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hermes birkin handbags & purses

An Ultimate Guide to Hermès Birkin Handbags & Purses

Hermès Birkin handbags and purses are among the most iconic and coveted accessories in the fashion world. This luxurious handbag is a symbol of status, and exquisite taste and has become synonymous with wealth due to its exorbitant price exceeding $15,000 per one bag.

In this thorough guide, we will explore the history of the Hermès Birkin bag, its design, materials, and production, as well as its popularity and value. We'll cover the most popular questions, such as where to get a Birkin bag and how much it costs.


Hermès Birkin Handbags & Purses Guide

Before diving deep in details, let's go through the basics, and answer some of the questions you might have if you're new to the topic of high-end bags.

What is a Birkin?

A Birkin is a double handle handbag designed and manufactured by the French luxury brand Hermès. The Birkin bag is named after the actress and singer Jane Birkin, who met the CEO of Hermès on a flight in 1984 and expressed her desire for a bag that was both chic and practical. The Birkin bag was created in response to her request and has since become one of the most iconic and sought-after handbags in the world. The Birkin bag is known for its classic design, high-quality materials, and meticulous craftsmanship, and it has become a symbol of luxury and status.

Who Made the Birkin Bag?

The Hermes Fashion house boasts a long history that started in 1837, when was Thierry Hermès established a harness workshop that catered to the needs of European noblemen.

Even though in our days the brand is predominantly known as a bag brand, it was not until 1935 that the first handbag, the Hermes Kelly bag, was created.

jane birkin bag hermes

The story of the Hermès Birkin bag begins in 1981. Rumor has it that Jane Birkin, an English actress and singer, sat next to Jean-Louis Dumas, then the CEO of Hermès, on a flight from Paris to London. Birkin was carrying a straw bag, and when the contents of her bag spilled out, she complained to Dumas that she could not find a leather bag that she liked and that would fit her new role as a mother. Dumas offered to create a bag for her, and together they sketched a design on an airplane napkin. Thus, the Birkin bag was born.

Therefore, Jean-Louis Dumas is considered the creator of the world famous luxurious handbag.

If you're interested in a thorough Birkin vs Kelly comparison, check out the link.


Design and Anatomy of the Hermès Birkin handbag

the hermes birkin bag anatomy and design

The Hermès Birkin handbag is a classic design that has remained virtually unchanged since its creation. The bag is made of high-quality leather, and it features a spacious interior with a zippered pocket and two open pockets. The Hermes Birkin bag is designed to be practical and functional, with a sturdy structure that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use.

One of the most distinctive features of the Birkin bag is its flap closure, which can be secured with a lock and key. The lock and key are made of high-quality metals, including precious metals like gold and platinum, and they can be embellished with diamonds or other precious stones on limited editions and exclusive versions. The lock and key are also engraved with the Hermès logo, which is a symbol of the bag's quality and craftsmanship.

The Birkin bag also features double handles, which are designed to be comfortable and easy to carry. The handles are made of the same high-quality leather as the rest of the bag.

What is a Birkin Bag Made Out Of

Let's now review the most popular leathers for the Hermes Birkin bag. Hermès uses a variety of leathers for the Birkin bag, including

While Birkins made of calf and goat leather are considered regular ones and retail for $15,000, Hermes uses exotic leather such as crocodile and lizard for their premium Birkin versions, which might go for over $50,000.

The production of the Birkin bag is a complex and time-consuming process that involves many skilled craftsmen. Each bag is made by hand, and it can take up to 48 hours to complete a single bag. The leather is cut and sewn together, and the bag is then assembled and finished with the lock and key, the handles, and the shoulder strap.

Here are some of the most popular leathers for this iconic bag from the French brand.

Togo calfskin leather

hermes birkin handbags & purses togo leather

Togo is by far the most seen leather in production of Birkin bags. The reasons are simple. Apart from its highest quality and butter soft touch, it's not prone to scratching and keeps the shape exceedingly well. In addition, it's lightweight. Incredible combo that won the hearts of fashionistas.


Clemence bull leather

hermes birkin handbags & purses clemence leather

This baby bull skin that quickly became classic in the Hermes world. Although it looks very similar to Togo with the grained texture, it's not that lightweight. Clemence is famous for its extreme durability and butter soft texture.


Epsom calfskin leather

hermes birkin epsom leather

Released in 2003, Epsom is known to be the most structured leathers. Birkins made in Epsom keep their shape extremely well, unlike Togo and Clemence, which can bend with time.


Box calf leather

hermes birkin box calf leather

One of the most classic choices for a Birkin, this is a discontinued type of leather that was widely used on vintage Hermes bags. However, when you're shopping preloved, pay attention to this smooth calf skin with sheen.


Sizes Guide & Cost of Hermes Birkin

The following Hermes Birkin sizes are currently available:

  • 25
  • 30
  • 35
  • 40

The most popular sizes you'll get to see are 30 and 35. However, with a recent trend towards smaller purses, sizes 25 and 20 have also become more widespread.

