incorporate patriotic colors through your accessories, we have three handbag choices to help you show your national spirit this 4th of July weekend. Stay safe!

1. Red Chanel Petite Timeless Tote $1,850. This Petite Timeless Tote, also known as PTT, is special because it’s hard to find in red. The caviar leather makes this bag very durable, and with the proper care, can last for years.

2. White Birkin 30 cm $21,000. In Clemence leather and palladium hardware, this pristine 30 cm Birkin makes for a great summer accessory.

3. Louis Vuitton Monogram Addiction Lockit Vertical Bag $2,100. As seen on the Fall/Winter 2011-2012 runway, this limited-edition Louis Vuitton Addiction Lockit Vertical Bag is made of navy matte rubber, with three-dimensional lamé monogram; the perfect complement for your Fourth of July outfit.

Lady Dior bags available on PORTERO.com

Lady Dior Handbag- A Tribute to Princess Diana

Lady Diana Lady Dior

Christian Dior’s Lady Dior bag was first crafted on the basis of wanting to successfully create an iconic, recognizable bag, which, in fact, Dior did. Created in 1994, the tote was first called “Chouchou,” which means “Favorite”  in French. In 1995, the First Lady of France, Madame Bernadette Chirac, gave Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, the latest handbag design by Dior. Lady Diana fell instantly in love with the bag; and as the most photographed woman in the world, the bag was highly photographed on the arm of one of the world’s most beloved woman of all time. The Lady Dior became an instant success. In honor of Lady Di, Dior decided to rename its iconic bag and pay tribute to the Princess of Wales, and since 1996, the bag has been known as the Lady Dior bag.

The Lady Dior bag is truly unique in both beauty and elegance. Deceptively simple, each handbag takes no less than eight hours to make. They feature quilted stitching- the signature Dior motif- with diagonal and perpendicular stitching. The arched handle is both feminine and elegant, and the charms that adorn Lady Dior have the four letters in the Dior name.

The Lady Dior is the French maison’s signature bag, and has seen a lot of guises since its creation in the mid 1990s, but its timeless elegance remains the same. The bag has also been the subject of many short films, known as The Lady Dior Saga, starring Marion Cotillard, who was the face of Dior from 2008 to 2015.

The Lady Dior bag is rarely seen in the secondary luxury markeplate, mainly because many tend to hold on to this timeless icon. Many celebrities, royalty, and influencers have been seen toting around the Lady Dior. Don’t forget to visit our Lady Dior handbag page, so you too can feel like a princess.

Lady Dior HandbagLarge Black Lady Dior handbag $1,265

 

Lady Diana photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Top 10 Most Popular Hermès Leathers and Skins

A guide to the Top 10 Most Popular Hermès Leathers and Skins (in alphabetical order)

By Elizabeth Bernstein, PORTERO.com‘s Senior Director of Handbags and Accessories

1. Alligator

Hermès alligatorHermès Bleu de Malte Matte Alligator Birkin Bag (SOLD OUT). Hermès Bordeaux Shiny Alligator Kelly Pochette $33,000

 

Not to be confused with Crocodile, Hermès’ alligator skin is available in both Matte and Lisse (shiny). Physically, the main difference between alligator and crocodile is that alligator has a type of webbing pattern in the scales, and the scales are less uniform (see crocodile below).

2. Box Calf Leather

Hermès Box Calf LeatherHermès Brique Box Calf Kelly $7,500

 

Also known as veau leather, Box Calf is Hermès’ oldest leather. Box Calf is very smooth with a glossy finish. It’s a very structured hard leather that holds shape well. It can blister if it gets wet, so be cautious around water, and be sure to use a raincoat. Be careful not to make large scratches to the leather as it is smooth and will detract from its beauty. If the leather does get scratched, the item can be taken to the Hermès boutique for servicing, which will reduce the appearance of scratches and blemishes.

