The Birkin Bag – Is It Worth It?
In 1981, Hermes chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas was on a flight from Paris to London. He was seated next to English actress and singer Jane Birkin. As she was putting her purse in an overhead compartment the contents fell out and onto the floor of the plane. Jean-Louis told her she should purchase a bag with pockets in it so that her stuff would not fall out. She told him it was hard to find a weekend bag that she liked so in 1984 he finished the iconic Birkin Bag and gave it to Jane in black leather. She used the bag initially but because of its weight she stopped using it about 2 years later. Nonetheless, the bag has become a fashion icon and a status of wealth.
Hermes does not sell the Birkin bag in stores or online and are sold on a more “made to order” basis. The bag is made in Paris and each bag is made start to finish by one craftsman. They take about 15 to 20 hours to make over the course of 48 hours and use only the finest leather and hardware and can be completely customized for the customer. They come in a variety of hides such as calf leather, lizard, ostrich and salt-water crocodile. Each bag is lined with goatskin, the color matching the outside of the bag. In 2015, Jane Birkin asked that her name not be associated with the bag using crocodile skin due to ethical reasons.
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