If you know anything about bags (and you probably do, otherwise you’d be looking at cat pictures on BuzzFeed like literally everyone else on the Internet), you know that Hermes is the holy grail. Sure, a woman’s personal grail bag might not be Hermes, but when it comes to the hierarchy of luxury handbags, no one beats Hermes at its own game. That also means that the brand’s bags are notoriously hard to locate, particularly in the most sought-after colors and exotics. Thanks to Moda Operandi and Heritage Luxury Auctions, though, you now have a number of Hermes bags at your fingertips through April 16.

Moda and Heritage run these sales every now and then, and they never fail to get me excited. This particular sale contains everything from rare Club Birkins and exotic options to a very special limited-edition sterling silver Mini Kelly. Some bags have already sold, but there are plenty of beautiful pieces left, particularly if you’ve got money to spend in the high five figures. Shop the full sale via Moda Operandi or admire our favorites below.

Hermes Birkin Olive Hermes Matte Blue Crocodile Birkin Hermes Purple Crocodile Birkin Hermes Blue Kelly Bag Hermes Crocodile Birkin Pink Hermes Club Birkin Hermes Sterling Silver Mini Kelly

It’s springtime in LA (when is it not, exactly?), and the Kardashians are busting out their bright spring hues and their most exotic Birkins! It’s been months since we featured a Birkin-wielding celeb on the blog, but we couldn’t resist this flagrant showcase of ridiculously rare and exclusive Hermes Birkins. Kim Kardashian is carrying an Hermes Grizzly Birkin, which has a suede body trimmed in leather, and is so rarely seen, I wasn’t even aware it existed before today. Momma Kris Jenner is carrying the black Hermes Crocodile Birkin. While Kris’ croc is the pricier of the two Birkins, the Grizzly is more eye-catching, if only because you see them a lot less often in the wild.

Can I tell you how relieved I am to see Kimmie K. wearing something light, blousy, and non-black? I’ve been kvetching about her all black, faux-maternity wardrobe for several weeks now. I mean, this is essentially a harem pant jumpsuit, but when better to wear such things than when you’re dressing for two?

Kim Kardashian carries an Hermes Grizzly Suede Birkin and Kris Jenner carries an Hermes Crocodile Birkin (2) Kim Kardashian carries an Hermes Grizzly Suede Birkin and Kris Jenner carries an Hermes Crocodile Birkin (3) Kim Kardashian carries an Hermes Grizzly Suede Birkin and Kris Jenner carries an Hermes Crocodile Birkin (4) Kim Kardashian carries an Hermes Grizzly Suede Birkin and Kris Jenner carries an Hermes Crocodile Birkin (5)

A long time ago, I ranted a bit about why terming the purchase of a bag as an “investment” was probably a bit silly, not to mention inaccurate, and the kind of marketing terminology that encourages consumers to overspend on goods that depreciate even more rapidly than cars. It still is – at best, buying fashion is an investment in your own enjoyment, and the dividends it pays won’t be of the monetary variety. Hermes, it turns out, bucks that trend on two levels.

Last week, Hermes released its 2012 profit information and informed us all that it had been another banner year for the French powerhouse. Revenues were up 18.5%, making it Hermes’ most lucrative year ever, with jewelry the most quickly expanding sector, up 45%, according to Vogue UK. Bags, though, enjoyed an impressive 22% jump in growth, on top of a year of business that was already sprinting to keep up with seemingly endless demand for everything from canvas Garden Party totes to alligator Birkins. When compared to relatively flat leather goods growth across competitors like Louis Vuitton, the number is even more remarkable.

That means two things. First, if you can get your money around some Hermes stock, you probably won’t be sorry you did. (It might be a little more difficult than merely placing a call to your broker, though – Louis Vuitton has its guy on speed dial when it comes to Hermes.) Second, it means that the actual bags are more valuable than ever because demand still outpaces supply, despite some modest supply-side expansion from Hermes; if you have a specific bag in mind and aren’t an established VIP, you’ll likely have to wait. When you combine that with annual price increases that continue to raise the value of existing Hermes bags, you end up with a situation where well-kept used bags, especially Birkins, regularly sell for more from a third party than they do from an Hermes boutique. If you’re the kind of person who has $10,000 to spend on a brand new bag but are told you’ll need to wait, perhaps months, then maybe you’re also the kind of person who has an extra couple thousand dollars to skip the line and buy a new-looking bag from a third party.

The online sale marketplace seems to bear out that theory. Luxury sites like Moda Operandi and Rue La La routinely host sales where auction houses offer an assortment of pre-owned Hermes bags, the most desirable of which are marked above retail. Invariably, the bags fly off the virtual shelf, most within hours of launch. If you have the money and have been considering the purchase of a Birkin, it boils down to there being almost literally no risk involved – if you later decide it doesn’t suit you and you have the savvy to resell, you’ll likely recoup your costs. My advice, though, would be to buy some stock instead. You can flip it to Louis Vuitton later when they invariably call you.

[Image via Moda Operandi]

It was a bit of a rough weekend for all of us in New York, but we’ve dug ourselves out and life is more or less back to normal now. Personally, I used my days inside to cook a pot roast, re-watch lots of episodes of The West Wing on Netflix and wander around the Internet in search of things to impulse-order. Thankfully, my wallet was clear across the apartment when I laid eyes on the pre-owned and vintage bags that Heritage Auctions has up for sale via Moda Operandi. Now that would have been a concerned phone call from American Express if there ever were one.

