Extensive Coverage of the Hermes Birkin in Bloomberg

Categories:Other Brands

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There was a fantastic, lengthy article in Bloomberg Business about Hermes’s Birkin bag and its continued dominance in the luxury handbag market by Lauren Sherman this week! Here at PurseBop we’ve compiled the highlights and pulled out some tidbits you need to know:

  • Hermes’s share of the luxury leather market has held at around 6% over the past decade, while other competing brands have increased their share to 41% from 38% in 2004 (according to Exane BNP Paribas). In contrast, LV’s share has declined from 23% to 18% over the same period.
  • The Hermes Miami Design District flagship store finally opens on November 6, 2015.
  • The newest Birkin is the Sellier 40. 40 centimeters, raw-edge straps, palladium hardware. $14,900.
  • Hermes’s hired Nadege Vanshee-Cybulski to be their new creative director this year. She was previously the head designer at The Row from 2011-2014 and Celine before that from 2008-2011.
  • The Birkin is constructed by a single craftsman in 18-20 hours. They’re trained for at least five years before they can create a bag you’ll buy, and even longer if they’ll work with exotics.
  • Hermes is hiring and training 200 new craftspeople to build Birkin bags and has opened two new workshops in the Rhône Alpes and Poitou Charentes regions of France. Two more workshops in the Franche-Comté region will open in 2016.
  • Customization is “at the core of the Birkin.” If you’ve got the money and the connections,Hermes will build you your dream handbag. But for most of us, we’re happy just getting the call to view any bag that’s available :)

Click here for the full article.


Many areas of Bloomberg’s article have been covered extensively here at PurseBop.com. Suggested articles in order of reference in article are:

  • NYT Writes Up the New Hermes Birkin Sellier 40
  • Axel Dumas Outlines Hermes Long Term Strategy
  • Who’s on Team Birkin vs. Team Kelly?
  • Most Expensive Hermès Birkin Sold at Christie’s
  • The Holy Grail Bag
  • The Increasing Accessibility of High Fashion
  • Falling In Love with Hermes
  • The Many Shades of Hermes
  • Part II: The Hermes Learning Process
  • Hermes Kelly Sellier vs. Retourne Debate
  • From Coach to Hermes: The Luxury Handbag Market
  • Hermes in the Global Economy
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Tags: Hermes Birkin

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The Hermes Birkin – The Ultimate Holy Grail Bag

Categories:Other Brands

As handbag lovers, we are always looking to build our collections and find bags that we simply love to no end. However, acquiring the perfect bags is no easy task , which often results in endless wish lists and bag fantasies. At the top of your long term wish list is the “Holy Grail Bag” or HGB. A Holy Grail Bag is a bag that you desire intensely and that is your “end all be all” bag, but is hard to attain. Over the past few years especially, the Hermes Birkin bag has come to be associated with the ultimate Holy Grail bag.  Undoubtedly, the Birkin is one the most well constructed and aesthetically pleasing bags in history. However, from an objective standpoint, the Birkin craze is indeed hard to grasp overall.

PurseBop asks WHY Birkin? How does the Birkin manage to become the ultimate HGB for almost every fashionista?

We can only speculate, but read the reasons below to find out why the Birkin effortlessly wins so many hearts…


1. The Birkin is the epitome of luxury

To many outside the handbag world, the word “Birkin” has more weight than “Hermes” because the bag itself is a huge icon. However, the Birkin was only able to become THE Birkin because it was an incredible Hermes’ masterpiece. Birkins are handmade and put through rigorous craftsmanship and quality control processes. Perfection is the main idea behind a Birkin, and it’s hard not to lust after something that is considered the best and incomparable to its peer.


2. The Birkin leaves us breathless

The very look of the Birkin defines the picture perfect dream bag for most. It is classic, but timelessly flattering and chic. The B’s clean silhouette, in combination with rich, vivid materials and colors, creates an effect of awe every time. The Birkin is easily a HGB because it makes an effective statement and fits our ideal expectations of a handbag.


3. We are consumed by the "Birkin Culture"

The Birkin has become the bag to strive for due to the influence of mass media. Many celebrities show their appreciation for the Birkin everyday, which creates an even bigger bandwagon effect. TV shows and songs portray the B as impossible to get. It is glamorized as the marker of everything good about living the luxury life.


4. The Birkin is a fashion unicorn - highly mysterious and intriguing

With limited availability and high price tags, getting a hold of an elusive B can sometimes seem more like a fairy tale than reality. Hermes maintains the image that the Birkin is a distantly beautiful, unattainable marvel. Learning about stock of a Birkin from an SA is a privileged or fateful opportunity. In addition, exact prices of bags are not directly available from the Hermes website or by phone. Without additional resources or in-person experience, getting a fuller idea of the significance of Birkin can be difficult. Being offered a Birkin and purchasing one makes you feel like you’ve discovered Hermes secret magic.

