7 Things you didn't know about the Hermès Birkin bag
Did you know that the brand's original boxes were supposed to be in cream colour with gold borders? After running out of supplies, the cardboard maker—who only had orange paper left—decided to go ahead to use the emblematic shade instead. The box went on to win a packaging Oscar in 1994.
The first sketch was done on an aeroplane sick bag. The then-CEO of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas, offered to create the perfect leather weekend bag for French actress Jane Birkin after seeing her belongings fall out of her straw bag in the overhead compartment.
According to a public Hermès Birkin exhibition at Liberty London in 2014, Jane Birkin's first bag featured a specially attached nail clipper as she was apparently particular about her nails.
For someone who has such a highly coveted bag named after her, you would assume that Jane Birkin has a closet full of them in an array of colours and textures, but it turns out that the actress used to only own one Birkin at a time until it wears out. But in an interview with BBC in 2017, she reveals that she no longer carries the bag anymore as it's too heavy for her, and she prefers to leave the house fuss-free.
The Birkin bags may not have a groundbreaking design, but each piece takes an artisan—trained for a minimum of five years—at least 48 hours to make. And they each have their own set of tools.
Unlike the prices of gold and S&P 500 (a stock market index) which fluctuate, the value of Birkins has never decreased, according to a research study by Baghunter. In 2016, studies have shown that the bag has "averaged a 14.2 per cent annual return over the past few decades". So when we say handbags an investment, when it comes to Hermès, it's the truth.
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