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.

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. It seems as though, when it comes to luxury goods, fingers the world over just keep getting stickier and stickier. (more…)

Despite the fact that Women’s Wear Daily claims that what you see above is Hermes’ first-ever bicycle, we know that’s not exactly true – we’ve covered the Hermes bike in the past, and there’s one currently on sale at Hermes.com for $4,650. Still, any new Hermes goodies are notable Hermes goodies in our book.

After all, who wouldn’t love to tool around the cobblestone streets of the West Village (or, you know, Paris) atop the Le Flâneur d’Hermès or the Le Flâneur Sportif d’Hermès, the two different models in which this bike will be made? The cycles, which will come in red, white or grey, are handmade in France (they’re Hermes, so, of course) and feature bull calf leather at the seat, handlebars, carry handles and luggage rack supports. The bike’s body, on the other hand, will be a lightweight carbon fiber.

Apparently Hermes wants this bike to be something people actually ride and use, and, admittedly, it looks a lot more like a functional bike than what Hermes is already carrying. It’s also going to be significantly more expensive – when this bike debuts in Hermes stores in November, it’ll retail for $10,750. Nice timing, Hermes – just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Elizabeth Hurley was recently spotted leaving her humble abode in London carrying an Hermes So Black Birkin. If you’ve ever wondered why the So Black Birkins only appear in the hands of an extremely select set of celebs, allow us to regale you with a little So Black Birkin backstory. This extremely rare all-black version (black box calf with matching black hardware) of the traditional Birkin was first released in 2010. Because of production issues, some of the bags weren’t released until 2011, and they haven’t been reproduced by the brand since then, according to our research. That makes the So Black exponentially rarer than your average Birkin.

These bags were available in both matte alligator and box calf, and Hurley has the box calf version, as does Kim Kardashian, who owns a crazy stash of Birkins of every make and model. Tamara Ecclestone also lays claim to dozens of Birkins, including the Hermes So Black Alligator Birkin, which is the most ridiculously gorgeous Birkin of the whole lot, IMHO. It’s no secret that I’m pretty blah about most Hermes Birkins, both as bag and cultural phenomenon, but the So Blacks are so alluring, I honestly wonder why Hermes ever tried black hardware again.

Here’s an immaculately dressed Mindy Kaling, leaving the set of the Today show yesterday morning with a classic tan Hermes Birkin on her arm. Mindy is looking amazing these days – this hair, makeup, and styling are all perfect for her. She’s been doing the press rounds to promote the second season of The Mindy Project on FOX. (Which you should absolutely watch, btw.)

I have to say, while it makes sense that Mindy would invest in a Birkin because a) she’s wildly successful and b) she loves other big designer names like Chanel, I initially felt slightly betrayed by her big Birkin splurge. Why, you ask? Because Mindy Kaling is a quirky writerly type like me, and I’ve never really felt there was room for quirky writerly types in Club Birkin. Way to make me question everything I know, Mindy.

In some ways, I find pre-owned bags more exciting than bags that are brand new and available at the click of a button all over the Internet. Finding a gorgeous pre-owned bag, whether it’s a discontinued colorway or special-order piece, makes me feel like I’ve spotted an endangered species in the wild, except that for the right price, I can take it home and make it my own. If you’ve got deep pockets, that’s exactly the opportunity that awaits you at the Moda Operandi x Heritage Auctions Special Collections Vintage Hermes Sale.

We get really excited every time one of these sales pops up, mostly because Heritage sources some truly mesmerizing bags. Prices start at $3,800 for a simple, elegant Hermes Whitebus Tote and max out at $99,500 (yes, you read that correctly) for an Hermes Constance in blue-grey crocodile with diamond-encrusted white gold hardware and a constrasting orange leather interior. In between those two extremes that are plenty of Birkins and Kellys in both regular leathers and a plethora of exotics and multi-material combinations. If you’re feeling spendy, check out our favorites from the sale below or shop the full selection via Moda Operandi. Act fast, though – there’s only one of each of these bags!

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