10 things you might not know about the Hermes Birkin
The most iconic and sought after bag- the Hermes Birkin. We take a look at some fun facts that may not be known by even the most ardent of Hermes lovers.
1- In 1981 Jane was sitting next to the Hermes CEO on a plane, when all her belongings started falling out of her bag- this fact is generally known among the fashion industry- but the part about why she was carrying a broken bag is often left out. 2 days prior, her husband Jacques Doilland had got in his car and driven over the woven basket she used to carry.
2- The original Birkin was sketched out on a sick bag. I guess thats no surprise when the idea was born on an airplane.
3-Jane Birkin only ever uses one of the bags at a time, she is currently onto her fifth Birkin. Jane likes to use a single Birkin until it is officially wrecked and can no longer be used. When she comes to the end of the use of her Birkin, she auctions it off for charity and moves onto a new Birkin. Jane likes to decorate her Birkin with charms, patches and other personalisations- in her own words she says "it makes the bag less formal & snobbish" and more in line with her casual french style.
4-Hermes gives Jane an annual payment for use of her name, which she donates to charities of her choice. This amount is reported at around £30,000.
5-Birkins have been made in more than 20 shades of blue alone. Popular tones are the likes of Blue Jean, Mykonos and Bleu Roi.
6-All Hermes bags are constructed by a single artisian in a Hermes atelier. Its a more traditional approach to manufacturing than other brands, which have different people work on different areas of the bag. All the work for a Birkin is done by one person in the space of 48 hours. Putting that into perspective- thats one week, per bag.
7-Every artisan employee has their own set of tools; no one person works with the same applications on the same one bag.
8-The most expensive Birkin ever to be auctioned cost almost a quarter million US dollars. The bag in question is the Fuschia Porosus Crocodile Birkin, with 18K encrusted white gold hardwear. It was sold to a phone bidder, at Christies Auction in Hong Kong for $221,844 in June 2015.
9- Birkins are more available than you think. The endless waiting lists aren't always the case- walk right in and ask! (Timpanys has a beautiful selection of Hermes bags/ Birkins online- see a few below)
10-The name of the very elusive Himalayan Birkin refers to colour not origin. Many are under the impression the name is due to the origin of the crocodile, but it is actually related to the rare and interesting colourway of the croc skin. It is said to look like a snow topped mountain. (See below)