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February 27, 2024

This is why a Hermès Birkin bag is a better investment than gold and real-estate

Tanvi Gupta
Shoes and handbags are most certainly the two items every woman loves to splurge on. One can truly never have enough. But sometimes, a single bag can be enough, especially if it’s the iconic Birkin bag by Hermès.
Sold as the most expensive handbags in the world at Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions, these bags are in a league of their own. 

The History of the Birkin
The Birkin bag came into existence in 1984 when English actress Jane Birkin happened to be seated next to the chief executive of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas on a flight from Paris to London. She was known to carry a wicker basket everywhere, however, it wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartment causing all its contents to spill out. For the remainder of the flight, the two sketched out possible handbag designs, and a year later, the Birkin was born. It wasn’t until the 90s that the Birkin gained popularity, making it a symbol of status and wealth amongst upper-class women. Today, the Birkin can cost anywhere between 40,000 to 500,000 dollars.
Image Courtesy- Christie’s
What Makes the Birkin So Expensive?
The Birkin bags are very expensive, and rightly so, considering the fact that Hermès produces only a limited number of bags every year. While this number is a closely guarded secret, it is estimated that there are about 200,000 of them in circulation. Even if you have the money, buying one is easier said than done. There is a waitlist, and even on your turn, you cannot choose the size and colour of your bag. The bags are made with the rarest and most exquisite materials; crocodile skin, ostrich skin, with gold and diamond hardware. They are entirely handmade. Its makers, the artisans train for 10 years before making one. As per a report, the value of a Birkin bag goes up by 14 per cent every year, making it a more valuable investment than gold and real estate. This is also why Birkin bags are a hot commodity in the second-hand market, selling multiple times their
original value.
The Most Expensive Birkin Bags:
Matte White Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Birkin 30 with Diamond Hardware.
Image Courtesy- Christie’s
The most expensive bag ever sold in an auction, this bag fetched a whopping $384,285 in 2017. It’s made with white or albino crocodile skin, which is extremely rare and features diamond hardware. The costly skin is painstakingly dyed to emulate the snowy appearance of the Himalayan mountains.
Blood-red Hermes Shiny Braise Porosus Crocodile Birkin bag with palladium
Image Courtesy- Telegraph
The braise Porosus skin used to make this bag is one of the most desirable materials in the world. This bag is the brightest red bag Hermès has ever produced. The 40-centimetre bag’s highest selling price at an auction was $298,000 in April 2016.
Shiny Black Porosus Crocodile Diamond Birkin bag
Image Courtesy- Christie’s
This jet black bag has white gold and diamond hardware that elevates the look of the bag. The porosus crocodile leather makes this bag expensive. It was auctioned by Christie’s in 2011 and fetched a staggering $235,790.
Fuchsia Crocodile Birkin bag
Image Courtesy- Christie’s
In 2015, a fuchsia crocodile Birkin bag was auctioned for $233,000 in Hong Kong. Its hardware is made from 18K white gold and diamond embellishments, and it has one of the longest waiting lists at Hermès. The striking colour definitely makes it a head turner.
So Black Birkin bag
Image Courtesy- Christie’s
The most expensive bag from Hermès‘ limited-edition ‘So Black’ Collection sold at Christie’s was the rare, limited edition Matte Black Niloticus Crocodile So Black Birkin 30 with Rare PVD Hardware. Unlike other Hermes bags, this bag has all black hardware made from black PVD coating. It was sold in 2019, at Christie’s Hong Kong for $209,553.
Loyal Patrons of the Birkin
Jamie Chua

 

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Singaporean air-hostess turned socialite Jamie Chua has the largest collection of Birkin bags. From the coveted Himalayan diamond Birkin to her cute line-up of mini Kelly bags, Chua’s collection is every Hermès fan’s dream come true.
Jeffree Star

 

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YouTube sensation Jeffree Star has an enviable collection of Birkins. His collection features candyfloss coloured Hermès bags in every size and leather imaginable.
Kylie Jenner

 

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Kylie Jenner’s wardrobe tour shows her extensive collection of Hermès bags, including many exotic leather numbers. Her collection only grows every day.
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Tanvi Gupta

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