Tag Archives: Hermes Handbag

At Auction, Christie’s Sets a New Price Record for a Leather Hermès Birkin

This leather bag’s price rivals plenty of its exotic counterparts

By now, we’re all used to seeing six-figure price tags for particularly rare versions of exotic Hermès Birkins at auction. Himalayan Crocodile Birkins are especially popular, as are particular shades of bright pink and red in glossy crocodile or alligator; of course, pavé diamond hardware always helps. At Christie’s most recent auction in Paris, though, a never-before-seen thing happened: a non-exotic Birkin broken the three-figure price ceiling.

According to the New York Times, the bag in question is the Hermès Birkin you see above, in metallic bronze chevré leather. The NYT didn’t give the bag’s size, but based on the photo, it looks quite small—my guess is it’s 25cm, a somewhat harder-to-find size that’s quite trendy right now, which likely helped boost interest in the rare piece, which sold for $117,394, after being priced at less than a tenth of that when it was manufactured.

The NYT also reports that the bag was only made one year—2005—and that it was inspired by the work of legendary Hermès window designer Leïla Menchari. Hermès hasn’t produced many metallic Birkins over the years, and the photos of this particular bag are the only ones that come up when you do a Google search for the style, which certainly makes it rarer than some of the exotic Birkins that have become popular on the top-end auction circuit.

Christie’s Matthew Rubinger, senior director of luxury handbags and accessories, said he thinks the market’s thirst for novelty is what made this piece the auction’s most expensive bag, beating out Himalayan Birkins and those with diamond hardware. “It proves that the market is driven by collectors who come for something unique and different.”

Birkin or Kelly: Which Red Hermès Bag Would You Choose?

Only hours left to bid on two of the most stunning Hermès Bags at Christie’s Online Auction

When Christie’s has one of its handbags and accessories auctions, I tend to visit their site multiple times a day and watch the bids on each unique piece rise. One of the problems I face is there are so many extraordinary pieces I can never pick just one – so I visit and revisit the site.

I always used to consider myself an Hermès Birkin girl, but over the past few years the Kelly has become just as coveted by myself and many, if not even more coveted than its iconic sister. The debate of Birkin versus Kelly is one that continues for handbag lovers, with each offering a different look and purpose.

And when it comes to colors, Hermès does it best. Though Hermès pinks and blues tend to receive highest values at Auction, I am most strongly drawn to their reds. In my opinion, two of the best red colors Hermès makes are Bougainvillier and Braise, shown below in Porosus and Niloticus Crocodile skins on a Birkin and Kelly.

An exotic red Hermès bag immediately commands attention and will forever be a staple in your wardrobe, so you can’t go wrong either way. Which do you prefer, the Birkin or Kelly, and which would you bid on?

Place Your Bids in the Christie’s Handbags and Accessories Auction before it ends!

2012 Hermès Shiny Bougainvillier Porosus Crocodile Birkin 35 with GHW
Estimate: $40,000 – $45,000

Detail: 2012 Hermès Shiny Bougainvillier Porosus Crocodile Birkin 35 with GHW
Estimate: $40,000 – $45,000

2012 Hermès Shiny Braise Niloticus Crocodile Sellier Kelly 28 with GHW
Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

Detail: 2012 Hermès Shiny Braise Niloticus Crocodile Sellier Kelly 28 with GHW
Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

Buying a Bag Doesn’t Always Bring Joy; One Time, It Made Me Sick

The story of how I got my first Birkin and how sick I felt for 48 hours after

When I started to love handbags, I was young—probably around ten—and that’s when I first remember noticing them on moms. I would study the moms at school drop-off and pick-up and began recognizing different bags, but this wasn’t something I learned from my own mom. She had four young kids and a crazy schedule as she took us everywhere and anywhere (a feat that, to this day, I do not understand), and she wasn’t a huge fashion fanatic. I found it easy to learn about brands at the high-end malls near where I grew up; I could simply go to the mall and discover bag with my friends, but I didn’t learn about the elusive Hermès Birkin until I was in high school. A friend of mine was flipping through a magazine with me and she told me, “My dream bag is a Birkin, but there’s a wait list and it costs a fortune!” I was intrigued.

