Have you heard of the Birkin bag? Chances are if you’re interested in fashion, you have. It has made its name as one of the most legendary bags in the game. But, what is the story of the Birkin bag? Let’s investigate.
The Birkin bag is a handbag designed by the French company Hermes.
The bag is named after actress Jane Birkin. The Birkin bag is one of the most expensive bags in the world, with prices starting at $10,000. The history of the Birkin bag began in 1984 when Hermes CEO Jean-Louis Dumas was seated next to Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London. Ms. Birkin was complaining about how difficult it was to find a good weekender bag, and Mr. Dumas took her suggestion and created the now iconic Hermès Birkin bag.
The first Birkins were made of leather and came in black, brown, or tan; they were lined with goat skin and had gold-plated hardware. In 1986, Hermès released the second version of the Birkin which featured different colors and materials including ostrich, crocodile, and lizard skin. Since then there have been many different iterations of the Birkin released by Hermès including limited edition versions made with diamond-encrusted hardware or embellished with fur. While originally designed as a casual travel bag, over time the HermèsBirkin has become one of the most coveted accessories among celebrities and fashionistas worldwide thanks to its timeless design and enduring quality.
The Birkin bag is made under the oversight of Hermes. Here’s more on Hermes’ history!
Hermes is a French luxury fashion house founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermes. It specializes in leather, lifestyle accessories, perfumery, and home furnishings. Its logo, since the 1950s, is of a Duc carriage with horse. The company has a long history of craftsmanship and exclusivity; it only produces a limited number of items each year which contributes to its high prices and collectability. The Hermès family began as saddle-makers in the German town of Krefeld.
In 1828 they moved to Paris to make harnesses for carriages. The first store was opened on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in 1880 where equestrian gear was sold alongside handbags designed by Eugène Louis Dumas that were inspired by those used by Napoleonic officers’ wives (the “Haut à courroies” bag). By 1900 there were 14 stores across Europe and America selling saddles, gloves, traveling trunks, and other leather goods designed for an elite clientele of aristocrats and royalty.
In 1922 Emile-Maurice Hermès created the “Kelly” bag named after Grace Kelly who famously wore it while holding her baby bump to shield herself from photographers (it quickly become one of their most iconic designs). Other notableHermès creations include the Constance shoulder bag (1959), Birkin bag (1984), Garden Party (1986) & Picotin bags (2000). Today Hermès operates over 300 stores across five continents with revenues exceeding €6 billion annually making it one of the most successful luxury brands in the world.