3. Clemence

Hermès Clemence Leather Hermès Blue Paradise Clemence Birkin $21,500. Hermès Plomb Clemence Kelly $18,500

 

Clemence is a soft, buttery calfskin with a nice even grain. It will not show scratches as a smooth leather would because of the grain, which is smoother and softer than other grainy leathers, with a nice light weight. Over time, if a Clemence leather bag is overloaded with heavy items, it can become slouchy, so be sure not to overload your bags.

Read more…

For the Love of Cartier; the Story Behind the LOVE Collection

Cartier Love Bracelet and Birkin bag

The LΘVE bracelet was designed by Cartier’s Aldo Cipullo in 1969. He was inspired by the chastity belts worn by women during Medieval times, to protect their virtue and good name.

Similar to a chastity belt, the bracelet locks around the wrist, and can only be removed with a special screwdriver. For a while, Cartier had a policy that no customer could buy a LOVE bracelet for himself or herself – they had to buy it as part of a couple. During the 70s, his-and-hers bracelets were presented to famous couples, like The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Many celebrities were photographed wearing the sleek gold band. The LOVE bracelet became an instant hit.

The original LOVE bracelets were gold plated, but as time went on and demand grew, they started creating solid gold bracelets, and in 1979, a diamond-studded version was introduced. Today, Cartier continues to produce this iconic symbol of love, not only in the form of the original bracelet, but also in rings, cuff links, and earrings. Some bracelets don’t even require a screwdriver, but still have the emblematic LΘVE design.

“The Cartier LOVE series represents the permanence and indestructibility of affection,” says PORTERO‘s Creative Director, Nick Marmol. ” Classic and timeless, it is given as a gift for only the most important occasions.”

Although it was first introduced as a symbol of love, today it can be gifted for many reasons: coming-of-age, graduation, or even as a gift to yourself. The LOVE bracelet’s design is recognizable enough to be considered a modern icon, but simple enough to complement all outfits. It can easily be worn on its own, or stacked with bracelets and/or watches. It looks just as appropriate with jeans and a t-shirt, than it does with a designer gown. Its unisex design makes it the ultimate sign of elegance and sophistication.

It’s been more than 40 years since its introduction, but the Cartier LOVE bracelet has remained relevant in the luxury and secondary luxury market. In fact, Cartier is one of the five brands that will hold its value over time. Today, a LOVE bracelet starts at $6,300 and goes to $56,500 for a white gold and diamonds piece. However, at PORTERO you can find Cartier LOVE pieces for about $5,000.

“Love has become too commercial, yet life without love is nothing – a fat zero.” Said Cipullo. “What modern people want are love symbols that look semi-permanent – or, at least, require a trick to remove. After all, love symbols should suggest an everlasting quality.”
White Gold Cartier Love BraceletWhite gold Cartier LOVE Bracelet $5,190

National Pink Day- The Color Pink and its meanings

Pink Hermes Kelly Bag

It’s National Pink Day and here at PORTERO we’re celebrating by donning pink outfits,and carrying pink Kellys. A mixture of red (representing love and passion) and white (purity), pink represents romance and compassion. It’s a feminine and playful color, that we find calming.

Pink was not a very popular color until the Rococo Period (1720-1777), when pastel pink was all the rage for both men and women throughout European courts. It wasn’t until the mid 20th century that pink became a feminine color. In fact, in the early 20th century pink was considered a masculine color. A 1918 Ladies’ Home Journal article read: “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”

Pink color facts:

Pink is a friendly and affectionate color.

Pink symbolizes good health, think of the term “rosy cheeks.”

Pink represents innocence, and can also remind you of early childhood memories.

Pair your light pinks with stronger neutrals to add strength and sophistication to any look, such as black or dark blue.

Pink always makes for a great pop of color!

Here are some of the fun pink accessories you can find on PORTERO.com

Pink Chanel WOCPink Chanel WOC $3,200
Pink Chanel CuffPink Chanel Cuff $1,440
Pink Birkin bagSpecial Order Pink Birkin $40,000
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!

Read more…

Souvenirs from The Victorian Grand Tour

By Nick Marmol, Creative Director of PORTERO.com

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 

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

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.

Read more…

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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5BrandsCollage

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 PORTERO.com. 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 LuxuryDaily.com.
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