Fast forward years down the road, and I met Vlad, we fell in love, we started PurseBlog and PurseForum together, and I very officially knew what a Birkin was. I chatted with the ladies on the PurseForum about Hermès bags and how they got theirs, but I still didn’t think I’d ever own one. Slowly and quite shockingly (to myself included!), our site was profitable, and then we started to make a good amount of money to where I realized this could be a job. At the time, I was still living in Columbus, Ohio, after college, and I had an apartment with my two friends. My portion of the rent was $350 a month. Yep, you read that right. For $350 a month, I lived in a new building, had a fireplace, and I got the master bedroom with a huge walk-in closet. This was ten years ago, and I had very little to spend when it came to expenses, and soon enough, I had enough money to buy a Birkin and not have it wipe my account dry.

Even though that was the case, I didn’t imagine that I’d actually be able to get a Birkin. Remember, ten years ago the waitlist still very much existed and I was a 24-year-old recent college graduate who knew little about the brand and had no Hermès store nearby. Vlad and I had a trip planned to NYC to meet with some PR firms who represented some of the brands we covered on PB, and I figured we’d go to the Hermès store. We had been told on our forum that if I had any shot of getting a bag, to bypass the Madison Avenue flagship and go down to the Hermès Wall Street location. I was even sent a private message by a couple members who suggested a sales associate to work with.

Though I knew I had the money to afford it, I still didn’t think it would happen. I called my father, who’s a financial adviser and has always taught me to be very frugal and smart with my spending, to talk about it. I remember him and I talking over my personal finances and the ability to grow this budding business, and my dad finally said to me that if this was going to be my profession, it wasn’t out of line to buy a Birkin with everything taken into account. I didn’t need his approval, but I wanted it. I grew up in a home with parents who worked so hard to give us everything possible, but we didn’t grow up extravagantly. I didn’t know any different until I got older, and I realized all the sacrifices my parents made for us. But that didn’t include much of what I’m now surrounded by, like designer accessories.

So at that moment, I knew I had plenty to buy a Birkin, and I also knew I wanted one. So we went to the store and began browsing. I remember specifically looking at the bracelets and small leather goods when the sales associate that I had asked for walked up. We introduced ourselves as Meaghan and Vladi. We started talking bags, and I was asking about colors and leathers to see examples on the small goods. The sales associate asked if he had ever visited the PurseForum, as it’s such a great resource. We looked at one another and told her we knew the forum. She asked what our names were on it, and we told her. At first she didn’t put two and two together, but when she did, she was elated as she was such a big fan! Asking people in the industry about tPF was hit or miss at the time; it was like a little secret for many, and brands weren’t so sure about our forum and having thousands of people talking about their brands and stores online.

The sales associate then asked me what my dream bag was, and I told her: a 30cm Togo Blue Jean Birkin. She told us to wait there and went to the back. Soon after, she came out and asked how long we’d be in town; we told her a few more days, and she said she’d call us. We went on our way not expecting much, but the next day she called and said, “I got your bag.” We rushed to the store before closing, and she took us into the changing room and opened a box to show me my holy grail. There she was, and she was beautiful. Next thing I know, I picked out a few accessories and we went to check out. I remember it all being a whirlwind; like, how is this even happening?

Of course my credit card got declined at first, because I never spent that much money in one place and the bank found it suspicious, but after talking to the bank the transaction went through and we were walking out with the most expensive item I ever owned. I was in shock. We couldn’t find a cab, so we took the subway from Wall Street back up to our hotel in midtown. I had the bag between my legs and held it tightly because the idea of losing it made me nervous. I imagined leaving it on the subway, or spilling a drink on it. I was thirsty but wouldn’t drink anything, and when we got back to the hotel, we went straight up to our room.

Vlad wanted me to take pictures right away to share on the forum and do a reveal. He suggested we go out to dinner and I carry it that night. Instead, I told him not to move the bag and I kept it in its box, still neatly wrapped and untouched. I sat on a chair in the corner of the room and I vividly remember that my body started to tremble. Vlad was elated for me and couldn’t wait to share, and I, on the other hand, was beginning to have a panic attack. My stomach churned, my body was shaking, and I was both sweating and freezing all at once. I remember feeling like I was going to throw up, and I went to the bathroom. All this over a bag. I was beside myself thinking how much money I spent on a bag, how absurd it all seemed in the scheme of life. And for some reason, this set me off so bad that I was in full panic attack mode all night. I couldn’t eat, I could barely sleep, I kept staring at that bag in the corner. I knew it couldn’t be returned and I just kept running through every other better option that existed than buying that bag. It all felt ridiculous to me; I wasn’t raised in a home where spending that kind of money on a bag was ever a thought.

