The fashion industry is truly filled with so many elite pieces that women yearn for it every way imaginable. They are always on the quest to fine the newest, most precious piece to add to their ever-growing wardrobe. They stop and look at items in store windows, they visit them online, and in some cases, they are able to save enough money to actually purchase the costly item. But what if money wasn’t all that mattered whenever it came to certain fashion choices? What if there was more to it all? These are the exact questions that one faces whenever they are on the quest for the highly sought after Hermes Birkin bag.
This item is so exclusive and special, that it is said you can’t have one as a part of your handbag collection unless you make it to the number one spot on the notorious and lengthy waiting list. Yes, you read correctly. Even if you are able to fork over the $10,000 to $80,000 (in some cases—even higher) for this coveted item, it is rumored that you will still have to wait before holding the precious bag in your hands.
This infamous “waiting list” is for the super rich; the people who have the expendable income to make this steep purchase. Overall, this waiting list is one of the main reasons that this item has become so well-known. Anything that has an extra hurdle to overcome in order to obtain becomes much more desirable. Everyone who knows and loves the fashion industry is aware of the great lengths of waiting and planning that one must go to in order to get a Birkin into their hands; it’s not an easy feat whether you plan on waiting it out or not.
In a world where the word “Birkin” is tossed around nearly as much as the word “sports car,” we are often left to wonder about the great journey of making it to the number one spot on the waiting list, and how some people are able to weasel their way around it.
History of Hermes
The founder of the fashion house is Thierry Hermes, and he opend their first store in 1837, which was merely a saddlery workshop. He had no idea that this small idea would grow to become one of the world’s most iconic labels and recognizable brands globally. That first brick and mortar store on 24 Faubourg Saint-Honoré still remains the flagship location, and is visited by many. The early 1900’s was the time when the brand began to branch out and make different types of leather goods such as bags (meant to be big enough to carry saddles), luggage, and small accessories.
From that point on, up until the present day, the brand continued to evolve. They have added clothing, scarves, and shoes to their repertoire, and took on well-known designers to create these collections such as Jean-Paul Gaultier . Each aspect of the brand shines radiantly season after season and draws a lot of excitement from the press, but their stellar Birkin bag is their true gem.
What is a Birkin Bag?
1980 is the pivotal year that the Birkin was bag officially born. The moment occurred unplanned, when French actress Jane Birkin ran into the then president of Hermes, Jean-Louis Dumas, on an airplane. She couldn’t help but vocalize to him about her utter distaste for the current handbag she was carrying. After speaking for some time during their flight, the beautiful and highly desirable Birkin Bag was designed.
The Birkin bag is sleek and sexy in design and is recognizable by many for its well thought out structure. At this point, it comes in many different colors as well as materials ranging from leather to crocodile.
Why Are Birking Bags So Sought After?
To put it simply, Birkin bags are sought after because they are more than just an accessory, but a collector’s item. The same way that men can be known for collecting coins or sports cars, the Birkin bag is the female equivalent. They are coveted, and become more valuable over time.
Collectors are paying for the high end label that the bag bares as well as the quality of the handbag. Each bag is put together by one person, who takes their time and care to sew each piece, making sure that it is flawless. Much of the price on this item is determined based on this wonderful craftsmanship and how involved it is to construct one from start to finish. In addition, if Hermes has chosen to make a Birkin bag from a specific piece of leather and it comes to them damaged or is not of their high quality, that type of bag can easily be discontinued.
The Journey To Own A Hermes Birkin Bag
In order to get your hands on a Hermes Birkin bag, your journey starts in a Hermes store, for this very high end bag is not sold online through Hermes.com. You don’t have to be a regular customer of Hermes in order to get your name on the list, but it will only help you. You must simply let a sales associate know that you are interested in purchasing a Birkin, and they will gladly take your name and put it on the list. You do not have to put any money down, as the list only alerts Hermes of your interest in the bag. Whenever a bag is available and your name comes up, you will receive a call.
Are There Any Ways Around “The Waiting List?”
There are a few ways that people get around the waiting list, and avoid the lengthy amount of time it takes to officially own an Hermes Birkin bag. People who want to avoid the waiting list in many cases will turn to auctions (both in physical auction houses and online), or through private sellers.
The same way that famous artists such as Matisse and Van Gough have their wonderful creations continuously auctioned off for art dealers to bid on, compete for, and then purchase, the Birkin does as well. This item can easily be compared to a piece of expensive art due to the designer, level of craftsmanship, and that it rises in value over a period of time.
Many online luxury websites will provide online auctions, where collectors have the opportunity to do their bidding online, or go with a “buy now” option and pay full asking price. With this option, people need to be careful and make sure that they are buying from an authorized dealer.
Is The Waiting List A Hoax?
Currently, it has been discussed by few that the waiting list for a Birkin bag never really existed at all, that it was merely a way for Hermes to make this item seem much more exclusive than it actually is. Collectors, such as Michael Tonello, author of “Bringing Home the Birkin,” have been telling stories of varied experiences on their quest for a Birkin that has resulted in never being called after putting their names on the list, or seeing other clients being offered this bag at their request in the store.
No matter how you look at it, each and every individual has a different experience on their journey to attain a Birkin bag, but one thing is for certain; acquiring one of these special handbags is truly an investment. If you are smart, you will make money while carrying a handbag that truly takes the word “status” to a whole new level.