11 things you didn't know about the Hermès Birkin Advertisement

11 things you didn’t know about the Hermès Birkin

It's been proven that a Birkin is a better investment than shares in the stock market

By ELLE team  August 21st, 2017

While you may already know that the Hermès Birkin bag was named after the French style icon Jane Birkin, and that waiting lists to buy the pricy purses can be years long, there is much more to these handbags than meets the eye.

It takes 48 hours to make a Birkin.

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All Birkins are crafted by a single artisan in one of the brand’s workshops. It takes each artisan 48 hours of work to create a single bag.

There are around 200,000 Birkins in circulation.

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Hermès no longer takes special orders for the bag, and customers must wait for Birkins in the shades they desire to arrive in stores.

You can rent one for the week.

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If you’re commitment-phobic (or want to test one out before you fork over a small fortune), the e-commerce site VillageLuxe, which launched last year, lets you try before you buy. You can rent a Birkin for $295 per week, and then either send it back, or pull the trigger.

The most expensive Birkin in the world sold for $380,000.

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In May, Christie’s set a world record when this matte crocodile Birkin with diamond-encrusted hardware sold at auction for $380,000.

It was designed on an airplane sick bag.

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The Birkin bag was famously created for Jane Birkin by the CEO of Hermès in 1981 after he sat next to her on an airplane and saw all of her belongings fall out of her handbag. When he offered to create a new handbag for her, they sketched her ideal design on the back on an airplane sick bag.

Jane Birkin has only had five of her namesake bags.

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Image: thefashioncuisine.com

She only uses one Birkin at a time and carries her bags until they wear out. She is also known for decorating the pricy purses with stickers, pins, and strands of beads.

A Birkin is a better investment than shares of the stock market.

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Studies have shown that rare Birkin bags have averaged a 14.2% annual return over the past few decades—an average return that beats out both the S&P 500 index and the price of gold.

The Birkin wasn’t always popular.

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Handbag specialists have noted that the bag didn’t take off until the “It Bag” craze of the 1990’s. Since then, they have garnered many devoted fans. Victoria Beckham is rumored to own over 100 Birkins. 

Birkin bags start at around $8,500.

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$8,500 will get you a leather Birkin with plain hardware. In 2001, when Samantha tried to purchase one in an episode of Sex and the City, a leather Birkin cost $4,000.

An empty Birkin can weigh two pounds.


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It might not seem like a lot, but when you throw in a phone, wallet, keys, and a make-up bag, it adds up.

Birkins are named according to size, color, and texture.

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For example, an Hermés 25 Birkin Bag Togo refers to a Birkin with a length of 25 centimeters, and crafted in the brand’s signature grainy togo leather (togo, epsom, clemence, and chèvre are all different types of leathers that the brand uses).