Hermès Birkin

About Hermès

Since 1837, Hermès has remained faithful to its artisanal model and its humanist values. The freedom to create, the constant quest for beautiful materials, and the transmission of exceptional know-how – which enable the creation of useful, and elegant objects which stand the test of time – forge the uniqueness of Hermès. Family-run, independent and socially responsible, the company is committed to maintaining the majority of its production in France, through its 43 production sites, while developing its international distribution network of 311 stores in 45 countries.

Leather, Skins, & Material

Offered in a wide range of different leathers and skins, the most popular types of leather used to craft the Hermès Birkin include Clemence, Epsom and Togo. Other leathers include Barenia Natural, Box Calf, Fjord, Swift, Buffalo Skipper, Chamonix, Chevre de Coromandel, Doblis Suede and Chevre Mysore. Exotic skins include Varanus Niloticus (Lizard), Ostrich, Alligator, Crocodile Niloticus (matte and shiny), Crocodile Porosus and Natural Lizard.

History of the Birkin

Legend has it that the world’s most coveted bag was born in the sky, in 1984, on a flight from Paris to London. Famous British actress Jane Birkin was sitting next to Jean-Louis Dumas, Executive Chairman of Hermès (1978-2006), complaining that she couldn’t find a bag suitable for all her needs as a new mother. She was carrying a basket trying to fit all her essentials, possibly stealing leg-room from the Hermes creator. He immediately sketched a supple yet spacious rectangular tote holdall with a burnished flap and saddle stitching -- there’s even a dedicated space for her baby bottles.

How to Buy

Birkin bags are sold through the Hermès boutiques, however due to its limited availability, Hermès has created a lottery system in their flagship Faubourg Saint Honore store in Paris where you must register yourself a day in advance to see if you can get a “Leather Goods” appointment the very next day. If you are one of the lucky few that got yourself an appointment, you can ask for the Birkin and based on availability be offered one. However, color combination or leathers is still extremely limited and you often have to buy what is offered without much choices to speak of.