Sold in an online only Christie’s auction of high end handbags and accessories, the Hermes hard hat realized $6,875.


WHAT: These days, luxury comes in many guises, and some are definitely non-traditional. When Christie’s offered 159 lots of luxury handbags and accessories in a 12-day online sale recently, a hard hat by Hermes (say “air-mez”) colored the traditional orange of Hermes boxes and bearing the Hermes logo sold for $6,875. Presale estimate was $600 to $800.

MORE: Within the past few years, auction houses and specialty sellers have fed a thriving market in used luxury items including handbags by Hermes, Chanel, Fendi, Judith Leiber, Dior and the like. Top dollar when bought, the gently used bags sell high on the secondary market. In this sale, a rare circa 2011 white Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Birkin 30cm bag fetched $125,000.

SMART COLLECTORS KNOW: Luxury buyers tend to be brand specific. A die-hard Hermes buff buys anything made by the French maker, such as a variety of bags and scarves to leather and metal purse charms, stoles, blankets, etc. Chanel’s logo has even appeared on surfboards, skis, jewelry, footwear and more.

HOT TIP: Made by Hermes for the opening of the Toronto store in 2008, the helmet is unique; and that is the point. Anyone with disposable cash can own a scarf by Hermes, but only a select few can own a specialty hard hat created for a unique occasion. Haute cachet goes to the viewer who spots the hat and recognizes what it represents.

BOTTOM LINE: In the same sale, other non-traditional winners were a set of four white Chanel tennis balls for $300 and two grey/black wool and cashmere Hermes sofa pillows for $5,250. A Chanel fuchsia Lucite clutch, circa 2015 with bold black lettering reading “I am not for sale” in French, brought $2,500.