Christmas is right around the corner and tonight Vlad and I plan to bundle up on the couch, watch our favorite holiday movies, and drink hot cocoa. My Hermes Birkin is feeling festive as well and played dress up as Rudolph the red nosed Hermes. What are your holiday traditions? And if you have a festive bag photo, share it with us in the comments below!

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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. That teensy 5cm difference really changes everything about the bag proportionally, making the 30cm look and feel a bit mini. (Our own Megs has both a 35 and 30cm Birkin, so we’ve seen this magic up close.)

While we’ve featured some truly amazing Hermes Birkins on PB this week, we do feel obliged to inform you that we do try our best to present you with a wider variety of celeb bags on the blog…it’s just that EVERYONE is carrying their Birkins again lately. It’s a complete Birkinfest out there! Is there something about winter weather that makes stars reach for their Birkins? Or do they simply opt for Birkins because they come in such a nice range of darker, richer, more winter-appropriate hues?

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. For Hermes fans, it’s kind of the Holy Grail.

It’s extremely hard to tell, but Tamara is actually four and a half months pregnant in this photo. (Congrats, tiny fetus, you’re already a billionaire!) Bizarrely enough, when we saw Tamara with this bag last year, she hadn’t even met Jay. They met in January, became engaged in February, wed in a $7 million celebration on the French Riviera in June and announced their happy news in October.

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.

I suspect most Birkin-loving celebs swap out their Birkins once the stiffness of the leather starts to give, but it’s nice to see someone who clearly gets a little use out of a bag for which they paid such a princely sum! After all, Birkins are meant to be used, and not sealed away in the original box in a locked vault and left to accumulate value. (Though the latter idea isn’t a terrible one for the long term.)

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. We’re here to help, of course; if you’ve ever wondered if owning an Hermes bag is worth paying the premium, we’ve got ten reasons why we think you should take the plunge. (more…)

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. It’ll match the horse that I ride to my subway stop perfectly. (more…)

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.

There are a few things that contribute to making this particular Birkin such a high-dollar item. First, it’s a 35cm alligator piece; alligators are smaller than crocodiles, so getting a skin that’s big enough to make a bag of this size which also conforms to Hermes’ rigorous quality standards is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Alligator drives up the price of a bag in general, beyond that of all other exotics, but it drives up a big bag even more. Second, the bag is both very pale and in impeccable condition. Few bags in colors this light are available at all, and on the secondary market, a bag this light without obvious wear is another proverbial needle in yet another haystack. Those two rare occurrences come together on this piece, resulting in an ultra-covetable exotic bag that even an Hermes VIP might find hard to procure through traditional retail channels.

The sale includes other exotic pieces, including two other large alligator Birkins (at the relatively modest prices of $79,500 and $89,500), plus some regular leather favorites in a variety of colors. The bags are marked at a premium, but if you’re like so many of Moda’s customers and you want rare things as quickly as you can get them, then you’re probably more than willing to pay the extra dollars. Shop the whole sale via Moda Operandi through November 23 or check out the bags we found most impressive below.

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. (more…)

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. What’s shocking is the number: over $1,700 per square foot for a space in excess of 30,000 square feet. (more…)

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.

This Hermes bag didn’t make an appearance in Nicky’s ever-popular edition of “The Many Bags of…”, but there are plenty of other Hermes bags in there, as well as loads of the highest of high end designer wares to ogle. Much like the universe itself, Nicky Hilton’s handbag collection is always expanding…I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a follow-up “Many Bags” post popped up before the new year.

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