Bags and Accessories
Hermès is one of the most iconic luxury brands. For well over a century the house of Hermès has produced the most coveted handcrafted accessories and served as a shining example of possibilities for all other aspiring luxury brands. While Hermès offers a plethora of products in recent years the brand has become synonymous with two handbags: the Kelly and Birkin are two of the world’s most beloved and desired handbags.
A Hermès collector's mission to find the perfect Birkin is a world-wide phenomenon that is here to stay. Reportedly named after the actress Jane Birkin, the highly coveted luxury handbag is must-have among celebrities, stylists, and bloggers. Handcrafted from the finest materials available, from leathers to exotics, the Birkin is distinguished by its ease of use, extremely limited supply, and ability to hold its value for generations.
Our Must-Know Tips
There are a few details to consider when buying a Birkin. Whether you are buying as a collector or a first-time purchaser, here are our helpful tips for finding the perfect Birkin for you.
First and foremost is color. Hermes’ specific colors make their bags the perfect collectibles, as similar yet slightly different hues can command very different values on the second hand market. This is based largely on the differing quantities in which they were made. For a serious collector, rarer colors such 5P Pink, Ultraviolet, or Kiwi can be seen as ‘Holy Grails’ and are very difficult to find, whereas similar counterparts such as Rose Confetti, Iris, and Vert Cru can be found for much more reasonable price points.
Another thing to consider is the size. Standard Birkins come in 25cm, 30cm, 35cm and 40cm sizes, though there are also variations such as Mini Birkins, 50cm Travel Birkins, 42cm JPG Shoulder Birkins, and 45cm Long-Handle Birkins. The 35cm size is the most common and is widely considered the most classic and iconic.
Birkins come in a number of different materials ranging from various leathers to exotic skins such as Lizard, Ostrich, and Crocodile. Choosing just the right material is crucial to buying a Birkin. Stiffer leathers such as Epsom or Chevre have a very different effect, and wear in a very different way than softer leathers such as Clemence, Togo, or Swift. If an exotic bag is in the cards, there is an obvious hierarchy between the skins, with Porosus Crocodile at the top.
One of the most important aspects to consider when buying on the second-hand market is condition. It is crucial to inspect a bag before buying, so that you are aware of any potential damage or signs of use. While many pre-owned Birkins are kept in pristine condition, bags that show some use can be a great value for someone looking to purchase a piece and actually use it.
Buyers spend years trying to buy Birkins retail from a Hermès boutique, meanwhile there is no guarantee of ever landing one. While no one truly knows what goes on behind closed doors, the reality is that the Birkin remains elusive to the majority of shoppers. If you're really interested in buying a Birkin and you don't mind some gentle use while still being in great condition, an auction might be the best option for you.
The Benefits of Buying at Auction
Other than the reassurance of an expert authentication, price can become a major selling point for purchasing your Birkin through an auction house. Buying at auction allows you to pay a true market value price for your luxury accessories.
Heritage offers thousands of top tier items every year that range in value. They include Weekly Online Auctions, Signature Live Auctions, a set price Luxury Boutique, and partnerships with Barneys New York and Moda Operandi. Heritage Luxury is a white glove service whose mission is to find you the exact bag you have been dreaming of. With the help of Heritage Auctions, you may soon be on your way to owing your very own Birkin.
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How do you know what's valuable?
Our Luxury Accessories Value Guide provides free information about how to value your Hermès.