All You Need to Know about the Hermes Birkin Bag

Know about the Hermes Birkin Bag | The Enterprise World

The Hermes Birkin bag is a Veblen good, did you know? Of course, it’ll be. The exclusivity, the rare heritage leather, and the vegetable-tanned natural cowhide have an exceptional finish that attracts bag connoisseurs. A one-of-its-kind, possessing the Hermes Birkin bag is a sign of enormously high status. The British actress Jane Birkin was on a flight from Paris to London when she happened to sit beside Jean Louis Dumas, Executive Chairperson of Hermes (1978-2006). Jane complained to the next-seat passenger about how she couldn’t find a suitable bag for her motherly duties. As Jean had a keen eye he immediately sketched a ductile and rectangular in shape bag, with a burnished flap and saddle stitching. 


The flight incident happened in 1984. Birkin’s signature straw basket had been run over by a car by her then-partner Jacques Doillon two days earlier and she was using a different travel bag. The contents spilled out of the bag as she tried to place it in the overhead compartment of the seat. Birkin explained to Dumas, that it had been difficult to find a leather bag for the weekend, and wondered if Hermes could manufacture a larger version of the Kelly bag. Dumas took this as a lifetime opportunity to create a supple black leather bag, based on an earlier design, the Haut a Courroies. 

What if we tell you, that the handbag company, was into manufacturing horse harnesses before entering the handbag business? Yup, that’s true. Hermes was known for manufacturing horse harnesses and carriages. It had the first shop in Paris that opened in 1837. Until, 1922, the company was nowhere known for making handbags. The first popular Hermes bag was the Sac a depeches, which became known worldwide as the Kelly bag to the company’s origins, as they were both delighted by a design of a bag from 1892 called the Haut a Courroies. The latter was inspired by the design of horse saddles and feed bags.  

Interesting Facts to Know about the Hermes Birkin

The Hermes Birkin bag is the most iconic and sophisticated handbag in the world. A lot of fashion enthusiasts have absorbed a lot of information about how it is conceived, about the making process, and the level of difficulty to get hold of one. There are always more interesting facts to look at when a brand as interesting as this one exists. Rarely do we get an opportunity to write on such an iconic and prestigious brand. 

1. A single Hermes Birkin Bag takes 48 hours for one artisan to make:

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All Hermes bags, not only Birkins, are crafted by a single artisan in one of Hermes’ ateliers. It is a more traditional approach to manufacturing than the one used by most brands, which have different people working on different aspects of handbag construction. The 48 hours are not two working days, those are straight 48 hours of work. It’s more than a week for a single bag on a regular full-time job schedule. 

2. Each Hermes artisan has a personal set of tools:

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The depth and skill needed to work at Hermes is enormous, the artisans give the product a personalized touch as they don’t use any tools available when they arrive for their work in the morning. Every artisan employed in the organization has his/her own set of tools, which the person is allowed to take home upon retirement. 

3. A Birkin was once auctioned at a quarter million dollars:

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The most expensive Hermes Birkin Bag is made of fuchsia porosus crocodile with diamond-encrusted, 18k white gold hardware. It was sold to a phone bidder at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong for $2,21,844 in June 2015, as stated by the Wall Street Journal. 

4. The name of the fugitive “Himalayan” Birkin refers to a color:

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The general public has assumed that the name of the super-rare, extremely covetable Hermes Himalayan Crocodile Berkin is somehow tied to the origin of the crocodiles from which it’s made. The name aims at the bag’s unique colorway, it’s said to look something like a snow-topped mountain. 

5. 20 shades of blue:

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When a person contemplates a Hermes Birkin Bag, the mind can go directly to the bag’s popular neutrals. But, the bag has been made in a variety of rainbow colors. In the 31 years since its launch, the bag has been produced in at least 25 distinct blues, including popular classics like Blue Jean, Mykonos, and Blue Roi. 

6. Jane Birkin’s husband ran his car intentionally over her signature basket:

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The 1981 story of Jane Birkin sitting next to Hermes CEO Jean-Louis Dumas on a flight and all things falling out of the bag is till now the stuff of the well-known fashion legend. The details about why she was carrying that bag often get left out. In 2012, Birkin told the London Telegraph, that it was because her husband, Jacques Doillon had deliberately run over the woven basket she usually carried. 

7. Jane Birkin uses only one bag at a time:

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The Birkin became a symbol of old school, old money wealth for women who collected these things like coins or postage stamps. The woman after whom the brand was named has a completely different take on the bag. She uses a single Birkin in a neutral color until it is junked, only then does she get a new bag and give out the old one for auction and donate to charity. 

8. Hermes gives Jane Birkin a royalty:

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Initially, Birkin accepted a free bag in exchange for the use of her name. Although she’s still not a paid ambassador or face of Hermes, the brand does now give her an annual payment for using her name, she donates the amount to charities of her choice. In 2012, the Telegraph reported that amount as 30,000 pounds sterling. 


The Birkin bag comes in various sizes to suit women of different needs. It is not of a standard single size. The bag comes in the following sizes:

  • 25: 25 x 20 x 13cm                                                    
  • 30: 30 x 22 x 16cm
  • 35: 35 x 35 x 18cm 
  • 40: 40 x 30 x 21cm
  • 50: 50 x 35 x 26cm

Hermes Birkin Bag Leather:

The Birkin comes with a variety of leathers from smooth to grained, supple to rigid calf, goat, bull, and buffalo to exotic skins too. The exotic skins list includes ostrich, lizard, and crocodile and every possible color which is plausible. Many of them have been in production for a few seasons. Increasing their rarity, and ultimately the price too was an option that the brand had to select. Most bags of the brand come with either shiny Palladium or gold-plated hardware with some rare versions in brushed, Ruthenium, or Permabrass. 


The Birkin bag is a legendary status symbol that will never lose its charm. It is an icon that will continue to exist for generations. The bag will forever be the most exclusive and desirable bag of our time. As we’re about to conclude, would you like to know an exciting fact about the notorious orange packaging of the luxury fashion house? Originally, Hermes packaging was designed in a pigskin shade. But post World War II, cream-colored boxes were no longer available. The only choice left was orange, it was the least desired color. It is now a part of the house’s heritage. 

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