Slowly, I started to calm down, but it took me days to open the box and share the bag. It took me longer to actually carry the bag. It’s all so funny, because I look at it now and remember the story of how lucky I was to get it so quickly, but I also remember how sick I felt over this specific bag. A purchase like that was a major decision for me, and it just felt like I made a bad decision at first. It’s funny, because this was a bag I had thought about for many years and I was able to afford it and find one well before I ever imagined, but how I felt after I bought that bag was not at all what I anticipated.

Ultimately, I’m so glad I have my first Birkin. I love that bag, I love the color, and it was the right Birkin for me. I loved being able to share the bag with everyone on the forum, I loved that what we started made it possible for me to have my own business, and I loved and continue to love that we have our own little part of the internet with such a great group of people. This bag will always hold a special place in my collection, and has a funny story on top of that!

Tell me I’m not alone—have any of you ever bought a bag that sent you into a panic?

Two Rare Hermès Birkins You Can Own

With one in Tadelakt Leather and the other having a Horseshoe Stamp, this is quite the duo

We have a lot of bags sent to us to photograph to share with you all, including many from premiere brands. This allows us to give you an intimate look at bags that aren’t easy to see along with a real review of each item. There are a few brands that are hard to get information on and see the bags themselves – and the hardest of them all is Hermès. Luckily we have members of the PurseForum sharing images and adding to our Hermès reference library, but nothing is the same as seeing a bag in person.

But that’s all about to change! I’ve known the folks behind Privé Porter for a few years and we’ve been trying to find a way to work together. So I threw out what to me was a crazy idea – ‘how about you send me some of the rarest bags to photograph’ – and they said yes. Even if Hermès were to send me bags to photograph, I’m certain none would be as rare as the ones I’ll get from Privé Porter and that is a delightful treat for me and you!

Privè Porter is different from many other resellers in a few ways – namely that in almost every case, the bags come as if you purchased in store yourself with the original store receipt, flawless box, and all accessories. Privé has bought and sold over $50MM in over 50 countries and at any given time has no less than $1.5MM in inventory of brand new bags. Last week I shared information about this pretty pink Birkin on Instagram and we were actually able to see it with another rare Birkin.

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What: Hermès 35cm Birkin HSS Bambou Togo lined with Craie Chèvre GHW #A (2017)

WHY IS IT SPECIAL? For those who may not know, “HSS” stands for Hermès Horseshoe Stamp, which is essentially Hermès giving the VIP of their VIPS a chance to come in and designer their own bag in terms of size, type of leather, color combination, and hardware. Once Hermès accepts the design specifications, it can take an entire year for Hermès to make.

The Bambou is one of the most stunning green hues on a bag I’ve ever seen – it’s clean and crisp and an Hermès fan favorite too. The interior Craie leather is very close to the actual color of a the intra-node of a real bamboo tree, so best guess is the person who ordered this HSS wanted a bag that reminded them of bamboo with the color choices, both inside and out.

35cm Birkin HSS Bambou Craie Togo GHW Interior Detail
35cm Birkin HSS Bambou Craie Togo GHW Interior
35cm Birkin HSS Bambou Craie Togo GHW Interior Detail
35cm Birkin HSS Bambou Craie Togo GHW Interior Detail
35cm Birkin HSS Bambou Craie Togo GHW Interior
35cm Birkin HSS Bambou Craie Togo GHW Interior Detail
35cm Birkin HSS Bambou Craie Togo GHW Interior Detail

Many people ask what makes an Hermès bag so special? The quality and craftsmanship are cited and in the case of this bag, it’s so true. Hermès forgot no detail when it came to this bag, adding green Bambou stitching on the interior when they could have easily used Craie to save time and even the inside of the clochette is Craie. Every small detail was accounted for in this rare bag which makes it truly a unique and special piece.

Sometimes however, customers don’t claim their HSS bags for a slew of reasons, and Hermès will then offer the abandoned HSS to other customers. Privé Porter told me that many of the HSS bags that come their way they try to buy because they are so rare and many times one of a kind bags, and many of the people who sell these bags to Privé Porter are looking at existing inventory to trade it for.

