A Brief Guide to the Hermès Birkin

A Brief Guide to the Hermès Birkin
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An overview of the Birkin Hermès

An icon in the fashion world, the Birkin Hermès bag is highly sought after by celebrities and handbag devotees alike. Hermès CEO Jean-Louis Dumas collaborated with Jane Birkin on the design of the Birkin Hermès bag. The two met in 1984 on a flight from Paris to London. Her fast-paced lifestyle did not allow Birkin to carry a purse with adequate functionality, and she told Dumas she wanted one. 

This conversation led to the creation of the Birkin 40 in chic calfbox leather. Her original Hermès Bag Birkin had a shoulder strap but was removed for all future Birkin Hermèss. The Birkin's practical design, which has two rolled handles, a flap top, closure feet, and lock closure, continues to be popular today.

Because of its signature Hermès craftsmanship and exclusivity, the Birkin Hermès Bag remains a coveted Hermès bag. It takes expert artisans at least 18 hours to make the Birkin Hermès Bag, which is stamped with a code indicating the year it was made, the workshop where it was made, and the artisan who created it. 

It is necessary to have an extensive purchase history with Hermès before you can buy a Birkin Bag directly from them. Boutiques are only permitted to purchase a limited number of Hermès Bags Birkin every two years, and the style of Birkin Hermès delivered to boutiques is seldom known in advance. In light of this, customers must either settle for the Hermès Bags Birkin that are currently available or wait for their desired style to become available. 

Its classic beauty and timeless appeal make it an excellent investment piece, according to Rich Report, making it one of the most sought after Hermès bags. The price ranges from $10,000 for a basic leather bag to over $200,000 for a crocodile and diamond bag.

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Hermès Birkin Sizes

Hermès Bag Birkins are available in four sizes: Birkins 25, Birkins 30, Birkins 35, and Birkins 40. The size of a Birkin is determined by the length across the base of the bag. For example, a Birkin 35 has a base length of 35 centimeters. 

In addition to everyday necessities, the Birkin 30 offers space for a makeup bag and tablet computer. The Birkin 25 is large enough to fit necessities. With its spacious interior, the Birkin 40 is commonly used as a travel bag, while the Birkin 35 can hold your essentials and a laptop. 

The Hermès Birkin Bags feature one interior side pocket and a single compartment. The bottom base keeps its shape and does not buckle, even after years of use.

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Hermès Leather for Birkin Bags

Since its introduction in 1984, the Hermès Bag Birkin has been reinvented many times using leather, exotic skin, and limited edition releases. Hermès used the oldest leather, calfbox leather, when the bag was first introduced. It has a very smooth finish that gives Birkins an extra glamorous look. Watermarks and scratches can occur on this leather, but over time, these imperfections blend into the bag, creating a reflective appearance. 

Keeping your Birkin calfbox away from the rain and lightly buffing any imperfections in the leather will ensure that it stays in great condition. Togo leather is another classic Birkin Hermès leather. Introduced in 1997, this calfskin leather was named after the Togolese Republic in Africa. Through a drumming process, this leather is accentuated by its natural qualities. 

As an unlined material, Togo is supple, matte, but becomes shinier and softer over time. The grain is irregular and has visible veins and wrinkles, making this material a favorite among collectors and those seeking a durable Hermès bag.

There are two standard Birkin Hermès leathers: Clemence and Togo. Clemence leather is softer, heavier, and less durable than Togo. Hermès Birkins made from Clemence leather will often lose their shape with time. Clemence leather has a shallow grainy texture, which creates a matte effect. Clemence leather Hermès Bags Birkin have a casual feel and don’t try to hide their age. Its opposite is Epsom leather: Epsom leather is rigid and will hold the Birkin shape for years to come. 

Unlike natural leathers, Epsom is completely scratch-proof and water-resistant, making it easy to clean, and it doesn't have a natural grain. Like Epsom, Fjord leather is supple, waterproof, soft, matte and heavy. It has a satiny look with a small, regular grain that is obtained by printing. Evercolor leather provides a Birkin Hermès with suppleness and comes in a wide palette of colors that are “forever” in nature. 

