Hermès Birkin

Fun fact about the Hermès Birkin bag: It takes around 48 hours of continuous work to complete one bag, which speaks for the quality of the bag as well as the craftsmanship put into the construction.

Dive into the selection of pre-owned Hermès Birkin bags from the community right here at The Vintage Bar or read on to learn the history of one of the worlds most famous bags.

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More about Hermès Birkin bags

The Birkin bag is a leather tote bag first introduced in 1984. The bag is named after the English actress Jane Birkin. Jane spend most of her career based in France and quickly rose to fame in the industry. Jane Birkin was also a singer and model with a passion for luxurious fashion.

Jane Birkin met Hermès Chief Executive Jean-Louis Dumas in 1981 – completely by chance. Birkin was boarding a plane to London from Paris and was trying to fit her straw bag in the overhead compartment. The bag, however, couldn’t hold all her belongings – she was a new mother and traveling with children takes quite a lot of things – and they all came crashing down. Jean-Louis Dumas saw this as he was seated next to her and immediately drew up a sketch for a supple and spacious holdall with a flap and saddle stitching – with a dedicated space for a baby bottle! Dumas took this inspiration and created a nice large bag, which would be good enough to hold all of a woman’s belongings while still being fashionable.

Jane Birkin did however ask the French fashion house to stop using her name for the crocodile version of the bag in July 2015 due to ethical concerns presented by PETA. Hermés responded to this with claims that PETA’s concerns weren’t founded in the crocodile farm they use.

The Hermès Birkin has spurred the creation of an entire family. As parts of this family, you’ll find the Birkin Fray Fray and the Birkin Cargo.

The Birkin Fray Fray is a lighter version of the original Birkin as this version is in Twill H cotton canvas. The edges have mini-fringing to give the hem a frayed effect and is perfect for trips in the summer as it comes in a palette of bright shades.

The Birkin Cargo is an even more practical version of the original Birkin, as five outer pockets have been added. The bag is inspired by military clothing and is both soft and lightweight as it has leather inlay but canvas assembly. This mix of materials also provides for a very robust bag – that even has space for a cup!

The Birkin Shadow was also introduced in 2009. This bag plays on trompe-l’œil – an optical illusion: Are the sidestraps real or does it simply look like they’re there? On the Hermès website the Birkin Shadow is. described as “A Birkin bag of mischief, but a real bag, in case you were wondering.”

All Hermès Birkin bags are handmade in France, meaning all stitching, paint and polish takes place in France. The leathers used in the construction are sourced from different tanners in France as well. Hermès believes the construction and craftsmanship put into each bag translates to the price of a Birkin bag, justifying the high prices.

The Hermès Birkin bag is now recognizable all over the world as a status symbol. It’s a sturdy bag with a rectangle shape, which makes it a convenient bag, when you want to be practical yet stylish. The iconic bag comes in a variety of sizes (25 cm, 30 cm, 35 cm, 40 cm, 50 cm) as well as a style with a longer shoulder strap, giving the bag an even more practical feel while staying as fashionable as ever. All sizes can be made to order with different materials, colors and hardware fixtures.

As any other classic handbag, the Hermès Birkin was the main character of an episode of Sex and the City when Samantha is put on a five year long waiting list for it – spoiler alert: She never gets it.