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]

Here’s a fur-wrapped Ellen Barkin carrying a deep purple Hermes Birkin while doing a little shopping in Manhattan. Have you caught Ellen on her new NBC show The New Normal yet? She stars alongside fellow PurseBlog regular and designer bag-enthusiast Nene Leakes. Sadly, her new primetime TV gig seems to leave her less time for hilarious and zany tweets on her infamous Twitter page.

I know how much you guys love Birkins – and especially seeing them in the hands of practically every celeb who walks the Earth on a weekly basis – but I’m curious: is the Birkin a bag that you still aspire to own (if you don’t already)? Or do you feel that the Birkin is overexposed? I think we’ve said almost everything that can be said about the Hermes Birkin at one time or another, so how about some more Ellen Barkin trivia? Did you know she was married to somber Irish hottie Gabriel Byrne for 11 years? Neither did I!

This is the second time we’ve spotted Tamara Ecclestone with this well-dressed, well-bagged man friend – here they are arriving together at LAX. According to The Daily Mail, this is Scott Harvey-Nicholls, Tamara’s close personal chum and “brand manager”. (I’d let Mr. Harvey-Nicholls manage my brand any day.) You’ll notice the very tan Tamara is rather conspicuously flashing her silver Hermes Crocodile Birkin at the cameras. BFF Scott is toting the Goyard Boeing Duffel Bag – which, let’s be honest, shames all other duffel bags, save the Louis Vuitton Monogram Duffle. Sadly, none of these brands vend these particular bags online.

Tamara is looking noticeably more tan than she was the last time she was in LA, but if you’ve ever picked up a UK tabloid, you probably know that British tabloid stars and self-tanner go together like fish n’ chips.

If I had a nickel for every time we featured a celeb conspicuously leaving a hair salon dressed to the nines…I still wouldn’t be able to afford a Hermes Kelly, but I’d be closer than I am now. Here’s Eva Longoria exiting the Ken Paves Salon in West Hollywood after a low-key evening of primping and styling, with her Hermes Kelly Bag in tow. Eva’s quite an Hermes fan (who isn’t?) – she lays claim to a small collection of Birkins (one in tan, one in cobalt blue, and one in fuchsia croc, at last count) as well as a smattering of bags from practically every other must-have designer such as Celine, Balenciaga, and the like. (The list goes on interminably, of course, but I’m assuming you have other things to do today.)

The Hermes Kelly, tragically, like all the most coveted Hermes bags, is not available to the sprawling internet masses – nor will it ever be, we suspect. Ah, to live within a stone’s throw of an Hermes boutique…

When most people think of Hermes, they think of the coveted Birkin and Kelly, but the brand offers so many more bags. Sometimes when I want to go off to dream world, I dive into the Hermes website because it’s one of the best-designed and most fun and interactive sites any luxury retailer has put together. While playing on it today, I ran into an inviting look at the Hermes Berline Bag as a slew of them swayed from side to side while bells play in the background.

But enough about their website, let’s discuss the bag, shall we?

Some people might think the Berline Bag is brand new, but it first appeared for Fall 2011. The bag looks like a more casual and sporty version of the Hermes Jypsiere. The main difference from its sibling bag is the strap is shorter, so the bag can be worn as a shoulder bag with a smaller under-arm drop. Also, the front of the bag features an interesting and sporty quilted leather pattern. While every account I’ve read of people seeing this bag in person is positive, many say they had a hard time pulling the bag off. I would say majority of the reason is the short strap, because with a bag this shape it would be ideal to wear crossbody. The price is about $7,150 and the Berline comes in Swift leather (a smooth and durable leather).

Here’s Portia de Rossi, trying to sidestep the paparazzi while leaving a hair salon in LA. If you’re startled by her short new ‘do, Portia apparently chopped off her long, wavy blond locks sometime this summer, FYI. (Missed that newsbite completely.) Less shocking: You’ll notice Portia is carrying a black Hermes Birkin. Let us all take a moment to pay homage to the most popular celeb arm candy on the planet.

