Two days ago, Kim Kardashian did something that tends to garner her a lot of attention, both here and elsewhere: she carried an Hermès bag that was not in its original, fresh-from-the-boutique state. Kim’s a pageview boon all over the Internet, so fashion sites were quick to pick up on the debut of her new Hermès Birkin, painted by none other than baby North.
The central paradox of luxury handbags has always been that brands need to sell as many as humanly possible while still convincing every customer that he or she is getting something exclusive and sought-after. Until now, a cheap-and-easy way to do that was to eschew online sales in favor of forcing customers into brick-and-mortar boutiques, but according to Businessweek, the effectiveness of that strategy might have come to an end.
The Hermès Birkin has been an iconic art object for fashion lovers for decades, but now uberartist Jeff Koons is intent on turning the sought-after bags into actual art. Koons has sourced bags from the likes of Sofia Coppola and Diane von Furstenberg and incorporated them into sculpture to benefit Project Perpetual, an arm of the United Nations Foundations that helps at-risk youth the world over with the help of powerful artists.
There are some things celebs never seem to tire of, like fro-yo and Hermès Birkins. Here’s Heidi Klum, escorting her kids to Pinkberry post-soccer practice and carrying an especially nice blue Hermès Birkin. Heidi owns several Birkins, but I don’t think we’ve seen her carrying this one before, so it may be a recent addition to her collection.
Smell is the sense most closely tied to memory, and it’s not uncommon to hear bag lovers gush about the lovely leather scent that emanates from a brand new luxury bag. Some brands, like Dior and Tom Ford, even work that scent into fine perfumes because of its close association with luxury and quality.
Not long ago, we brought you the tale of one very rare bag: the Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Birkin above, complete with pavé diamond hardware. The bag, arguably the most sought-after in the world, was about to be sold at Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills, and some speculated that it might break price records.
Heritage Auctions already holds the record for selling the most expensive handbag of all time, a diamond-encrusted Birkin that sold for more than $200,000 in 2011. With the house’s upcoming Luxury Accessories Signature Auction, it may well break its own record with an ultra-rare, incredibly covetable Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Birkin, finished with diamond-encrusted hardware.