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hermes kelly vs birkin bag infographic

Hermes Birkin vs Kelly Bag: Which Bag Is Right For You?

Known for their exquisite craftsmanship, timeless design, and unparalleled quality, Hermes has created iconic bags that have become status symbols for fashion enthusiasts around the world. Among the most coveted creations from the French fashion house are the Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags. In this article, we will examine difference between these signature bags, including the history, usability, aesthetics, and prices, and offer guidance on which one might be the better choice for you.

Hermes Birkin vs Kelly: Which Bag is The Best?

Let's compare both bags from Hermes, starting from their legacy. By the way, if you're interested in more Hermes facts and stats, check out our article.

History and Origins

hermes kelly vs birkin bag history

Let's start by exploring the fascinating histories of the Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags.


The Birkin bag was named after the English actress and singer Jane Birkin, who had a chance encounter with Jean-Louis Dumas, the former CEO of Hermes, on a flight in the 1980s. The story goes that Birkin was complaining to Dumas about the lack of practical and stylish handbags, leading Dumas to create a bag that would meet her requirements. This serendipitous meeting gave birth to the now-iconic Birkin bag, which quickly gained popularity and became a symbol of wealth and exclusivity.


The Hermes Kelly bag, on the other hand, has a longer history. Originally known as the "Sac à dépêches," it was introduced by Hermes in the 1930s as a travel bag. Its name was changed to the "Kelly" in the 1950s, after the American actress and princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, was photographed using the bag to shield her baby bump from the paparazzi. This image catapulted the Kelly bag to international fame, solidifying its status as a coveted luxury accessory, a true princess' luxury purse.


Usability and Practicality

hermes kelly vs birkin bag usability

When it comes to usability, both the Birkin and Kelly bags offer distinctive features. However, when you purchase a handbag for over $15,000, practicality most likely isn't among top deciding factors. Let's see the bag battle of Birkin vs Kelly!


The Birkin bag is known for its spacious interior, making it ideal for everyday use and travel. It typically features a roomy main compartment, multiple pockets, and a secure closure system. The bag's double handles allow for easy carrying, adding a luxurious look to the ultimate travel bag.


On the other hand, the Kelly bag is renowned for its structured and elegant silhouette. It has a more formal and refined aesthetic compared to the Birkin. The Kelly bag features a single top handle and a detachable shoulder strap, allowing it to be carried in multiple ways. Its distinctive feature is the iconic turn-lock closure system, which adds an extra layer of security and sophistication.

While both bags are undeniably stylish and practical, the choice between the Birkin and Kelly ultimately depends on individual preferences and lifestyle. The Birkin's larger size and more casual appearance make it a great choice for those who need to carry a lot of essentials or travel frequently. On the other hand, the Kelly's sleek and polished design makes it perfect for formal occasions or those who prefer a more compact bag for everyday use.

For those concerned with the weight of the purses, it most likely will depend on the leather. Both bags are available in a variety of materials and you can select one for your needs.


Aesthetics and Design

hermes kelly vs birkin bag aesthetics

One of the defining factors that set Hermes bags apart is their timeless design and meticulous craftsmanship. The Birkin and Kelly bags both showcase the signature Hermes aesthetic characterized by clean lines, high-quality materials, and attention to detail.

Birkin aesthetics

The Birkin bag has a more relaxed and unstructured silhouette compared to the Kelly. It features a slouchy shape and a wider opening, which gives it a more casual and effortless vibe. The bag is available in various sizes, ranging from 25cm to 55cm, catering to different preferences and needs. The Birkin's versatility is further enhanced by the wide array of colors and materials available, including the iconic Togo and Clemence leathers, as well as exotic options like crocodile and alligator.

Kelly aesthetics

In contrast, the Kelly bag exudes sophistication and refinement. Its structured shape, defined curves, and pronounced top handle create a polished and elegant look. The bag is offered in sizes ranging from 15cm to 50cm, making it suitable for various occasions and personal styles.

Like the Birkin, the Kelly bag offers a vast selection of leathers and exotic skins, allowing for customization and personalization.