In 2016, Hermès introduced the Barenia Faubourg calfskin, which has a tiny grain and feels waxy to the touch. On the secondary market, you can find Birkin bags in every color of the rainbow. Hermès only releases Birkins in select colors. You can find this leather darkening where you handle it. The Hermès leathers allow Birkins to be tailored to the personality of each wearer thanks to their variety.

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Hermès Hardware

An Birkin Hermès Bag typically comes with two types of hardware: gold plated or palladium hardware. Special edition Birkin Hermès bags may come with more unique hardware, such as a lock closure on the front facing side, a lock and keys, and a zipper. Special edition Birkin Hermès bags may also come with metal feet called clou, which ensure the Birkin sits upright. 

Gold, rose gold, permabrass, brush palladium, brushed gold, guilloche, ruthenium, or matte black hardware are some examples of rarer metals. Diamond-encrusted 18-karat white gold-plated hardware is the most exclusive hardware found on ultra glamorous Diamond Birkins. Hermès releases only a few of these bags each year, usually made of elegant crocodile leather.

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Crocodile Birkin

It can be made from exotic materials ranging from ostrich, lizard, crocodile, and alligator skins, available in both glossy and matte finishes. Exotic Hermès Bag Birkins are considered more exclusive and unique than leather Hermès Bag Birkins and fetch higher prices. 

The most expensive Birkin Hermès is the Himalaya Birkin Bag, made from the Crocodile Birkin- the priciest exotic material available in two styles: Niloticus crocodile and Porosus crocodile. The former is distinguished by a "••" symbol beside the Hermés logo stamp, while the latter features a "^" symbol. The Niloticus crocodile skin is dyed in a white and grey gradient, adding to the exclusivity and extravagance of the Himalaya Birkin Bag.

Compared to crocodiles, alligator skins are larger, non-uniform, softer to the touch, and poreless, and are intended to evoke the white snow of the Himalaya Mountains. The next most expensive exotic leather is alligator skin. Generally, lizard skin is only used in smaller bags and leather goods, and is indicated by a small square next to the Hermès logo stamp. 

Because lizard skin absorbs pigments easily, lizard Birkins are available in vibrant arrays of colors, just as crocodile Birkins are. Hermès typically uses it for the smallest Birkin bag -- a Birkin 25. The Hermès logo stamp distinguishes between the Niloticus and Varanus Salvator lizards by placing a “-” next to the Hermès logo. 

Among all exotic materials, ostrich has the lowest price and is the most durable. In the 1920s, Hermès began using this material. Hermès' dual tone skin can be distinguished by its follicles, the points from which feathers grow. To prevent damage to the follicles, Hermès flattens them and triples the skin's thickness. 

There are many vibrant colors available for ostrich skin bags, but there is no special symbol stamped on them. Like lizard skin bags, ostrich skin bags will darken over time where they are frequently touched.

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Birkin Sellier

In 2010 Birkin Hermès introduced a limited edition bag called Birkin Sellier, which was reintroduced in 2020. The classic Birkin Hermès has stitching on the inside, while the Birkin Sellier has stitching on the outside of the bag. 

The Birkin Sellier is also more structured than the classic style, also known as Retourne. The interior stitching gives the bag a more relaxed look than the exterior stitching. As compared to traditional non-exotic Hermès Bags Birkin, the Birkin Sellier is less likely to lose its shape in humid Asian countries. Like the traditional Birkin Hermès bag, the Birkin Sellier has a very similar capacity inside. 

In densely populated cities, the corners are more likely to get scratched if the style is more structured. Due to much greater limited availability, the Sellier Birkin bag generally sells for a premium on the secondary market, despite being only slightly more expensive than the classic Birkin Bag.

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Celebrities with Birkin Bags

There have been many celebrities with Birkin bags, including JLo, Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian, Gigi Hadid, and many others. Jane Birkin was the first celebrity to own a Birkin bag, but others have followed suit since. 

Several Birkin bags were seen by JLo as she celebrated her engagement with Ben Affleck in Paris. The Hermès bag has been pictured with quite a variety of Hermès bags over the years, and Beckham is rumored to have a collection worth over two million dollars. While Kardashian wears a hand painted Birkin bag created by George Condo, the bag is considered one of the world's most valuable pieces of art. A super rare and collectible Metallic Silver Birkin Hermès bag has been photographed with Gigi Hadid.

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