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What: Hermès 30cm Birkin Rose Lipstick Tadelakt GHW 2017, brand new condition, original store receipt

WHY IS IT SPECIAL? According to Privé Porter, “This is a really rare find, a 2017 Rose Lipstick Birkin in any size is extremely rare. The last time Hermes used Rose Lipstick to make a Birkin was only in Togo leather which was part of the stinky bag issue. They only used Tadelakt leather at the time to make small leather goods. My guess is a craftsman found an old piece of Tadelakt at leather and decided to make a one off, which makes this a very special bag. This may be the only Birkin bag that will ever be made in Rose Lipstick Tadelakt leather.”

Unlike other sites, Privé Porter does majority of it’s selling over Instagram – sharing bags there and then texting and emailing with clients. To purchase you can call or text them at 561.479.9200 or email [email protected] For now, I will lust after these two bags (which were a beautiful color combo together).

Hermès Re-Releases Fortunio Bag, and You Can Buy It Now

The updated version of the decades-old design has an ingenious little clasp

There are a lot of special things about Hermès bags, but I’ve always been intrigued by their closures. The Birkin, Medor, Lindy, Toolbox—Hermès often manages to incorporate interesting mechanical closures that then find themselves recreated on other bags, by other brands whose designers are less inclined or able to flesh out such interesting intersections of metal and leather. Hardware isn’t usually the first thing that springs to mind when Hermès comes into conversation, but the brand’s has long been worth close inspection. That’s certainly true of the Hermès Fortunio Bag, which debuted in its original form in the 1930s and has recently been updated and reissued.

The Fortunio is a roomy day clutch with two main compartments and a decidedly trim finish, which reflects a minimalist bent that’s often belied by the brand’s most famous bags. The three-part V closure at the front is also trim, but it’s more usefully designed than you might think: flip open the right side of the V, and you gain access to the outer of the bag’s two main compartments. Flip open them both to get access to the second one. At 11.4″ wide, the Fortunio would make a great day bag if only it had a strap. As it is, it’s a beautifully tailored and clever little clutch, perfect for a more modern take on a Ladies Who Lunch vibe.

The Fortunio is available now via the Hermès website for $5,900 in three colors of Evercolor calfskin with Palladium hardware: bordeaux, blanc and orange poppy.

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Hermès Has Totally Overhauled Its Website, Adding More Pics, Prices and Bags for Sale Than Ever Before

The brand’s clunky online store has finally got an update, and it includes lots of big, beautiful bag photos

Even though Hermès is known for its hard-to-buy handbags, that’s not the full story on how the brand interacts with its shoppers. Yes, Birkins and Kellys can be difficult to source (but it’s not impossible), along with most exotics. In recent years, though, Hermès has made an ever-growing number of its bags available to purchase on its website, even if the site itself wasn’t conducive to browsing. Now, though, Hermes.com has pulled itself into the 2010s, and the new site includes several hundred of the brand’s sought-after bags.

You still won’t find any Birkins or Kellys up for grabs at the brand’s online store, but you will find plenty of Bolides, Lindys, Jypsieres, Garden Parties, Evelynes and beyond, including the occasional exotic, like a nilo crocodile Lindy that retails for $30,100. The overall selection is quite good, with most bags available in a variety sizes, leathers, hardwares and colors.

The site also added some basic functions that it somehow lacked in the past, like the ability to filter the selection by color, season, bag structure and price. All of the bags now also include enormous photos with multi-angle views, which seems like an essential thing to have for global shoppers who may not be able to make it into one of Hermès’s relatively few boutique locations, and for a brand whose individual boutiques stock a very limited assortment of an enormous product line.

If you’ve been in the market for a very expensive new bag or are simply interested in getting a closer look at some of Hermès’s wares, you can check out all of that now at Hermes.com.

National Handbag Day: True Stories of How Real Shoppers Scored Their Very First Hermès Birkins

Birkins have a global reputation as elusive, so we asked people who own them how they made it happen

In general, it’s not hard to buy designer bags as long as you have some way to pay for them. Fashion goes to great lengths to put on airs of exclusivity and rarity, but in reality, most of them have to sell a lot of consumer-friendly products in order to stay profitable. For almost all of them, actual clothes don’t cut it, so bags, shoes and other accessories are incredibly important, and that means they have to be available to buy in large quantities. The most famous exception to this rule is Hermès, whose most famous handbag—the Birkin—is as well known for its scarcity as it is for its appearance. How much of that is legend, though, and how much is reality?

The tales of years-long wait lists are well worn at this point, and they deserve an update. To do that, we asked members of our Hermès subform at our PurseForum to share with us the stories of how they acquired their first Birkins. We’ve collected our favorites below, edited for length and clarity; you can read all of the public submissions on the PurseForum.

