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Hermes ・ by Product Line ・ Birkin

About by Product Line Birkin

The Birkin by Hermes - The most sought-after handbag in the world

The Birkin, named after actress and singer Jane Birkin, is a leather tote by French luxury brand Hermes and is arguably the most iconic designer handbag. The bag's overwhelming popularity with celebrities has turned it into a symbol of wealth and social status. Victoria Beckham is one of its biggest fans, with an astounding collection of more than 100 Birkin bags. That being said, it's not so easy to get your hands on one. The Birkin bag has the longest waiting list for an accessory today, around six years, and that's assuming you're even allowed to buy one. The Birkin is not listed on Hermes's website, so one cannot simply order a Birkin online or even pick one up from the nearest Hermes retail store (although they do receive a small supply). Connections based on brand loyalty must be established before the purchase of a Birkin becomes a possibility. Or, if you have double the retail price to burn, you can hire someone else to source the glorious bag.


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In 1983, Hermes Chief Executive Jean-Louis Dumas was seated next to British actress Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London. She had just placed her overstuffed straw travel bag into the overhead compartment when its contents fell to the deck, prompting her to hurriedly pick up the mess. While helping her collect her things, Dumas suggested that she switch to a different type of bag to which Birkin replied that she had difficulty finding one that met her needs. Dumas, intrigued by this statement, wanted to know more about Birkin's ideal handbag. Birkin then quickly sketched a design, specifically requesting "something like the Kelly bag, but bigger and open at the top." The rest, as they say, is history.

Birkin bags are handmade using the company's signature saddle stitching, developed in the 1800s. Each bag takes several days to be hand-sewn, buffed, painted and polished by a single Hermes artisan in Paris, France. The Birkin range includes 25, 30, 35 and 40 cm sizes, with travel bags measuring 50 and 55 cm. It also comes in many colors including black, brown, golden tan, navy blue, olive green, orange, pink, powder blue, red and white. Each one may be made to order with different customer-chosen hides and hardware fixtures. There are other extravagant customization options, such as diamond-encrusting. The bag is available in a variety of hides such as calf leather, lizard, ostrich and saltwater crocodile. The interior or each Birkin is lined with goat skin that matches the color of the bag's exterior. Prices for the Birkin vary depending on each bag's leather, dying process and hardware fixtures. The Birkin bag can be distinguished from the similar Hermes Kelly handbag by its double handles, as opposed to the single-handled Kelly.

The cost of new Birkins range from $12,000 to more than $200,000 USD, and they regularly sell on the secondary market for more than their original sales price. An diamond-encrusted crocodile skin Birkin once sold at auction for $185,000. The uppermost tier of secondhand Birkin bags are priced at around $150,000. As you might imagine, people who pay that much for a handbag are sometimes reluctant to use it once they own it, but these bags are really made to be packed, carried and loved. Along with the brand name, you're paying for superior quality that will stand the test of time and have a resale value that ranges from 80% to 120% of what you paid for it.