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!

And the luxury leather goods slap-fight continues! Just when you thought that LVMH might be appropriately chastened by its multi-million euro fine for using what amounts to using subterfuge and trickery to compile a rather enormous stake in family-owned Hermes, the French fashion conglomerate, helmed by Bernard Arnault, goes and does it again, according to Women’s Wear Daily. (more…)

Is it madness to invest $10K in a single handbag, or is it madness to invest $10K in a single handbag, and then get it in white? Reese Witherspoon seems like exactly the type of person who would tempt fate with a brilliant white Hermes Birkin. Here she is leaving a hair salon in LA with her perfectly unblemished Birkin in tow. (Places I would not take a white Birkin: the hair salon, the park, a bar, a restaurant…it would just live in my closet in a glass case, basically.)

As an obscenely wealthy A-lister, Reese, of course, has ALL the designer bags you covet, as well as a few you don’t even know you need yet. You can check out a major chunk of her handbag collection in “The Many Bags of Reese Witherspoon”. Reese is on PB so frequently that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if “Part 2″ was well on its way…

Last week we welcomed the official start of summer, and nothing says summer quite like spending the day at the beach. I grew up by the beach, so I’m a true beach baby, and because of that I’ve learned how to properly pack my beach bag with everything and anything I may need. When you are going to the beach just to enjoy the surf and sand, there is no need to go overboard – pick a bag that can stand to be thrown around and toss all your essentials inside. However, when you are going to the beach and want to make more of a fashion statement, there is an art to that as well.

Last time I was down in Florida, I had a fun weekend planned with my girlfriends. Since they always expect the best beach bag from me, I decided to bring out a special piece. A few months ago, I scooped up a rare Hermes Kelly that was part of a 1997 Voyage collection. There is no use for a plastic Hermes Kelly other than for the beach, so of course I snapped it up. And yes, I understand that it is both cool and crazy.

Whats in my Hermes Kelly Beach Bag-15

Since this bag fits the see-through trend, if you opt for a clear bag, jazz it up by adding interesting items inside. I started with a gold Gerard Darel clutch, along with a bright green Proenza Schouler wallet and an orange Hermes pouch for easy-to-access credit cards, cash and coins. This has all of my hidden necessities (like my bulky inhaler) covered, not to mention it looks really beautiful inside of the bag.

As for what I always carry to the beach with me on both easy beach days and dressed up beach days alike: sunscreen, lip balm, a snack, a book, sunglasses, my phone (which I also use for music) and gum.

Is there anything you always carry that I left out? Happy summer!

Inside my beach bag: Gerard Darel Clutch, Hermes wallet, Proenza Schouler PS1 Small Zip Case ($345 via Proenza Schouler), Oscar de la Renta Sunscreen ($42 via Oscar de la Renta), Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment ($25 via Sephora), Tom Ford Sabrina Sunglasses ($390 via Neiman Marcus), Hermes Twilly ($140 via Hermes).

Whats in my Hermes Kelly Beach Bag-22

In case you’re not yet familiar with CR Fashion Book, let me explain – the “CR” stands for “Carine Roitfeld,” the incredibly influential and generally brilliant former editor of French Vogue. When she left her former post, she consulted for a little while before forming a new indie magazine, which is pretty great. Also great: the magazine’s look behind the scenes at the construction of the iconic Hermes Constance Bag, which promises to be the first in a series of features on the making of iconic accessories by CR editor Shiona Turini and photographer Ulysse Fréchelin. We’re pretty excited – the pictures from this first outing are beautiful.

CR has taken the unconventional step of using Tumblr to power its official website, which happens to be a great format for big, beautiful, easily shared photos. We’ve shared some more of our favorites below, but you can check out the full editorial feature, plus information from Turini on the history of the bag, where it got its name and the process that goes into making the design a reality, via CRFashionBook.com. For example, did you know that it takes 14 hours of labor by a single artisan to create one of these bags?

I always love photos like these – lifting the veil on exactly how the world’s most beautiful objects are made often unveils a process that’s beautiful in and of itself, especially with a product as painstakingly constructed as an Hermes bag. Since this is the first in a series, which other accessories do you hope make it in front of the CR lens?

The Making of an Hermes Constance Bag by CR Fashion Book (2) The Making of an Hermes Constance Bag by CR Fashion Book (3)

Twice is a coincidence, but three times is a trend, so now that we’ve found a fourth Hermes Birkin covered in graffiti, I feel pretty comfortable saying that defiling the iconic handbag with pain, markers and pens is officially a thing. The latest graffiti’d Birkin comes courtesy of street-art duo Mint & Serf, also known as The Mirf, who were commissioned by Jeff Kain to personalize a while leather Birkin that he bought for his wife Lynn Ban (you might be familiar with her jewelry line). That’s hot on the heels of Moda Operandi’s marked-up Birkin, plus self-styled versions by both Lady Gaga and Nicola Formichetti.

Of the four different Birkin-customization techniques we’ve seen, this one is definitely the most clearly graffiti-inspired. Or perhaps “inspired” isn’t the word – it’s straight-up covered in the stuff, and the commissioned work cost several thousand dollars on its own, according to the Daily Mail. In contrast, Moda Operandi’s version is by far the most sophisticated and traditionally beautiful of the customizations, and both Gaga and Formichetti went to town in their own personal ways. The common thread, though, is the Hermes Birkin. No other bag has had art projects performed on it so fervently, and the reason why people love to mark it up is probably similar to why Francesca Eastwood decided to set one on fire last year – there’s something undeniably attractive about the opportunity to subvert an icon.

If you live in or have traveled to a place where Birkins are very commonly carried, you probably know that there’s often a look associated with them – upper-crust women who are prim and put-together, even when headed to a spin class. (Perhaps especially when headed to a spin class.) That image of decorum and privilege, combined with the extravagant price of an Hermes Birkin and its tailored, traditional look, have turned the bag into an easily recognizable totem of profligate wealth, which is currently a fashionable thing to reject. Nominally, anyway – you still have to have that wealth in order to acquire a Birkin to destroy in the first place. Or “customize.” Whichever way you prefer to see it. I’m still not sure which word I’d use.

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