Introducing a new addition to the Aspen community and luxury shopping scene: Only Authentics with owner and curator Charles Virgil Rogers and sales director, David Jonathan Rogers at the reigns. Only Authentics opens July 1 through September, 2018 in the space previously occupied by the Hub across from the historic Wheeler Opera House on Hyman Avenue. Charles Rogers brings a collection of carefully curated Hermes and Chanel bags that he has been honing for 30 years. Champagne will be served and the history of the continuum of these accessories as assets and works of art will happily be discussed by the engaging and eloquent host David Jonathan Rogers.
This seductive glass case and its spectrum of bags fit Rogers’ rigorous specifications “brand new and never carried.” There is one exception, a Birkin (Hermes) that went once on the arm of a sparkly VIP to the Oscars and once to Cannes before returning to its safe roost with Only Authentics where it could wait patiently accruing more value than that of Gold on the stock market in the last 10 years. You see, these are not just bags as accessory to match pants and shoes. These are works of art, equal in collectible elusiveness and power to the blue chip artworks they have been visiting with during a temporary residency and collaboration at the Opera Gallery. Chanel, like Hermes stock strength, holds value too because, as David explains, “They (Chanel) continually raise prices. They rule the fashion industry. You are buying into the #1 top-of-the-top, best-of-the-best. You buy a Chanel for staying power. You buy a Birkin for growing power.”
Aspen locals and visitors alike, I encourage you to hurry and catch a glimpse of their Best Bag in Show as it will fly off the shelf (10 Chanels and 7 Birkins have already in 3 days at their temporary Opera spot), due to its unusual smaller (25 centimeter) size and captivating pumpkin crocodile and diamond-encrusted hardware. If it doesn’t move quickly enough, in curator Charles Roger’s opinion, he will swiftly send it to auction at Sotheby’s where it should fetch a cool $400,000. That’s quite a price tag and non-nature-friendly casing, you might gasp….I did! However, the PETA lover in me was satisfied by namesake Jane Birkin’s commitment to hold Hermes to safe practices which they have followed accordingly to keep her name. Jane Birkin is from the U.K.. When at the peak of her singing career, she happened to spill her purse over on a plane. Her papers fell out all kaflooey and a CEO of Hermes sitting beside her came to her rescue. Together they designed the now iconic Birkin bag to hold all your papers safely and securely and stand upright alone with a stable base. As for the price tag, collectors know these bags are unique works of art and art holds its value and increases in value no matter the economy or current state of affairs. My next article will be about the Aspen Ideas Festival and we can return to this argument going deeper into the future of access versus ownership economy, block chain et al. But, for now, come have a toast of champagne to this lovely whirl of color and art-appreciative curator and his captivating spokesman. David knows “visualization is so underrated”. Given the task of finding a retail location, he was not in a hurry to settle for the quickest opportunity. His heart is with the best interest of the brand which includes the “ideal location, environment and customer base.” So from backpacks to Birkins, I queried – “Who is your client?” The honest and intense response came, “She is a woman who knows herself and understands that she’s not buying luxury for today, she is buying a luxury lifestyle and an investment in who she is. She doesn’t have time for nonsense but does have time for lasting value.” Women in the marketplace and some eye-candy on our arms to boot. Welcome to Aspen and cheers to that!