For those of you who have trouble distinguishing Portia de Rossi (the real human being) with Lindsay Bluth Funke (the fictional character from Arrested Development), allow me to provide an update. As you AD fans may already know, a fourth season of AD is currently in production, and a movie is reportedly in the works! (Though seriously, that’s been a rumor ever since the show went off the air). The fourth season will be released episode by episode on Netflix. And if that movie never pans out? Well, you know what they say: “There’s always money in the banana stand…”

Today, for your handbag peeping pleasure, we have Formula 1 Racing heiress Tamara Ecclestone, mixing it up with a very mod black and white outfit combo that includes the coveted Hermes Limited Edition So Black Crocodile Birkin! If you’re not familiar with Tamara or her sister Petra Ecclestone Stunt, they’re British socialites/models/insanely rich folk who probably buy Birkins like the rest of us buy fro-yo. Coincidentally, Tamara appears to be noshing on a cup of Tasti D-lite in this pic.

Seriously though – how glorious is that matte croc Birkin? Who can focus on Tamara’s picture-perfect hair, make-up, and clothing (or that dashing Brit to her right) when that bag is in the picture? And this coming scarcely two months after we featured Tamara toting a gorgeous grey Hermes Crocodile Birkin! Some girls have all the fun. We weren’t kidding about the Ecclestones’ Birkin-buying habits either – each sister probably owns around a dozen. (We have proof.)

Regular Black Friday sales are fun, but you know what’s really fun? Being able to get your hands on vintage and gently used pieces that aren’t normally available on the Internet at all. That’s where our friends at Rue La La come in – they’re known for offering the best vintage and gently used rare pieces on the Internet, and because today is such a huge day in online shopping, they’ve cooked up something particularly special for you with the Rue La La Luxe Gifts Sale.

With everything from Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Chanel bags, to Chanel and Hermes accessories, to Tiffany jewelry (a first!), this huge sale has not only a bunch of options for the luckiest recipients on your gift list this holiday season, but also perhaps a little something with which you might treat yourself. After all, it’s the ladies in the family that usually experience the most holiday stress because we’re generally the ones saddled with the duties of gift-buying, wrapping and cooking. You deserve a treat (or maybe two), and we’ve got some suggestions to get you started when the sale opens in half an hour. Shop quickly, though – the sale runs from 3 p.m. today, November 23 to 11 a.m. Monday, November 26. Shop the full sale starting at 3!

Hermes Black Lizard Birkin, 25cm

Neutral enough to be taken out for a spin whenever you please, small enough to get oohs and ahhs at an after-work event; this exotics Birkin is the best of both worlds. Available via Rue La La.


Louis Vuitton Limited Edition Monogram Salina Rubis Tote

Limited edition Louis Vuitton bags are very hard to come by, and this one, with its red trim and totally functional shape, is particularly lust-worthy. Available via Rue La La.


Chanel Flap Bag Earrings

Vintage Chanel costume jewelry is particularly collectable, and who wouldn’t want little golden handbags dangling from their ears? As long as they’re Chanel bags, of course. Available via Rue La La.


Hermes Vert Anis Birkin

There is no more sophisticated a pop of color than a bright Hermes Birkin. Available via Rue La La.


Chanel Reissue 2.55 Flap Bag

Even if you’re skeptical about winter whites, this Chanel shoulder bag should be more than enough to change your mind. Available via Rue La La.


Hermes Collier de Chien Ostrich Belt

If you’re looking for a chicer way to hold up your pants, you can stop looking. It doesn’t exist. Available via Rue La La.


Louis Vuitton Keepall 55 Bandouliere

Just in time for the holiday travel season, pick up one of the greatest travel pieces of all time. Available via Rue La La.


Hermes Kelly 35cm

If you think the Kelly is too precious to be an everyday bag, take a look at this version and think again. Available via Rue La La.


Chanel Quilted Flap Bag

A black Chanel shoulder bag is something every fashionable woman needs in her closet, and this one is ever-so-slightly different than the ones that most people have. Being different is always more fun. Available via Rue La La.

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