Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The cost of becoming a fashion icon

Forget fast fashion – a new study has looked at the cost of becoming an icon by acquiring some of the most famous pieces of all time – but the iconic look doesn’t come cheap.

Female fashion fans will have to fork out over £20,000 to get their hands on the five most iconic style items in history – including a Birkin bag, Louboutin heels and a Burberry trench coat.

The money saving team at have dug deep into the style archives and worked out how much it would cost to buy five of the most well-known fashion items for both men and women.

With the success of this month’s London Fashion Week as well as New York, Paris and Milan, all eyes are on the fashion world to discover what will soon be next season’s hottest trends.

But while some styles come and go, all of these items have stood the test of time and are still paraded down the catwalks to this day.

The research looked at the prices of each historic item and how much would have to be forked out to complete both five-piece collections – all in all totalling a whopping £34,870.

In comparison, women would have to shell out £22,500 for the full set compared to just £12,370 for men.


  Item Price
1. Hermes Birkin Bag in 35 Bleu Hydra Togo £14,990
2. Chanel 2.55 Handbag £3,250
3. Yves Saint Laurent Le Smoking Suit £1,940
4. Burberry The Westminster Trench Coat £1,895
5. Christian Louboutin Pigalle Patent Shoes £425
Total Cost: £22,500

For label loving ladies, the research took into account products such as the classic quilted Chanel 2.55 handbag, the iconic Burberry trench coat and the bright-soled Christian Louboutin shoe.

All of the items are coveted by fashionistas across the globe but come at enormous prices – with the most expensive item being the hugely desired Birkin bag.

Made famous by A-List celebrities including Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Elizabeth Hurley, it comes with an eye-watering price tag of £14,990.

Miss VB is such a fan of the designer item in fact that she has over 100 in total – which altogether are worth nearly £1,500,000.

Second in expense for women style collectors is the quilted Chanel 2.55 handbag, which comes with the whopping price tag of £3,250. A firm favourite in the world of accessories, it makes a regular appearance on the front row and is worn by stars such as Blake Lively, Alexa Chung and Lauren Conrad.

Also making an appearance in the list is the iconic red sole of Christian Louboutin heels. Famous across the world, the shoes are coveted by women of every generation and were first worn by the Princess of Monaco. Just a glimpse of the trademark red sole can send shivers down clued-up fashion followers.

For the men, the most expensive item to collect is an Omega Speedmaster Professional watch. A top of the range design will set you back a hefty £7,100 – as seen worn by George Clooney, Barack Obama and Leonardo DiCaprio.


Item Price
1. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-Axial Chronograph Watch £7,100
2. Ralph Lauren Dark Peak Lapel Tuxedo Suit £3,830
3. Louis Vuitton Keepall Bandouliere 55 Bag £1,090
4. Dr Martens Arthur Boanil Brush Boots £200
5. Levi’s 501 Original Fit Jeans £150
Total Cost: £12,370


Joining the ranks as one of the most luxurious fashion items for men is a Ralph Lauren Dark Peak Lapel Tuxedo, priced at £3,830. Inspired by The Great Gatsby, the Italian tailored tuxedo features a fully lined peaked-lapel jacket and a pair of satin-striped trousers – the epitome of style.

At the other end of the scale, male shoppers who don’t want to splash the cash but still want to be on-trend can purchase a pair of Levi’s 501 Original Fit Jeans for £150.

This classic design can now be spotted in high streets across the UK but is still regarded as a historic piece of fashion, and have been labelled the oldest and best-selling jeans of all time.

A spokesperson for said: “Fashion fans always want to get their hands on the latest must-have item, but what’s even better is owning a fashion product that has been made iconic by celebrities, designers and brands.

“However, as the research shows, this doesn’t come cheap. It is startling to see that famous fashion items can range from just £37 to a mind-staggering £15,000.

“The world is going style crazy at the moment with this year’s September fashion weeks in full flow. Many of these items have been photographed front row at high profile catwalk shows – showing just how popular they still are.”

Elliot is the Editor at ABCMoney. He manages a team that writes and contributes to many leading publications across a number of industries.

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