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5. Winning the Birkin battle is an accomplisment within itself

Deciding on the perfect Birkin and the finding it can be a lengthy process, and sometimes a challenge you must persevere through. Researching the bags and developing a relationship with an SA is like gearing up for a game almost! Unfortunately, the Birkin game has high financial stakes, but low odds. Achieving victory with a Birkin doesn’t come without effort, and the bag itself is a marker for that.


6. We need the golden 'H' stamp

To some extent, owning a Birkin is seen as a status symbol of exclusivity. The Hermes logo itself is a factor, but the legacy and reputation of the bag is the biggest part of it’s appeal. Acquiring your HGB Birkin makes you feel lucky enough to represent a bag that so many fashionistas have beautifully pulled off in the past.


7. It's an investment!

Hermes Birkin bags hold their value spectacularly. On the second hand market, they tend to sell for even more due to preferred color and leather combinations being rare. The Birkin is on a lot of people’s HBG list because it seems like a smart, “can’t go wrong purchase”. Aside from monetary value, buying a quality bag that amps up your confidence and aesthetic is a long term investment. Having one amazing item that transforms your look and gives off the right impression better equips you to grow professionally, socially, and personally.


8. The Birkin is more than just a bag

All the aforementioned facts from the quality, to the popularity, to the stunning design, and even to the involved nature of choosing a B, help elevate the Birkin to a level beyond a simple “leather accessory”. Carrying a Birkin becomes an experience, and for some, the Birkin is an important aspect of their fashion lifestyle. The Birkin characterizes the essence of a Holy Grail Bag because it’s proven time and time again to live up to its impeccable reputation. Being able to experience the paragon of luxury through an exquisite handbag becomes a vision, goal, and dream for many fashionistas.


So, PurseBop must know: what is your HGB? Has the Birkin ever made it on your Holy Grail Bag list? Click HERE to answer and join the conversation BopTalk.

Tags: Hermes Birkin

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NYT Writes Up the New Hermes Birkin Sellier 40

Categories:Other Brands

See Pursebop’s take on Sellier here. 

via NYT T Magazine:

An Icon Goes Minimal

It’s tough to improve on perfection, but that’s precisely what Hermès has done with the new hyper-pared-down Birkin Sellier 40. According to Couli Jobert, the leather artistic director at Hermès, natural brown was deemed too obvious for the new Birkin, which is only available in matte black with silver palladium hardware. As the goal was to create an essential design without clutter, the structured cowhide bag is extra-wide, has no lining and the stitching is extremely subtle. It’s a radically modern update of the elegant classic, which has been the subject of girl envy — and the cause of waiting lists — since it was first crafted in 1984.

Tags: Hermes Birkin

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A Birkin by Any Other Name…

Categories:Other Brands

Just the word “Birkin” is enough to set off a fashion frenzy. The Birkin Bag is inarguably Hermes’ most iconic bag ever. The eponymous bag was conceived after an anecdotal moment, but forever changed the handbag game. In 1981, Jean-Louis Dumas sat next to actress Jane Birkin on a plane and realized she was struggling to keep her belongings together in the straw bag she was carrying. Birkin lamented that she couldn’t find a leather bag she liked. After that Dumas, set out to design a leather bag adequate and stylish enough for the busy woman to keep her life together.


Since then, the Birkin has become a huge icon in the fashion world and frequently tops people’s Holy Grail Bag list. Being able to say you have a “Birkin ” is a big part of the Hermes bag experience. However, that could change after the statement released by Jane Birkin this past Tuesday. Jane Birkin, the namesake behind the Hermes’ Birkin bag, has demanded the company rename the bag.  Why you ask?

A recent PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) investigation in the Hermes owned alligator factory in Winnie, Texas found many instances of alarming, inhumane practices within factory procedures. Animals were being skinned in conscious states, and dying slow, painful deaths. A series of dialogues took place after the concerning report.


Jane Birkin first shared her objection to Hermes practices with AFP Tuesday. Even though most versions of the Birkin are made in plain leather, Birkin made no distinction in her request when demanding her namesake back:

Having been alerted to the cruel practices endured by crocodiles during their slaughter for the production of Hermès bags carrying my name…I have asked Hermès Group to rename the Birkin until better practices responding to international norms can be implemented for the production of this bag.

PETA commended Jane Birkin for her firm request:

Once, Birkin bags marked people as celebrities or at least members of the super-rich, but soon, no one will want to be caught dead carrying one, and animal advocates will then breathe a sigh of relief.

Hermes responded promptly to Birkin’s request:

Jane Birkin has expressed her concerns regarding practices for slaughtering crocodiles. Her comments do not in any way influence the friendship and confidence that we have shared for many years. Hermès respects and shares her emotions and was also shocked by the images recently broadcast.

