An Hermès Birkin bag is, without a doubt, the most famous handbag of all time. Named after actress Jane Birkin, who worked with the storied fashion house in 1984 to create a bag that married form and function, it has become a symbol of luxury and exclusivity.
Selling from anywhere between $9,000 and $500,000 USD, a Birkin’s price tag absolutely matches the status of the bag itself. But the good news is, if you do spend five figures on one of these exquisite bags, you’ve invested your money wisely. Here are four reasons why.
Hermès epitomises traditional craftsmanship
Since Thierry Hermès founded the brand in 1837, making top-quality leather harnesses, the focus has been on impeccable craftsmanship. And because the brand is still independent and family-owned, they’re able to maintain that commitment to quality, unlike comparable brands that outsource their production.
Every single handbag Hermès makes, including Birkins, is handmade by some of the world’s best craftspeople. The leather they choose is always perfect, the stitching is meticulous, and it takes one person 18 hours to create just one.
The always-increasing value of the Birkin
It’s been said that a Birkin bag is a better investment than gold. A study done in 2017 found that not only does a Birkin bag retain its value, it actually increases in price by up to 14% every year. So, if you bought your Birkin bag in 2016 for £7,000, you could sell it this year for up to £13,478.
The price is affected by several factors, like the type of leather, the colour of the bag, the size of it and the hardware. If the bag is in pristine condition, that will also fetch a higher price. And, of course, an even higher price can be expected if you have an especially rare Birkin, like a Sellier or a Faubourg.
The most expensive Birkin bag ever sold was a white 35-centimeter Himalaya Birkin, sold in 2019 to a sports betting consultant for more than half a million USD. It has 18-karat white gold hardware, and its encrusted with more than 200 diamonds. Not only was it the most expensive Birkin ever sold – it was the most expensive handbag ever sold, full stop.
The exclusivity of the bag
When a Birkin is finished, it is marked with a unique code that identifies the year it was created, the workshop it was created in and the person who created it. Each Hermès boutique is only allowed to stock a select number of Birkins every year, and they rarely know what they’re getting ahead of time. To purchase one of those coveted bags from an Hermès boutique, you need to be a repeat customer. As well, unlike a lot of brands who gift their bags to celebrities, that is a very rare move for Hermès. All of that adds up to an extremely limited number of people actually managing to acquire one from the brand.
Luckily, a lot of Birkin bags end up on the resale market, and although you might not pay a reduced price for that pre-loved bag (see above), you’ll still be the lucky owner of a very rare item. Since each colour, leather type and style are so limited, when you see one you love, buy it quickly. Once that Birkin is gone, you likely won’t find another just like it.