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Member Ang-Lin was in the right place at the right time, on a business trip far from home:

I got my designer handbag addiction from my mom, but she claimed that I took it to another level. That said, I have always been going for designers and styles that I won’t see on the discount rack (or, in this day and age, flash sale websites). So I started with the Vuittons when I was in college, slowly building up a collection that, after about six years, got slowly phased out and replaced by Chanel. I stuck to the classics: the 2.55, the Classic Flaps, and then the Boy. Probably got them in every size and different leather/hardware combination.

Around seven years ago, few Hermès pieces started creeping into my collection. I used to only buy them whenever I was in Europe because of the VAT refund, but then I realized that if I want to get a Birkin or a Kelly, that’s not the way to do it. So I started buying in my home country and scored a Kelly first (K28 retourne Togo in etoupe).

That same year, I was on a business trip and I had to wait for my boss, whose flight was delayed. I found out that right around there corner from my hotel was a Hermès boutique. It was a Tuesday morning and the store was empty. I started looking around and the SA asked if I was looking fort anything specific. I casually mentioned I wouldn’t mind a Birkin, and the store wasn’t my home store, they asked for my name. I saw the SA discreetly punching something in the computer, probably looking up my purchase history. Then she’s said she might have something for me and came out shortly after with a big orange box of an orange 35cm Birkin.

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Member doloresmia took advantage of favorable economic conditions in the resale market to score her first Birkin:

I was in my late thirties when I realized I loved the Birkin. It started because my lovely husband stated someone like me should have one. Before then I thought the bag too stuffy – this was before instagram stars, way before. Of course if he who loves me best loved the bag, I started to consider it. Like the dork that I am, I did a lot of research online and found tPF!

I obsessed on a barenia toile Birkin: so chic and classic. They were only to be had from resellers and eBay. The bag was so expensive though! I stalked the internet for a long time—the anticipation and hope for the right bag at the right price was exquisite pain.

Finally, the market crashed in 2008 and I found a beautiful pre-loved bag at a decent price. (It is all relative, right?) The lovely tPF ladies authenticated her, and with a couple clicks of the mouse, she was MINE!Many bags later, I don’t forget my first.

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Alternately, member ODEDIHAIMS began buying bags (and eventually her Birkin) as retail therapy during a difficult transition.

I began buying designer bags when my husband and I separated. I used it as therapy and also as a FU to him because he never wanted me to buy any. I found tPF and began reading about everything. I started with LV canvas, then to Chanel and Dior, then to Hermès as my final divorce present. I bought a Pico the day after my divorce from the boutique; it was all I could get offered of the items I wanted. But I really had fallen hard for the saddle leathers from reading about them here, and I knew they would be almost impossible to get new. I had seen a bag on eBay from Docride and asked her about it. She talked me out of that one and into a Kelly Sellier 28. I was over the moon when it arrived.

After a few months, I bought my first Birkin from her, a 30. I had never even held a Birkin before but she and I spoke quite a bit and she made me comfortable to order it. I couldn’t be happier. Since then, I’ve added from the boutique and from resale. It’s been quite a ride. My collection is pretty complete, and I no longer need therapy.

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Member thelucky1 is true to her name, because she just walked into Hermès having never made a purchase and walked out with a Birkin:

Since buying my first Birkin 3 years ago, I’ve come to realize how lucky I was in getting it as a walk-in with no purchase history. My husband and I were out shopping one day and popped into our local Hermès boutique to browse one busy Saturday afternoon. Neither of us had any history with the store, and it took a while before anyone was even free to help us. I picked out a scarf, and when our SA asked if there was anything else she could help us with, I mentioned that I was interested in a Birkin.

She asked if we were local (we are!) and asked what size and color I was interested in; luckily, I’d done my research! At first, she said that she didn’t think there was anything available, but then when ringing us up, asked casually if I would be open to orange, which was definitely on my list, since I wanted a pop color for my first bag. Five minutes later, we were in the back unboxing my beautiful Feu 35, and the rest is history!

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Member Kitty S. went to Hermès on a special day and got her wish granted:

A few years ago, I was heading to Paris for work and thought I’d try my luck to get a Birkin or Kelly there. Before the trip, I did my research on how to get one and ended up gathering most of my intel on tPF! I learned the pros and cons of different H stores in Paris, how to ask a SA for a Birkin or Kelly, and what color/leather/size/HW combo my heart desired. I was offered a 32cm Kelly on my first try and came home happily with the beautiful memento.

