A guide to Hermes Birkins: five things you need to know
Hermes Birkin bags are priced between $16,000 and $510,000 and hold their value very well.
1. THE BIRKIN BAG CANNOT BE PURCHASED IN A HERMES STORE
Stores do not receive the limited edition Birkin bags on a regular schedule; they are produced annually.
It’s reportedly six years before you can buy one. It depends on the rarity of the crocodile skin whether new bags cost $16,000 or $268,600. The studs and buckles may be embellished with gold or diamonds.
Because of their high investment value, they are also more expensive on the secondary market and auction houses.
2. THE LAST HERMES BIRKIN BAG WAS AUCTIONED FOR HK$2.98 MILLION IN HONG KONG
A matte white Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Diamond Birkin 30 with 18K white gold and diamond hardware. Photo: Christie’s
Those who own Hermes Birkin bags rave about their blemish-free leather, their gleaming hardware, and the meticulous construction. As well as being available in many colors and sizes, they also hold their value well. Additionally, such a luxury serves to elevate the status of those who can afford it – or are gifted with it.
The most expensive handbag ever sold at an auction was a diamond-encrusted Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Birkin 30 auctioned off at Christie’s last year for HK$2.98 million (S$510,000). There was no mention of the buyer, but it was reported that he was from outside Asia.
Christie’s international head of handbags and accessories,
A Himalayan Birkin is made only once every two years.
3. BAGS GIVEN THE NAME HERMES BIRKIN AFTER BRITISH-FRENCH ICON JANE BIRKIN
When Jane Birkin told Jean-Louis Dumas that she couldn’t find the ideal leather bag for a weekend, Dumas created the bag for her in 1984.
Birkin requested that her name be removed from the bag after PETA informed her about crocodile slaughter for the manufacture of the bag.
A company investigation revealed the cruel practices were an “isolated irregularity”, so she let Hermes continue to use the name.
4. HERMES BIRKIN BAG COLLECTION OF SINGAPOREAN SOCIALITE JAMIE CHUA
Singapore socialite Jamie Chua poses with her Hermes Birkin bag collection worth $2.9 million. Photo: Lianhe Zaobao
Among the biggest collections of Birkin bags is that of Singapore socialite Jamie Chua, who has more than 200 in her collection. Located in a walk-in closet the size of a room, the former flight attendant’s collection is said to be worth $2.9 million.
Among the celebrities who collect them are Kim Kardashian West and Spice Girl, as well as Victoria Beckham, a fashion designer. Beckham reportedly owned 100 Birkin bags in 2009, according to reports.
5. BOTH MEN AND WOMEN WEAR HERMES BIRKIN BAGS
Many famous men wear Birkin bags, including American fashion designer Marc Jacobs, Canadian rapper Drake, and American figure skater Johnny Weir.
American fashion magazine W reported in 2016 that men prefer neutral colors and larger sizes. According to this article, the Birkin is “a perfect companion for a male jetsetter”.