The History of the Birkin

So I thought I would try a post that is a little different than what I normally go for. In one of my online classes, I was given the chance to learn the quick history of some classic fashion garments. I thought I would share a short synopsis of the history of the Birkin bag, as it is well-known and actually not one of the items on my list that I learned about. Resources are listed down below.. enjoy!

This bag is notorious for being a “symbol of status” as the price for a single bag is upwards $8,500. There is even controversy as to who should be able to purchase one of these bags (as well as what they use it for *cough cough* at Kim K’s gym bag).

Allow me to set the scene… It’s 1984 and British actress Jane Birkin is seated next to Jean-Louis Dumas (Chief Executive of Hermes) on a flight from Paris to London when the contents of her handbag fall out. This ignites a conversation about the ideal handbag. Thus the Birkin was born. Am I using too many cliches? Possibly.

After about 30 years of being on the market, the bag finally began to take off as it became more exclusive and not as widely produced. People want what is not easily attainable, you know? Each bag started becoming a bit more unique and utilized crocodile and lizard-skins and diamond “hardware”. Hard to believe that this bag that brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars at a single auction was modeled after a simple handwoven basket.

As originally intended for travel use, all Birkins now come with a lock & key. “Designed to be both practical and fashionable, it ushered in a new chapter for Hermes.” It is also the most expensive handbag sold at auction. Do you want one just as bad as I do now?


Resources :

The History and Evolution of the Birkin Bag

*Images are not my own*

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