Birkin vs Kelly: Difference in Popularity

hermes kelly vs birkin bag popularity

It's no secret that the Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags are highly sought after and have achieved cult-like status in the fashion world. So what's the difference between these two bags? They both have captured the imagination of celebrities, fashion icons, and bag enthusiasts alike, becoming synonymous with luxury and exclusivity.

The immense popularity of these bags can be attributed to various factors.

Firstly, both bags are extremely hard to get in the boutiques unless you have an extensive purchase history in Hermes. This fact only has created an aura of rarity and prestige around them. Owning one of these bags implies a certain level of status and sophistication.

Additionally, the meticulous craftsmanship, attention to detail, and use of high-quality materials by Hermes have garnered a reputation for exceptional quality, further enhancing the desirability of these bags.

Is Hermes Birkin popular?

kelly vs birkin victoria beckham hermes birkin collection

The Birkin bag, in particular, has gained tremendous popularity over the years and is often considered one of the most coveted handbags in the world. It has adorned the arms of countless celebrities, from Victoria Beckham and Kim Kardashian to Jane Birkin herself. The Birkin's reputation for being difficult to acquire, thanks to limited production and high demand, has only fueled its desirability. It has become a symbol of status and wealth, with waiting lists at Hermes boutiques that can stretch for months or even years.

Is Hermes Kelly popular?

birkin vs kelly is hermes kelly popular

The Kelly bag has amassed a significant following and is revered for its timeless elegance. Its association with the iconic Grace Kelly and her impeccable sense of style has contributed to its enduring popularity. The Kelly bag continues to be a favorite among celebrities, including Catherine Zeta-Jones and Olivia Palermo, who appreciate its refined aesthetic and classic appeal.

Ultimately, there's little difference between Birkin and Kelly bags. They both have become iconic fashion statements. They have stood the test of time and have remained relevant and coveted for decades. The bags' versatile designs and ability to effortlessly transition from casual to formal settings have contributed to their popularity. Whether it's carried by hand, worn on the crook of the arm, or slung over the shoulder, these bags exude an air of timeless elegance that appeals to a wide range of individuals.

Birkin vs Kelly Demand and Popularity 

In conclusion, the Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags have achieved a level of popularity and recognition that is unparalleled in the world of luxury handbags. Their association with celebrities, limited availability, timeless design, and exceptional craftsmanship have solidified their status as symbols of luxury and style. However, it's important to approach the purchase of these bags with care, ensuring authenticity and considering personal preferences and lifestyle. Whether you're drawn to the Birkin's casual elegance or the Kelly's refined charm, owning one of these iconic bags is a statement of taste and appreciation for the finest in luxury fashion.

Birkin vs Kelly Prices

It's no secret that Hermes bags, particularly the Birkin and Kelly, come with a hefty price tag. The prices of these bags can vary significantly based on factors such as size, material, and availability. However, as a general guideline, Birkin bags tend to be slightly more expensive than Kelly bags. The prices of Birkin bags can start from around $15,000 and go up to several hundred thousand dollars for rare or exotic versions. Kelly bags, on the other hand, typically start at around $12,000 and can reach Birkin levels for limited editions or exotic materials.

Taking into account the budget required to afford a Birkin or a Kelly, there's not much difference between to two handbags.


Birkin vs Kelly: Sizes 

When considering a luxury handbag, the size is an important factor to consider as it affects both the practicality and the overall aesthetic of the bag. Both the Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags offer a range of sizes to cater to different needs and preferences.

Hermes Birkin Sizes

The Birkin bag is available in various sizes, allowing individuals to choose the one that suits their lifestyle and carrying requirements.

The most popular sizes include the 25cm, 30cm, 35cm, and 40cm options. The 25cm Birkin is the smallest size and is often favored for its compactness and versatility. It is an excellent choice for those who prefer a smaller, more manageable bag for daily use or evening events.

The 30cm and 35cm sizes are the most common Hermes Birkin sizes and strike a balance between functionality and elegance. They offer ample space for everyday essentials while still maintaining a sleek and proportionate appearance. The 40cm Birkin, known as the travel Birkin, is the largest size available. It offers an abundance of storage capacity, making it ideal for those who need to carry a significant number of items or use it as a travel companion.