It's worth noting that over the years, a lot of bag variations were released so if you come across a travel handbag of a larger size that looks like a Birkin, that might be a vintage variation of this same style.


The cheapest Hermes Birkin bag

If you'd love to purchase an authentic Hermes Birkin bag on a shoestring budget, the best chance you can get is shop preloved. Even though such purse will show some wear, it won't be critical. Prices for a preloved Birkin start somewhere in the $6,000-$7,000 range for a nice used purse in 7/10 condition and not the most coveted color (which doesn't mean it's not nice!). If you look for larger sizes, a Birkin 40 can be even cheaper than that!


The most expensive Hermes Birkin bag

The most expensive Birkin bags are made of exotic leathers, such as crocodile and ostrich, and they are often embellished with diamonds or other precious stones. The color of the bag can also affect its value, with some colors, such as black and neutral tones, being more sought after than others.

Hermès Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Birkin and Hermes Faubourg Birkin Bag White are among the most expensive bags in the world, with their prices over $250,000.


Popularity and Value of the Hermès Birkin Handbag

The popularity of the Birkin bag has led to a high demand, which has resulted in long waiting lists and even more exorbitant prices. The Birkin bag is often referred to as a "smart investment" due to its ability to retain its value or even appreciate over time. In fact, the Birkin bag is often used as a symbol of luxury investment, with some collectors buying and selling the bags like stocks.

The value of the Hermès Birkin handbag is determined by several factors, including:

  • the rarity of the leather,
  • the color of the bag,
  • the size of the bag.
  • the condition of the bag.

When it comes to colors, the most popular ones are the most beautiful. Classic colors like Gold or Etoupe keep their value well as there's a lot of demand on the market for these exact shades. Birkin bags made in the shades of pink tend to resell for twice the boutique price and even more.

Classic and smaller sizes tend to be the most popular with Birkins, with large sizes like 40 losing almost half of their value.

The condition of the bag is also a crucial factor in determining its value. Birkin bags that are in pristine condition, with no signs of wear and tear, and with a full set (packaging and receipt) are the most valuable. Bags that have been used or have visible signs of wear and tear may be less valuable, although some collectors still appreciate the "patina" that develops over time, as well as some discontinued leathers, such as Doblis, that cannot be found anymore.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards sustainable fashion and ethical consumption. This has led to some criticism of the Birkin bag, which is seen by some as a symbol of excessive consumption and waste. Hermès has responded to this criticism by emphasizing the quality and durability of their products, and by promoting the importance of ethical and sustainable practices in their production.


Authenticating an Hermes Birkin bag

When a bag can't be purchased directly from the boutiques and its price can be up to $250,000 even secondhand, you want to be sure that the purse you're about to buy is authentic. You can check out our comparison of fake Birkin vs real and learn a bit more on how to spot a fake, or you might want to consult a professional regarding the handbag you're eyeing to avoid bitter money loss.


The Hermes Birkin heat stamps

The first Birkin bag was produced in 1984, and it quickly became a must-have accessory for the fashion elite. Therefore, Birkin bags can only have stamps from N circle and on. If you ever see a Birkin bag with J circle or K circle, it's a replica that was never manufactured by Hermes.


Is Hermes Birkin a Good Investment?

Whether you find this iconic bag new or preloved, buying a Birkin is a lifetime investment. Odd as it sounds, many people collect Hermes Birkin bags as a part of their investment portfolios.

Why? There are a few reasons to do that.

  • Hermes has 1- 2 price increases per year (approximately $1,000-ish a year on bags), so it's better to buy now than later.
  • Hermes Birkin bags have the best value on the re-sale market. You can call a Hermes store or visit one and you will understand how hard it is to obtain. This elusiveness helps even used bags to be sold for as much or higher than the current Hermes retail price. Why would people purchase used bags for retail price? Because most aren't able to purchase one from a Hermes boutique very easily.

In practically any scenario, when you resell a Birkin you'll get back at least what you paid for, if not more.


Celebrities with Birkin Bag Collections

 celebrities birkin bag

The Hermès Birkin handbag is one of the most popular and coveted accessories in the fashion world. The bag has been worn by countless celebrities and fashion icons, including Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian, and Oprah Winfrey. The Birkin bag has also been featured in numerous movies, TV shows, and fashion magazines, and it has become a cultural icon.


The Hermès Birkin handbag is a timeless and iconic accessory that has remained popular and coveted for decades. The bag's classic design, high-quality materials, and meticulous craftsmanship have made it a symbol of luxury, status, and good taste. The Birkin bag's popularity has also led to long waiting lists and exorbitant prices, making it a smart investment for some collectors. However, the Birkin bag has also been criticized for its association with excessive consumption and waste, and there has been a growing trend towards sustainable fashion and ethical consumption in recent years. Despite these criticisms, the Hermès Birkin handbag remains one of the most coveted and iconic accessories in the fashion world.

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