”They found themselves sitting beside each other by chance one day in 1983, on an Air France flight from Paris to London. She was Jane Birkin. Singer, actress and mother of three – Kate (16), Charlotte (12) and baby Lou born the previous year, she had recently met Jacques Doillon and made her arthouse cinema debut. He was Jean-Louis Dumas. Five years earlier, he had taken over the Hermes leather goods company founded by his great-grandfather. It was a short flight, but it didn’t take long for the conversation to take off between the two sharp-witted seatmates. When Jane dropped her Hermes diary, scattering a flurry of papers, her gentlemanly neighbour came to her aid. She grumbled that diaries were never able to hold all of her bits of paper and bags never had enough pockets! He introduced himself and promised, while he couldn’t revolutionise her diaries, he could at least have her dream bag made for her in his workshops. She explained what she wanted. He took notes and stepped off the plane with a preliminary sketch. They met up in the workshop, where the craftsmen took care of the rest.”
”A spacious, sturdy and stable bag with a flat bottom, which was just as elegant whether open or closed. The bag showcased Hermes’ most iconic savoir-faire with its polished edges and saddle stitching. There was no question about what to call it. The variety of leathers and colours, teamed with the creativity of the Leather Goods Design Studio, gave birth to a broad range of models, keeping this story alive after more than 30 years.”
We love this story- (Excerpts above by the brand). If you didn’t know the story behind the Birkin, you get the pleasure of reading about it here!Simply put, a story of an attentive Executive who created a hit product because he listened to the needs of his consumer!
The Birkin bag is currently in fashion as a symbol of wealth because of its high price and use by celebrities. Birkins are the most popular bags with handbag collectors, and Victoria Beckham owns over 100 of them. Yes we said over a hundred!
The Birkin bag comes in 25, 30, 35, 40 and 50cm sizes. The most popular sizes are 30cm and 35cm, although 25cm Birkins have also spiked in popularity recently, with a wide variety of colors, skins and hardware finishes. The most popular colors seen are black, pink, orange and Togo is the most popular leather with gold and palladium hardware in a tie for most requested hardware type.
Now that we know the history of this coveted bag, let’s check out 5 other things you don’t know about the Birkin:
- A recent study by Baghunter demonstrated that there is more than meets the eye to Birkin bags as they have only increased in value since their release over 30 years ago, outperforming both stocks and gold as an investment piece. Studies have also shown that rare Birkin bags have averaged a 14.2% annual return over the past few decades—an average return that beats out both the S&P 500 index and the price of gold. You could actually sell your used Birkin (depending on material and hardware, for as much as N3.8m!
2. It takes a single artisan 48 hours to make one Birkin bag. All Birkins are made this way.
3. The bags are distributed to Hermès boutiques on unpredictable schedules and in limited quantities, creating artificial scarcity and exclusivity. To get a Birkin bag, you must wait for each finished batch to reach the stores in your chosen color as Hermes no longer takes special orders. There are usually 200,000 bags in circulation.
4. The most Expensive Birkin sold was the white Himalaya albino crocodile diamond Birkin bag that Christie’s just unloaded in May for $379,261 (About N133m) , making it the most expensive handbag ever sold at auction. The exclusive white Himalaya Birkin, handmade from the Niloticus crocodile with more than 240 diamonds on its 18-karat-gold hardware, is routinely in the top spot for most expensive bag — this year’s titleholder (sold in Hong Kong) was no other than David Beckham who bought it for his wife Victoria, known to own over a hundred of these, knocked the crown off another white Himalaya Birkin that sold for a little over $300,000 in 2016.
If you have to choose, a house or a rare diamond studded handbag, where would your pendulum swing?
5. The Birkin sells from $8,500 (About N3m)- this will get you a leather one with plain hardware. Its prices could range somewhere from $11,900.00 to $300,000.00. Costs fluctuate according to the type of leather and if exotic skins were used.
6. A Birkin is named according to its color, texture- an Hermés 25 Birkin Bag Togo refers to a Birkin with a length of 25 centimeters, and crafted in the brand’s signature grainy togo leather (togo, epsom, clemence, and chèvre are all different types of leathers that the brand uses). There are significant symbols or letters embossed to show if the bag is a special order, limited edition, the year of production and even when production of that particular type has stopped.The bag also comes in a variety of hides such as calf leather, lizard, and ostrich. Among the most expensive used to be saltwater crocodile skin and bags with smaller scales cost more than those with larger scales. Each bag is lined with goat-skin, the colour of the interior matching the exterior.
Definitely a bag worth investing in! … If you are into this type of investment.
Sources: baghunter.com, cbnc.com, usa.hermes.com,( Feature image: MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images)