If you’ve worked up an appetite for shopping or browsing over the past few days, you’re in luck. The Vintage Hermes from Heritage Auctions sale runs through February 17, and we’ve gathered our favorite bags from the selection below for our viewing pleasure. If you decide to splurge, do it quickly – there’s only one of each of these covetable pieces to go around. Shop the sale via Moda Operandi.

Here’s Jenny McCarthy in NYC carrying an eye-popping bright blue Hermes Jypsiere Bag. The Jypsiere is a comparatively new Hermes design, introduced only a couple of years ago. It sports Birkin-esque closures and flourishes, but has a more unisex, messenger bag structure. It’s worlds less traditional than other Hermes bag designs – and also, it’s one of Amanda’s personal faves. I can’t decide between the Jypsiere and the Kelly, myself. But wait…this might tip the odds in the Jypsiere’s favor – Hermes has deemed, in their infinite wisdom, that this $7300 Hermes bag should be made available to the common masses via the Internet! Plebeians, rejoice! It’s available for $7,300 at Hermes.com.

Why is Jenny McCarthy all up in your face on a random Wednesday in 2013, you ask? Well, her brand new talk show, The Jenny McCarthy Show, is scheduled to debut on VH1 at 10:30 PM EST on February 8th. 1990s deja vu all over again? I kind of feel like you’ve already tried this, VH1, but I’ll bite!

I’m a jewelry girl, but I’m not a jewelry girl. When it comes to accessories, I will always opt to splurge on handbags before shoes or jewelry. When it is time to buy some jewels, I love a trendy statement piece and I don’t seek out precious stones or solid gold. However, if I were to do so, I might turn to Hermes Exceptional Jewelry – when you have hundreds of thousands of imaginary dollars to spend on jewelry and you already love the Hermes brand, then why not?

So today, we have a gallery of some overly extravagant and overly priced Hermes goods, because that’s the sort of thing that we’re prone to spend our days looking at. If you had the money, would you buy any of these pieces?

We don’t delight in bad news around here, and a price increase is just about the worst news that you can ever expect to find on a handbag blog. (We’re lucky that way.) Unfortunately, that’s what this time of year brings for Hermes lovers, and NYC shopping blog Mizhattan reports that we can expect a noticeable uptick in price for everything from Birkins to Colliers de Chien to flasks. How much? That depends.

The price increase is rumored to be between seven and 10 percent, depending on product, which would raise the price of the brand’s marquee handbags by over a thousand dollars apiece for higher-end leathers and exotics. It seems as though the increase will phase in start any day now and running through the beginning of February, and as Mizhattan mentions, it seems logical that bags would be among the first pieces to see the hike because of their importance in the Hermes product lineup.

Hermes also increased its prices at the end of January last year, and it seems as though the brand will continue to do it until the market won’t bear it anymore. Birkins, Kellys and all of Hermes’ other bags still fly off the shelves as fast as they can be cranked out, it seems as though we have a ways to go before a slowdown. Does the price increase make you any less likely to buy something from Hermes, or are price increases just part of being a luxury consumer?

Birkin, ahoy! Here’s Kyle Richards of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, flaunting her black Hermes Birkin like there’s no tomorrow as she heads in to her KYLE Boutique in LA with a few new samples. In the following pics, you’ll notice that Kyle has what could be a quilted Chanel Tote on her other arm – but don’t quote us on that one. We’re can’t ID those crazy calfhair, gold-tipped ankle boots either, but if you can, you’ll be the recipient of 500 PurseBlog cool points. (Redeemable only in PB street cred.)

In the past two weeks, we’ve featured Ellen Barkin, Kim Kardashian, and Tamara Ecclestone with their Birkins. So Kyle brings our “celeb with Birkin” count to an even four…which compels me to announce our first ever bi-weekly BIRKIN-OFF. Sadly, Ellen Barkin’s basic purple Birkin and Kyle Richard’s everyday black Birkin just can’t compete, so Round 2 is quickly down to Tamara Ecclestone’s silver Crocodile Birkin and Kim Kardashian’s So Black Birkin. Whose Birkin will prevail?! You be the judge!

Here’s (slight) baby bump-rockin’ Kim Kardashian in NYC doing a little press with her sister Kourtney. You’ll notice Kim is carrying an uber rare, extremely covetable, limited edition Hermes So Black Birkin! If you’re unfamiliar with the So Black Birkin, you’ll notice the bag has black hardware on black leather. I’ve given the Birkin a little flack this week (the word “overexposed” might’ve been used), but the So Black Birkin reminds me what the fuss is all about.

These limited edition bags are highly sought-after, but we could only find two celebs in the PB archives that actually owned one, at last count – Kim and British heiress Tamara Ecclestone, who owns the Hermes So Black Croc Birkin. So if you’re thinking of adding one to your shopping list…good luck with that.

Most brands are simply happy to produce a luxurious, cohesive handbag collection each season, but as we all know, Hermes isn’t most brands. The legendary French house consistently takes leather to the next level, and this time, they’ve taken it to the jungle. With a little help from Lucie Thomas and Thibault Zimmermann (the two halves of French art studio Zim & Zou), that is.

According to FastCompany’s Co.Create site, Hermes first commissioned a single parrot made of Hermes leather scraps from the duo. After seeing the finished product, though, Hermes decided to populate its own rain forest with a lizard, a monkey and the toucan you see above. The animals are part of Hilton McConnico’s latest exhibit in Hong Kong, but to get a look at them without traveling halfway around the world, check out our slideshow below. [Photos via Co.Create]

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