In Style

Birkin Hermès: the complete guide

The Birkin Hermès bag is undoubtedly the most desired of all time: its charm is not afraid of the time and arranges several generations of women (and men too).

Today we will analyze point by point all you need to know about the legendary Birkin Hermès :

 

 

THE ORIGINS

The It bag was established in 1984, taking its name from Jane Birkin.

According to the official story, the actress met Jean-Louis Dumas (designer of Hermès) on a Paris-London flight and told him about her difficulty finding a bag for the weekend that was functional and elegant at the same time. According to the description of the ideal case, Jean-Louis Dumas made the prototype of what would become a true legend.

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According to the unofficial story instead, Jane Birkin was called by the Maison Hermès for the prototype in 1981, but she didn’t understand that it was a test: she was already walking away with the bag, when they pointed out that it was not a gift … After the embarrassing episode, it seems that the actress has reserved a 10% discount for life.

THE MYTH

Unlike the older sister Kelly, the Birkin Hermès has known immediately an unprecedented success: it has appeared in numerous films and TV series (including Sex and the City and Gossip Girl), but also in the song Déjà vu of Jay-Z and Beyoncé, and in the video Give It 2 Me by Madonna.

In bookstores and on Amazon there are also several books about this bag, including the interesting Hunter of Birkin by Michael Tonello.

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Many celebrities get crazy about it, but one above all has gone too far: it seems that Victoria Beckham has a collection of Hermes bags worth about 2 million euros!

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FEATURES

As elegant and extremely luxurious, the Hermès Birkin bag is a bag for the day time .

It has two handles and doesn’t have a shoulder strap, so you can only carry it on your arm.
It’s beautiful, but it is quite uncomfortable. The same Jane Birkin complained about the weight of the bag: “At this rate I’ll have to have surgery for tendinitis in the shoulder!”

You can close it engulfing the front handles in the closing and turning the spacer washer in the spaces of the side straps. But it’s usually left open, whereby the inevitable lock becomes only a precious decoration.

 

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At the base of the bag there’re studs, to prevent dirt or scratches below the bag.

 

BIRKIN VS KELLY

From a technical point of view, the main difference lies in the closure: the Birkin has two handles and remains always open, while the Kelly has only one handle and must necessarily be closed. In addition, the Birkin is carried only by on the arm, while the Kelly can also be carried with the shoulder strap. For the rest (lock, colors and leathers) are quite similar, so much so that many people often confuse them.

Regarding the style instead, we can say that basically the Birkin is younger and gritty, while the Kelly is more classic and ladylike.

 

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SIZES

The main measures (length of the base) are: 25 cm, 30 cm, 35 cm, 40 cm, 42 cm and 45 cm. But there are so many types, from the smallest up to those who are in fact the real travel bags.

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The most popular Hermès Birkin are: 25 cm, 30 cm, 35 cm and 40 cm.
Choose it in proportion to your height and your body in general, but keep in mind even as it changes the style according to the measures: the little one is more ladylike, the big one is more gritty.

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COLORS

Each season, the Maison Hermès has a selection of new colors, so over the years the collection has been enriched by countless shades and color combinations.

The colors of the Birkin Hermès  are divided into macro groups: yellows, oranges, reds, pinks, blues and greens. And then there are the neutrals: grays, beiges and browns.

 

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MATERIALS

The most popular leathers are of bovine origin: Togo, Clemence, Fiord and Epsom.

The less popular, but easily scratch resistant, are: Calf Box, Chamonix, Barenia and Chevre (this one is of goat origin and very light).

And also, the extremely expensive crocodile leather, ostrich and lizard. Now evergreen.

There are also other materials (such as canvas) maybe less valuable, but equally fascinating.

 

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HOW A BIRKIN HERMÈS IS MADE

A Birkin Hermès requires from 18 to 48 hours of work by a single craftsman.

It’s entirely hand made by craftsman of the Hermès brand, with exclusive materials and traditional methods.

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PRICE

The price of a Birkin Hermès starts from about 7,000 euros, but can also exceed 100,000 euros.
In 2016 Christie’s sold a special edition for 300,168 dollars, beating all records for a bag.

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Then there is a thriving market for used Birkin Hermès, but don’tt think it’s a way to save up some money: the real advantage is to skip the waiting list.

If you decide to choose the second hand, the important thing is to find reliable and guaranteed resellers. One of them is the site VestiaireCollective.it, with a dream collection and very safe.

 

WAITING LIST

Not only the bag is very expensive, but what really makes this bag exclusive is the waiting list. In some shops you can also wait two years!
According to some urban legends, there are waiting lists to get into the real waiting list!

It’s memorable the scene from Sex and the City, in which Samantha wants to buy a Birkin Hermès . Go for the price, but in front of the long waiting list she says: “For a bag?” “It’s not a bag, it’s a Birkin” the clerk replied sarcastically. And who could blame him?

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If all this sounds like madness, listen to this: according to a financial study from January 2016, the Birkin Hermès is a more profitable investment than gold in the period 1980-2015. In practice, since it was born, the Birkin has recorded an increase in the annual value of 14.2%; compared to 1.9% gold and 11.7% of S & P500 (index of the US stock market).

Well, I’ve just given a reasonable reason to ask Santa to give you one 😉.

To continue dreaming, read also the Post dedicated to the Kelly bag.

 

Rossella Migliaccio
Image Consultant

 

 

 

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