10 Facts You Didn't Know About Hermès Birkins

BY Harper's Bazaar UK / Aug 16 2017 / 17:33 PM

It's been proven that a Birkin is a better investment than shares of the stock market

10 Facts You Didn't Know About Hermès Birkins

While you may already know that the Hermès Birkin bag was named after the French style icon Jane Birkin, and that waiting lists to buy the expensive purses can be years long, there is much more to these handbags than meets the eye.

1. It takes 48 hours to make a Birkin

All Birkins are crafted by a single artisan in one of the brand's workshops. It takes each artisan 48 hours of work to create a single bag.

2. There are around 200,000 Birkins in circulation

Hermès no longer takes special orders for the bag, and customers must wait for Birkins in the shades they desire to arrive in stores.

3. You can rent one for the week

If you're commitment-phobic (or want to test one out before you hand over a small fortune), the e-commerce site VillageLuxe, which launched last year, lets you try before you buy. You can rent a Birkin for $295 per week, and then either send it back, or decide to keep it.

4. It was designed as an airplane sickness bag

The Birkin bag was famously created for Jane Birkin by the CEO of Hermès in 1981 after he sat next to her on an airplane and saw all of her belongings fall out of her handbag. When he offered to create a new handbag for her, they sketched her ideal design on the back on an airplane sickness bag.

5. Jane Birkin only has 5 of her namesake bags

She only uses one Birkin at a time and carries her bags until they wear out. She is also known for decorating her purses with stickers, pins, and strands of beads.

6. A Birkin is a better investment than shares of the stock market 

Studies have shown that rare Birkin bags have averaged a 14.2% annual return over the past few decades—an average return that beats out both the S&P 500 index and the price of gold.

7. The Birkin wasn't always so popular

Handbag specialists have noted that the bag didn't take off until the "It Bag" craze of the 1990's. Since then, they have garnered many devoted fans. Victoria Beckham is rumoured to own over 100 Birkins.

8. Birkin bags start at around Dhs31,000

The starting price will get you a leather Birkin with plain hardware. In 2001, when Samantha tried to purchase one in an episode of Sex and the City, a leather Birkin cost Dhs14,000.

9. An empty Birkin can weigh two pounds

It might not seem like a lot, but when you throw in a phone, wallet, keys, and a makeup bag, it adds up.

10. Birkins are named according to size, colour, and texture

For example, an Hermés 25 Birkin Bag Togo refers to a Birkin with a length of 25 centimeters, and crafted in the brand's signature grainy togo leather (togo, epsom, clemence, and chèvre are all different types of leathers that the brand uses).

Via Harper's Bazaar UK