How the myth of the Birkin bag, the most loved bag in the world, was born –

“Sorry,” says the pretty, slightly embarrassed long-haired woman, as myriad objects from inside her straw travel bag stashed in the plane’s overhead bin fall to the ground, and onto her seatmate. He helps her in collecting them. She answers almost as an apology, accusing him of the inefficiency of fashion creativity: “Believe me, it is really impossible to find a really beautiful, elegant, but practical women’s bag”. Thus was born the myth of the Hermès Birkin bag in 1984,

the woman in question was jane birkin And his classmate on the Paris-London flight was Jean Louis-Dumas, fifth generation of the founder of Hermès, who died in 2010 and was the patron and creative director of the French brand for 28 years, until 2006. Back at his headquarters, Dumas gets to work with his staff. Thus was born the model that Birkin lent her name to.As a dutiful tribute to whoever inspired it. Even though the model is not born from scratch, it is an extension of the Hermès collection bags born around 1900 and with the name haut a couroi, Launched in 1984, the bag represents its evolution to the point of becoming a true style icon.

since we’re talking about icons can only end up in the wardrobe of the heroes of sex and the Citywhere the world got to know what the world is, at least Gratin The French would say, he already knew. In other words: “If you don’t have a Birkin, you don’t have any value”, and not just in New York’s upper class, everywhere. So here is Samantha, actress Kim Cattrall, the blonde public relations specialist of the quartet of TV series heroines, entering New York’s Hermès to try to buy one. The salesman shows him the coveted model: red, 35 cm tall, it cost $4,000 in the late 1990s (today the price fluctuates between six and 100,000 euros). Then he looks happily at the actress and says: “Five Years of Waiting”, and shows him the list to enter his name. “But it’s a bag,” she replies. “It’s not a bag, it’s a Birkin,” he hisses.

– from Sex and the City (frame from youtube)

And the Birkin myth also returns in the second season of the sequel to the historical TV series, and just like that, In one scene, actress Sarita Chowdhary, who plays Seema, is robbed of her orange Birkin while leaving a luxurious apartment in the suburbs of New York. She tries to stop the man who robbed her by kicking her high heels. As she spreads her arms, the audience’s attention is drawn to her lightweight kaftan by Fendi. Later in a phone call to his friend Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), he shares his disappointment that New York City is no longer what it used to be.

– From and Just Like That (Getty)

Birkin bag, compared to its slightly older sister, the Kelly model , has always been part of the collective and pop imagination. But top notch. there are Iconic collectors like Victoria Beckham (Looks like she has at least a hundred) Or Singaporean socialite Jamie Chua: 200 between Birkin and Kelly. But Mrs. Rosmah Mansor, the second wife of former Malaysian minister Najib Razak, should also be counted. She is considered the biggest collector of Birkins in the world, or perhaps it would be better to say she came. It appears that the preserved models were 273, worth as much as $13 million. All this was discovered during the seizure of the couple’s three apartments in Kuala Lumpur.

– Jane Birkin with partner Serge Gainsbourg; The actress has a straw basket on her arm which is always with her and on the right is the first Birkin model (combo image taken from Photobook magazine)

birkin model most successful Compared to the Kelly bag, it can be traced back to the time it came out, or about 30 years ago. When “by chance” Kelly becomes a coveted bag. princess Grace Kelly is expecting her first child, the current ruler Prince Albert IIBeing early in her pregnancy, she covered her body with Hermès bags, to avoid being obvious to the photographers who followed her everywhere. It was a hunting model from the 1930s, which was then re-invented as a women’s bag. After that paparazzi shot, the Hermès bag that had until that moment been the privilege of luxury customers turned into an object of desire. It was the late fifties when this image was created, and from that moment Kelly bags began to be discussed. However, only in 1977 the model officially acquired the denomination.

– Grace Kelly in Hollywood with a Kelly bag on her arm (Image credit: Bags in London: Inside Out exhibition, on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum / Photo Alan Grant / Getty / Courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum)

But the secret to so much success, so much so as to make Birkins a veritable obsession for both women and men? Extremely current model, the possibility to reinterpret it constantly and always with precious and innovative materials, without forgetting practicality and customization. It all started with the saddle holder model produced by Hermès in the 19th century. It is made in four sizes: 25×19 cm, 30×23 cm, 35×28 cm and 40×31 cm. Fundamental, otherwise you risk being struck by lightning from the fashion Olympus, always wearing it open. It can be kept closed due to two handles (the original Kelly model has only one) placed around the central closure with a padlock.

Original model requires 25 hours of craftsmanship, This material is leather produced entirely from vegetable tanning. Crocodile, ostrich and python are the materials used for the most expensive Birkin bags (very few, or already bought already). likeThe Case of Jennifer Lopez’s Himalaya Birkin, is considered the most valuable in the world and is made of Nile crocodile. From the measurements of the original bag or the Haute à Courois, in brown crocodile leather, up to the Birkin Bag Jumbo Edition, the new Jumbo Bag proudly sported by Travis Scott.

– Travis Scott with his jumbo Birkin bag, in brown crocodile (Getty)

There are also those who have become obsessed with the Birkin world, such as Michael Tonalo.better known as : “Birkins Hunter”, He did nothing except buy Birkins from private individuals to resell them on eBay, which, he says, blew up the market due to price fluctuations. And if you want to take up a profession like hers, just read her book “Bringing Home the Birkin”. It should also be said that, in the slogan version, “Birkin is forever”. You can always “rebuild” them, even recycle them. American designer MSCHF did this two years ago in 2021: he bought Birkin bags for $122,500 and then used them to create a new model of Birkenstock sandals. A version was born that is preferred by most, but supported by only a few. Among these was rapper Future, who wore the sandals, which were quickly renamed “Birkinstocks” by the media, making it a case of change in style and society. Today Birkenstocks sandals, additional luxury models including designer capsules, are matched with fine tailoring made in Italy by American managers. So now it’s enough to play with combinations: both men and women can do it, like designer Marc Jacobs, who is obsessed with this bag model. The end result, even on the current accounts, would undoubtedly have a more cascading effect.

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