After that, I naively thought that my life would be complete if I could just have one Birkin. So I found a local SA and started a relationship. I read somewhere on tPF that celebrating your birthday is a good reason to ask your SA for a Birkin. So I tried that and got my birthday Birkin indeed! It all sounds like a fairy tale coming true, except that I didn’t realize at the time that there is simply no stopping at ONE Birkin.

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Like thousands of shoppers dream to do every year, member tabbi001 scored her Birkin on a Parisian vacation:

I was in love with bags ever since I was in college, but I was obsessed with other brands. It was only last year when I walked into my home store for the first time and inquired about bags. After two months, I got my first Kelly and was ecstatic. It was so beautiful and I loved it. A month after was our family trip to Europe, and I decided to try my luck in Paris.

I have been reading stories, both horror and happy endings, from the Paris Hermès shopping thread and was very apprehensive. I was hoping for my 1st Birkin to come from FSH as I feel that it would be very special. Lo and behold, my wish was granted and I came home with my 1st Birkin. There were tears of joy when I saw it and I could all but hug my SA. It was an extremely magical feeling, like Disneyland for adults.

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Member Stansy, on the other hand, had the call for her Birkin come at a whirlwind time in her life:

I was pretty shy walking into Hermès to ask for a Birkin, but finally I took the plunge and went to H with my husband. So far I only had two scarves and a clover leather charm, but I had been admiring the brand for years; I used to be a ballet dancer, and the studio was on top of an H store, so I always got to look at the goods there!

Unfortunately when placing the wish for a Birkin I knew exactly what I wanted, so I never got to play with the sample bags for size or the leather samples for leather type and color. I asked for a 35cm Birkin in gold togo with gold hardware. Fast forward one year, I got THE call from my boutique. I honestly had completely forgotten about the bag as we were young parents, and I was sitting at the doctor’s office with my four-month-old daughter, who had developed a serious condition. My mind was elsewhere, not with luxury items!

However, when my husband got home in the evening, I told him that I had some good news and some bad news: my bag is ready for pick-up, and it´s gonna be expensive! So we went to the store the next Saturday, and I got the bag. It was love at first sight, the SA was super-sweet and we made jokes about my daughter being the next customer generation.

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Ultimately, though, Madam Bijoux is right:

My first Birkin (35 swift Bleu de Prusse, GHW) was in the store window. No amount of planning can substitute for pure luck.

Winning Drake’s Heart Will Also Win You a Stockpile of Hermès Birkins, Apparently

A win-win if you’re a Drake fan, but even if you’re not, still a single win

First, before we start, I have to say: I’m kind of fascinated by Drake. He’s always either bragging about how much he doesn’t care about the women he dates or whining about how much the women he dates don’t care about him, and I find that persistent lack of self-awareness relatable. Also, More Life? It’s great background music for, like, a chill-but-not-too-chill house party. Anyway, that’s sort of beside the point, because the point is Drake has been collecting Hermès Birkins for years, maybe for you.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Drake told reporter Tatiana Siegel that he has a “fairly vast” collection of the bags to offer a woman “at some point in life.” When asked why, he said, “There’s very few in this world, tangible things anyway, that hold their value and sort of…appreciate as the years go on. It was one of those things that, you know, I just started collecting for the woman I end up with one day.”

So, it’s a little weird to start a bag collection for a woman you might not have even met yet, because what if you meet her and she doesn’t care about handbags, or, I don’t know, prefers Chanel? As Drake mentions, though, Birkins are indeed a reasonably sound investment at the moment, so I suppose the eventual couple could sell the collection and use the money for something else. He was mum on exactly how many Birkins are in his still-growing collection or how many rare or exotic bags it includes, but from the way he talked about it, it sounded like enough to finance a few college degrees at least.

I’m not sure how one would go about meeting Drake or making him fall madly in love with you, but I know handbag lovers, so I know if there’s a will, then there’s a way.

10 Reasons Hermès Bags are Totally Worth the Money

Even in a particularly crowded luxury handbag market, Hermès occupies a spot unto itself. The bags are scarce, sought-after a simply the best, and they have the price tags that go along with all that exclusivity. Making the leap from being a designer handbag consumer to being an Hermes consumer is a daunting prospect, but we know that, at this very moment, untold numbers of you are contemplating whether or not now’s the right time to do just that. We’re here to help, of course; if you’ve ever wondered if owning an Hermes bag is worth paying the premium, we’ve got ten reasons why we think you should take the plunge.

[Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 26, 2013]

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1. Hermès is the handbag holy grail.

Individual must-haves will vary, but if you look at the handbag market on the whole, there’s no other company that can touch what Hermès does. The brand is the best, bar none, and it’s the only company that can reasonably claim that title. Lots of designers charge big money for their bags, but objectively, Hermès is head and shoulders above all of them.

Hermes Birkin Fall Outdoors

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2. Hermès bags always look expensive.

Ensuring that an expensive bag looks expensive is one of the most difficult things for a designer to do, especially when you consider how much wear a bag gets. Even vintage Hermès bags, with their well-worn leather and still-gleaming hardware, give off an undeniable air of refinement and luxury because of the fine materials and meticulous construction. If you’re paying for the look, then Hermès ensures, as much as any brand can, that you’ll get what you pay for, both now and in the future.

Hermes Black and White Birkin

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3. Status, status, status.

If you’re looking for a bag to tell everyone who sees you that, not only have you arrived, but you’ve arrived with exquisite taste, Hermès will do that every single time.

Hermes Blue Crocodile Birkin

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4. No one does color better than Hermès.

Dying leather is a tricky process, and it can be particularly hard to get ultra-saturated reds and purples. Hermès has mastered it for practically every shade and hue in the rainbow, and we know that because the brand has made bags in almost all of them.

Hermes Kelly Bag

5 / 10

5. The choices are endless.

Beyond just color, Hermès’ bags all come in a variety of size, leather and hardware options. No more lamenting that a bag in your favorite color comes with gold instead of silver hardware, or that you’d really prefer a smooth finish to pebbled; odds are, the Hermès bag of your very specific dreams does exist. (The trick, of course, is laying your hands on it.)

Hermes Alligator Wallet

6 / 10

6. Hermès is an independent company that does things the traditional way.

Despite takeover attempts by LVMH (who denies that they’re trying to take over anyone), Hermès remains steadfastly independent and family-owned. That gives the company the flexibility to maintain its old-world craftsmanship and employ hundreds of skilled tradespeople and artisans, all of whom do work that other leather companies often quietly farm out to more cost-effective factories that lack workers with the same skills, training and history. That level of craftsmanship is largely what contributes to many of the other points on this list.

Hermes Atelier Sacs

Image via Park & Cube

7 / 10

7. Even celebrities are willing to pay full price for Hermès bags.

Hermes famously refuses to give out its products free to bag-hungry celebs, which means that the Kim Kardashians of the world have to pay exactly what we do in order to get their hands on a Birkin. Even Jane Birkin, the namesake for the brand’s most famous bag, claims to have paid for Hermes bags in the past.

Kim Kardashian Crocodile Birkin

8 / 10

8. Hermès bags hold their value.

If you buy a Birkin now and decide you don’t want it (or suddenly need the cash) in a couple of years, you may be able to sell it for even more than you got it, as long as you keep it in good condition. (And even if you don’t, you’re not going to lose much, if any, money on the sale.) Heritage Auctions pioneered this process, and now big names like Christie’s are in on the Hermès-auction business as well. You’ll pay more up front for an Hermès bag, but you’re not just throwing that money away like you can with brands whose resale markets are flat.

Hermès Evelyne Bag

9 / 10

9. Hermès bags are as close to perfection as a handbag can get.

No bag made by human hands will ever be without flaws (and bags made by machines, even more so), but Hermès has standards and practices for its manufacturing process that are as rigorous as any you’ll find in the industry. The stitching will be tight, the leather will be blemish-free, the hardware will be free of scratches and tarnishing. As your bag wears, you can always send it away to Hermès’ “bag spa,” where company employees will restore the bag to as close to new as is possible. According to members of the Hermès section at PurseForum, they are occasionally miracle-workers.

Hermes Black Birkin Outfit

10 / 10

10. The sky is the limit.

Even Hermès’ leather bags are expensive, but if you want something even rarer and more special, the company has almost innumerable ways to make that happen. Exotics, precious hardware, diamonds, special-order bags made to your exact specifications? It’s all possible for VIP clients, and in far more ways than it would be with even the most top-tier of competing brands.

