WOULD YOU BUY A BIRKIN?
It’s a simple yes or no answer. Or is it?
Whether you agree or not, there is no doubting that the Hermes Birkin bag is the ultimate handbag goal. It says “i’ve made it” to other fashionistas as it sits cradled on your arm although to others it’s an obscene,unjustifiable waste of money.
What’s your thoughts?
Recently in Melbourne a Toorak woman had many Hermes Birkins stolen from her house. More then half a million dollars worth. One alone was valued at over $100,000.
The police investigating the crime said they could not understand how handbags can be worth so much money and who actually forks out that kind of cash?
The woman was said to be completely grief stricken and understandably so!
So how did the worlds most famous bag come to life?
It all started from a chance encounter in first class aboard a short Air France Paris to London flight in 1981.
Hermes chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas was seated next to Jane Birkin, who was trying to place her bag into the overhead compartment.
(She would usually carry a woven basket as her daily handbag but two days before her flight to London her husband had gotten into his car and intentionally run the bag over!!)
Whist trying to jam the bag into the overhead she dropped it causing all the contents to fall to the floor leaving Jane to scramble to collect her items and stuff them back into her bag. She is said to have complained about not being able to find a weekend bag to fit her style.
Enter Jean-Louis! He suggested a bag with pockets.
Then and there the two of them sat and designed a bag together.
Short of paper they used the airplane sickness bag to sketch the design.
The rest is history!
Jane Birkin receives an annual royalty from Hermes for the use of her name, something that will continue after her death.
She donates all funds to charities of her choice, some of which have helped with Earthquake relief in Japan and feeding the poor in France.
The amount is said to be in excess of $50,000.
Jane originally accepted a free bag in exchange for the use of her name but once she saw the huge amount of money Hermes was making she demanded they fork out the funds!
Jane only uses one Birkin at a time, she is currently on her fifth. Her Birkin of choice is always in a neutral colour. She likes to add her own personalisation to each bag, adorning them with charms and patches to make the bag appear less “snobbish” and more suited to her causal parisian style.
Jane keeps each bag until it is wrecked with wear and tear.
Only then will she get a new one. She auctions off the used bag for a charity of her choice.
It made its official debut in 1984 but wasn’t an immediate hit.
The Birkin gained popularity in the 90’s as the rise of the IT-bag became a world wide trend.
If you’re lucky you can pick up an Hermes Birkin for around $10,000 but prices do rise each year.
It’s been suggested that buying a Birkin is a great investment as they don’t lose money on re-sale instead return a nice little profit.
The most expensive Birkin was sold at a Christie’s auction house in Honkers for a whooping $USD379,261!
The White Himalaya Birkin (named after the mountains in which it looks like) is handmade from Nilotiicus Crocodile skin, encrusted with over 250 diamonds on its 18 karat gold hardware and now holds the title of worlds most expensive handbag.
Why is this bag so expensive you ask? White or albino crocs are incredibly rare, the dying process for the bag is also slow and difficult.
Kim K and Victoria Beckham both have “cheaper” versions of the Nilotiicus.
Oh to see it in the flesh!
Did you know?
- Victoria Beckham is rumoured to own around 100 Birkin bags, with a total value of 2.3 million dollars!
- The Kardashian/Jenner have all been scolded for using a Birkin as a gym bag.
- Hermes uses a wide range of leather including: Ostrich, lizard, crocodile, calf and alligator. Hermes is one of the largest owners of crocodile farms in Australia.
- The most popular colours for the Birkin include: Black, gold, Hermes Orange (of course!), Etoupe (also known as taupe), Blue Jean and Rose Tyrien (bright pink).
- Over 20 shades of blue have been used over the years, ranging from blue-green to Mykonos
- Its original size was 35cm, there is now variations including mini and travel sizes.
- A single Hermes artisan constructs a Birkin from start to finish. It takes 48 hours to complete one bag.
- Each artisan has their own set of tools to work with. They are then gifted these tools once they retire.