by Eleonora Pedron with the Team
MONTECARLO. In business since 1837, Hermès originally made award-winning harnesses and bridles for horse-drawn carriages, and soon moved into saddler. The company introduced handbags, jewellery, and silk scarves in the 1950s, and now makes luggage, ready to wear clothing, footwear, fragrance, stationery, tableware and more. But Hermès has maintained that connection to its saddle-making history, and the Birkin bag’s high-grade leather trades on that heritage. In the early 1980s, actress-singer Jane Birkin encountered Hermès’ then-chairman Jean-Louis Dumas when they were seated next to each other on a plane. Accounts of the connection vary, but agree that inspired by Birkin’s need for a better handbag that day, the coveted Birkin bag was created. The bags are repairable for life, and because of their quality, could likely be passed down as an heirloom. There is more that goes into that price than just paying for the Hermès name, because the Birkin is an extraordinarily well-made bag. Each one is handmade by trained craftsmen and can take over 18 hours to make, and that number can be doubled if working on exceptional pieces such as those accessorized with diamonds. Even after all this, luxury brands will only take the very best of and priciest of skins. Which brings us to the scarcity of this in-demand status symbol. Because of the slow manufacturing process and difficult task of procuring the best textiles, only a limited number of Birkins are made each year, adding to the exclusivity that can drive up prices, particularly those in the resale market. Rare colours, hardware in precious metals or personalized touches can also add to the high price tag of the Birkin. Hermès two most famous bags, the Birkin and the Kelly, are not even listed on the fashion house’s website.
Today, the chic Kelly bag is a favourite of celebs like Beyonce, Eva Longoria, Victoria Beckham, and Kim Kardashian.
Connections must be made and brand loyalty displayed before a Birkin /a Kelly is offered. But, if you have the chance to stay in Monte Carlo, you can just enter and buy your Birkin/Kelly bag at the Monte Carlo Hermes boutique, the store do get a small supply which is waiting for you!