The 40cm Birkins are also relatively cheaper. In you're eyeing a secondhand Hermes, you might find one in the $6,000-$8,000 range, which for Hermes is considered cheap.

Hermes Kelly Sizes

hermes birkin vs kelly bag sizes

Similarly, the Kelly bag comes in various sizes to accommodate different needs and occasions.

The most popular sizes include the 15cm, 20cm, 25cm, 28cm, 32cm, and 35cm options. The 15cm and 20cm Kelly bags are the smallest sizes and are often favored for their compactness and charm. They are perfect for carrying just the essentials and are well-suited for formal events or evenings out.

The 25cm and 28cm sizes offer a slightly larger capacity, making them suitable for everyday use or when you need to carry a bit more than just the essentials. The 32cm and 35cm Kelly bags are the larger options and provide more space for those who require a roomier bag for work or travel purposes.

It's important to note that the availability of sizes may vary depending on the specific collection, material, and region. It is advisable to check with a Hermes boutique or authorized retailer for the most up-to-date information on available sizes and their respective dimensions.

When choosing between the Birkin vs Kelly bags, carefully consider your preferences and requirements in terms of size. If you prefer a more compact and lightweight bag, the smaller sizes of both the Birkin and Kelly could be more suitable. On the other hand, if you need a bag that can accommodate more items or serve as a travel companion, the larger sizes may be a better fit.

Remember that the size of the bag can also impact its overall aesthetic. Smaller sizes tend to exude a more delicate and refined look, while larger sizes can make a bolder statement. Consider your personal style, body proportions, and how the bag will complement your wardrobe when making a decision on size.

In conclusion, both the Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags offer a range of sizes to cater to different needs and preferences. Whether you opt for a smaller, more compact bag or a larger, more spacious one, the size should align with your lifestyle and personal style. Take into account the items you typically carry, the occasions you plan to use the bag for, and how the size will harmonize with your overall aesthetic. By carefully considering the size options available, you can ensure that your choice between the Birkin and Kelly bag is not only visually appealing but also functional and practical for your day-to-day needs.


Choosing Between the Birkin and Kelly

With all the information at hand, you might be wondering which of these iconic Hermes bags is the better choice for you.

The answer depends on your personal style, needs, and budget. If you prefer a more casual and spacious bag for everyday use or travel, the Birkin might be the ideal choice. Its roomy interior, relaxed silhouette, and wide range of options make it a versatile and practical option.

You might also opt for a Birkin if you're looking to add a luxurious and prestigious accessory to your everyday outfit. Even though Kelly's history is wider, Birkin is considered more glamorous due to the surge of its popularity recently.

On the other hand, if you lean towards a more structured and formal bag, the Kelly might be the better fit. Its elegant design, refined silhouette, and iconic turn-lock closure system exude sophistication and timelessness.

Ultimately, both the Birkin and Kelly bags are timeless investments that hold their value over time. Whichever bag you prefer in the Hermes Birkin vs Kelly bag battle, it will undoubtedly become a cherished accessory that embodies the heritage and craftsmanship of Hermes.

In conclusion, the Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags are iconic symbols of luxury and craftsmanship. Each bag has its own unique history, design, and appeal. By considering factors such as usability, aesthetics, price, and exclusivity, you can make an informed decision on whether the Birkin or Kelly bag is the right choice for you. Remember, these bags are not just fashion accessories but also investments that can be passed down through generations, adding to their allure and desirability.


Authenticating Hermes Birkin or Kelly

It's important to note that with popularity comes the risk of counterfeits and replicas. Due to the high demand and limited supply of authentic Birkin and Kelly bags, counterfeit versions have flooded the market. It is crucial to exercise caution and learn how to spot a fake Birkin bag

Use trusted sources to ensure the authenticity of your Hermes bag. At Bagaholic, we have vast experience of dealing with authentic Hermes purses and can help you. Choose the authentication option below.

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