Hermes Rose Gold Kelly Bag

10 Things You Might Not Know About the Hermès Birkin

The famous bag’s origin story is even weirder than most people know

The Hermès Birkin is the most iconic and sought-after handbag in the world (even if you don’t like it, it’d be hard to argue otherwise), and that means most fashion lovers have already absorbed a lot of information about how it was conceived, how it’s made and how hard it is to get one. There’s always more to the story, though, even for those of us who spend many of our waking hours thinking, talking, reading and writing about luxury bags.

Below, we’ve unearthed some fun facts that are likely known only to the most ardent of Hermès lovers. Even if you fit that description, check it out–you never know when you might learn something.

[This post was originally published in 2016]

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1. It all happened because Jane Birkin’s husband purposefully ran over her signature basket.

The 1981 story of Jane Birkin sitting next to Hermès CEO Jean-Louis Dumas on an airplane and all her things falling out of her bag is by now the stuff of well-known fashion legend, but the detail about why she was carrying that bag often gets left out. In 2012, Birkin told the London Telegraph that it was because her husband, Jacques Doillon, had gotten in his car and deliberately run over the woven basket she usually carried two days prior. I guess jerk husbands are good for something after all.

Images via The Telegraph

Images via The Telegraph

2 / 10

2. The original Birkin design was sketched on a barf bag.

I guess that’s what happens when an idea is born on an airplane.


3 / 10

3. Jane Birkin only uses one of the bags at a time; she’s on her fifth.

Although the Birkin became a symbol of old school, old money wealth for women who collect them like coins or postage stamps, the woman it was named after has an entirely different view on the bag. Jane uses a single Birkin in a neutral color until it is wrecked; only then does she get a new one and auction the used bag for charity. While in her possession, she decorates the bags with patches, charms and other personalizations to make the bag less formal and “snobbish” (her word) and more in line with her very casual French style.

Image via Vogue

Image via Vogue

4 / 10

4. Hermès gives Jane Birkin a nominal royalty for the use of her name per year, which then goes to charity.

Originally, Birkin accepted a free bag in exchange for the use of her name. Although she’s still not a paid ambassador or face of Hermès, the brand does now give her an annual payment for use of her name, which she donates to charities of her choice. In 2012, the Telegraph reported that amount at £30,000.

Hermès Crocodile Birkin

5 / 10

5. Birkins have been made in more than 20 shades of blue alone.

When you envision a Birkin, your mind might go directly to the bag’s popular neutrals, but the bag has been made in a veritable rainbow of colors. According to the BBC, in the 31 years since its debut, the bag has been produced in at least 25 distinct blues, including popular classics like Blue Jean, Mykonos and Bleu Roi.


6 / 10

6. A Birkin takes 48 work hours for one artisan to make.

All Hermès bags, not just Birkins, are constructed by a single artisan in one of Hermès’s ateliers; it’s a more traditional approach to manufacturing than the one used by most brands, which have different people to work on different aspects of handbag construction. And although “48 hours” may sound like just two days, that’s 48 work hours–more than a week for a single bag on a regular full-time schedule.


7 / 10

7. Each Hermès artisan has a personal set of tools.

Because of the range and depth of skill needed to work at Hermès and the personalized nature of its handbag manufacturing, the brand’s artisans don’t use just any ol’ tools when they arrive at the shop in the morning. According to the Telegraph, every artisan employed by the brand has his or her own set of tools, which the person takes with them when they retire. A little bit different situation than you and the pens at your office, eh?

Hermès Artisan Tools

8 / 10

8. The most expensive Birkin ever auctioned cost almost a quarter million dollars.

The bag in question is made of fuchsia porosus crocodile with diamond-encrusted, 18k white gold hardware. It was sold to a phone bidder at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong for $221,844 in June 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Image via The Guardian

Image via The Guardian

9 / 10

9. Birkins are a little more available than you think.

Tales abound of interminable wait lists and customers who buy other Hermès products in hopes of building a relationship with a sales associate at a boutique and being offered a bag, but sometimes you can walk right into a store for the first time, ask nicely and get lucky. (Megs did!)

Hermes Blue Jean Birkin

10 / 10

10. The name of the elusive “Himalayan” Birkin refers to a color, not an origin.

You could probably have figured this one out if you thought through it, but a surprising number of people think the name of the super-rare, extremely covetable Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Birkin is somehow tied to the origin of the crocodiles from which it’s made. Crocodiles tend to like warm weather, though, and the Himalayans are, uh, quite cold. Instead, the name refers to the bag’s unique colorway; it’s said to look something like a snow-topped mountain. Judge the one below for yourself.

Hermes Himalayan Birkin with Diamonds