An investigation is underway at the Texas farm which was implicated in the video. Any breach of rules will be rectified and sanctioned. Hermès specifies that this farm does not belong to them and that the crocodile skins supplied are not used for the fabrication of Birkin bags.

Hermès imposes on its partners the highest standards in the ethical treatment of crocodiles. For more than 10 years, we have organized monthly visits to our suppliers. We control their practices and their conformity with slaughter standards established by veterinary experts and by the Fish and Wildlife (a federal American organization for the protection of nature) and with the rules established under the aegis of the U.N.O, by the Washington Convention of 1973 which defines the protection of endangered species.


Based off the immediate and thorough response from Hermes, conditions in their factories are expected to change soon. With that being said, the Birkin may be able to keep its iconic name. Interestingly enough, Jane Birkin hasn’t been a big fan of the Birkin bag for a long time.  In 2012, she discussed how she disguises her “bloody heavy” bag with stickers.

However, PurseBop can’t help but wonder – what would you call it INSTEAD? The thought seems unfathomable given how the name Birkin is so engraved in our heads. Let’s take the conversation to BopTalk! Give your name suggestions, but more importantly, share your thoughts on the PETA findings and how you feel about Hermes crocodile bags going forward.

Tags: Birkin

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Birkin Case Closed

Categories:Other Brands

After a PETA investigation at a crocodile farm in Texas, Jane Birkin demanded that Hermes remove her name from the house’s most iconic bag due to inhumane animal practices. Imagining a Birkin by any other name is almost impossible. Luckily, the Birkin-Hermes union may continue after all…


Came across an article in ‘The Independent UK’ sitting at Heathrow that reports the news that Hermes Vows to Protect Welfare of Crocodiles (Sanguine Croc Birkin 35)

Hermes took swift action after the report and conducted a thorough investigation at the Texas farm. Hermes concluded that the unethical, slaughter process at this crocodile farm was an “isolated irregularity”. Nonetheless, Hermes stands firm on ceasing relations with this Texas supplier if unethical practices continue in the future. Last week, Hermes released a statement to the public that Jane Birkin “is satisfied with the measures taken by Hermes” and the Birkin bag will retain its namesake:

“Following the heartfelt emotion expressed by Jane Birkin and her request for explanation, Hermès in agreement with her reiterates its firm commitment in the ethical treatment of crocodiles in its partner farms.

Hermès reasserts its commitment to implement best practice in the farming of crocodiles, working with professional crocodile farmers and their attached local communities. This is in strictest compliance with international regulations.

In consultation with local regulatory organizations and associations, Hermès is resolved to evolve its current recommendations to support the development of best standards for the entire profession. In the United States, the document of reference is the Best Management Practices for Louisiana Alligator Forming. We demand that these Louisiana practices be the reference applied by all our suppliers in the U.S.A., Texas included.”

Although the Jane Birkin and Hermes spat has been resolved, Birkin’s public stance against animal cruelty has opened the door for a bigger conversation. The practices behind and the use of exotic leathers in general is still a highly controversial topic. Many activist groups continue to fight for more transparent measures in the fashion industry surrounding animal resources. However, as demonstrated by this recent Hermes incident, there are still many issues that need to be brought to the table before conditions and practices can be standardized.

Now the question goes back to you, was Hermes’ response enough? Do you feel any differently about exotic bags? Click here to join the conversation on BopTalk

Tags: Hermes Birkin

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Gold, S&P 500, or Hermes Birkin?

Categories:Other Brands

What will you do with the money if you win the Powerball tonight? Perhaps you want to know what to do with that end-of-year bonus and tax refund. Purse aficionados considering stashing assets in gold or the S&P 500 might want to think again. It turns out the “safest and least volatile” investment of those three may be in the bag…the Hermes Birkin bag.


Diamond Exotic Birkin, Hermes Paris

As reported in racked.com, the Baghunter compared investment returns on gold, the S&P 500, and the Birkin over the last 35 years, and the Birkin was the clear winner.  In that time, the Birkin increased in value more than 500% and has never decreased even in times of recession and economic difficulty. Baghunter says the Birkin averaged annual value increases of 14.2%, significantly higher than either gold or S&P 500.

Baghunter founder Evelyn Fox told luxurydaily.com “As a whole, the study findings show how stable the ultra-luxury industry has been over the past 35 years when compared to more traditional investment opportunities.”  According to Fox, “There is a difference between luxury and ultra-luxury. While the luxury market suffers during worse economic times the ultra-luxury market is impervious to economic factors that can affect other industries such as high-street retail and stock markets.”

Fox expects this trend to continue in 2016, pointing to the Birkin’s high retail prices and limited availability along with a strong secondary market from resellers.

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Image courtesy BagHunter.com

Do you consider your Birkins (or other bags) investments?

Tags: Hermes Birkin

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