Hermès Birkin Bag

Posted by AthensFever

The bag is named after the English singer and actress Jane Birkin, who was known for her 12-year relationship with French poet and singer Serge Gainsbourg. The Birkin bag was designed by Hermès’ chief executive, Jean-Louis Dumas in 1984. Since then, each season, new variants of the bag are introduced, featuring new colors, different leathers including limited editions. The price of the bag begin at $8,000 for the smallest size, $12,000 for a 30cm to 40cm birkin. However, rare editions may reach over the $150,000. Each bag is handmade in France by one single artisan which make it unique, it take usually about two days to complete one piece.

The Birkin, is uniquely available in Hermès stores, it cannot be purchased online. Very occasionally, you might get into a Hermès shop and find an available version of the Birkin bag. This however is not common rule. Instead, you will be very probably added to a waiting list, and wait for you Birkin bag.

Birkin Bag Anatomy
  • Plaques de Sanglos - these are the metalic plates at the edge of the leather straps that help fasten the bag. These are plated in pladium, gold or Ruthenium. More expensive models may be detailed with diamonds or other custom options.
  • Pontet : brackets that hold the sangles in place.
  • Lock and Key – for securing the contents of the bag. Both lock and key are numbered.
  • Clochette – leather in shape of bell that cover the keys.
  • Tiret - thin piece of leather that holds the Clochette. It is looped through the handle of the bag.
  • Touret – where the lock hooks in the centers.
  • Clou - four melatic peices at the bottom of the bag on which the bag stands.




Personal shopper Michael Tonello describes how he travelled into Hermès shops to buy a suprisingly available Birkin bag instead of being added to the traditional waiting list. His experience is described in his 2009 memoire "Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag"