Our parade of celebs and their Birkins continues with Katy Perry and her petite, dark grey Hermes Birkin. Katy and her Birkin are seen here leaving dinner at Soho House in NYC, where she dined with One Direction’s Niall Horan. (This occasion probably merits further scrutiny, but you’re here for the handbags, so I’ll move on.) Katy’s bag is a 30cm Hermes Birkin – most of the Birkins we see celebs carrying on PB are of the 35cm variety.

Heiress Tamara Ecclestone recently paid a visit to Hermes Madison Avenue in NYC with her new husband Jay Rutland. She carried an Hermes So Black Alligator Birkin Bag just for the occasion. We actually saw Tamara in NYC with this super rare, exclusive Hermes bag around this exact same time last year. This is the sort of limited edition Hermes bag you’ll only see in the hands of heiresses, top-tier actresses, Kardashians and the like.

Maria Shriver, her daughter Katherine Schwarzenegger and a PUPPY were recently spotted shopping at Cross Creek in LA. Maria was carrying a gorgeous, red Hermes Crocodile Birkin. From the lovely, slightly slouchy look of the leather, it appears as though she carries it regularly and has for some time. Croc Birkins cost well into the five figures, and the price varies greatly depending on the size.

Even in a particularly crowded luxury handbag market, Hermes occupies a spot unto itself. The bags are scarce, sought-after a simply the best, and they have the price tags that go along with all that exclusivity. Making the leap from being a designer handbag consumer to being an Hermes consumer is a daunting prospect, but we know that, at this very moment, untold numbers of you are contemplating whether or not now’s the right time to do just that.

I always forget something at Duane Reade. Dry shampoo, Diet Coke, toilet paper, Ziploc bags…that’s everything, right? And then I get home and realize that, duh, I forgot to throw a handmade Hermes Cavale Saddle in my basket. Conviently, Sotheby’s, Apple creative head Johnny Ive and legendary designer Marc Newson have joined forces to make one such Hermes saddle available to support a very worthy cause during the 2013 (RED) Auction.

Moda Operandi does not mess around. It’s a company predicated on making sure that the choosiest, most fashion-conscious luxury customers get what they want as soon after they first set eyes on it as possible, and perhaps unsurprisingly, those customers absolutely adore Hermes bags. The harder to find, the better. Heritage Auctions is particularly skilled at finding those impossible bags, and when Moda and Heritage get together, it’s a veritable exotic Hermes fiesta, the latest of which includes a six-figure alligator Birkin.

You’ll never find weirder, more wonderful designer handbags than you will at a luxury handbag auction. Auction houses source their finds from high-spenders, some of whom are lifetime collectors that have earned special-order privileges with their favorite brands after years of purchasing the bags most of us can only dream about. In the Heritage Auctions Holiday Luxury Signature Auction, you’ll find some of those special pieces, plus popular handbags at great prices and a few items that’ll make you wonder who thought of them in the first place.

What’s that you say? The world’s most expensive and exclusive handbags have the most expensive luxury retail address on Madison Avenue at which to rest their rarified haunches in anticipation of being scooped up by the world’s elite? Preposterous.

Ok, so it’s not exactly shocking that the Hermes flagship boutique at the corner of Madison Avenue and 62nd Street, smack in the middle of Manhattan’s toniest retail district, pays the most rent per square foot of space on the famed avenue.

Nicky Hilton has added a new bag to her stash, and it’s an Hermes bag – quelle surprise! Here she is, getting her nails done in Beverly Hills with a cheery red Hermes Constance Shoulder Bag in tow. (It looks like she went with a very on-trend pale, muted pink polish, BTW. Let the fashion world take note.) Her gladiator sandals are the same Balenciagas we saw her in at Fashion Week, oh so many weeks ago.

It’s been a big week for luxury theft in the news. First, a woman in England was found guilty of stealing nearly 1,000 designer handbags, one by one, over a period of three years. If that weren’t enough, yesterday came word that an entire Hermes collection had been stolen off the back of a truck in Milan, forcing the cancellation of an Hermes press preview that had been scheduled.

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