The famous bag’s origin story is even weirder than most people know

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  • PJGambler

    Very interesting story! Thx

  • bir

    the Birkin……. all is said it always seems.and yet it is still so amazing how far a leather cube with two straps has gone.

    • I` `Started` `WoRking` `From` `COmfort` `OF` MY` `HOMe`, By` `Working` `SOmE` easy and `Basic` `JObs` That `Only `REquired` A` `Pc` &` `Internet` `Access` `&` It’s the `Best `Job` I `EVer` `HAd… It’s Been `six` `months` since I` started `This` and i got `Paid` so far in total 36 `Thousand` `Dollars`… Basically I` `profit` `80` `dollars`/hour` And work` for` 3 to 4 h` on daily basis.And the best part about this `Job` is that You get` to `Choose` Yourself when To `Work` and for how long and you Get` a `Paycheck` `weekly`.`Hope` `Over` to“Website“ `Page` `LINK` Which` Is ON` `Prrof!le` OF Mine


  • W S M

    I really want one in box leather. Would like to have it age as I age, a constant companion. Great write up, Purseblog!

  • Mason Howell

    That’s insane that Jane Birkin is only on her 5th Birkin!! You are right you learn something new every time about the Birkin and luxury handbags in general. That’s why I’m so obsessed!

    • Elena

      You’re right. It’s a quite short life span for a $ 10 000 – 15 000 USD bag; on average 7 years.

  • Sara

    I love what Jane does with her Birkins. It’s so very French.

  • Sara

    It’s good to know that one talented artist works on each bag instead of the sausage factory approach that many other designers take.

  • Charlie

    This has to be one of the best posts I have ever seen on this site, well done guys

  • crescent

    I was in Japan recently and watched a Japanese tv show having a montage of past celebrity guests. One of the guests was Jane Birkin. She showed her very beat up birkin. At the end of the program, she gifted the 2 male hosts each with their own birkin. She even autographed the insides of the bag. At that point the hosts were just delighted to received such special and valuable presents. What followed though truly horrified me and the 2 poor hosts. She grabbed the bags, threw it on the floor and proceeded to stomp on them and stretch the leather. The bags went from mint condition to truly distressed in minutes.

    • Sara


    • Sparky

      Really bizarre. Any explanation?

      • crescent

        I don’t really understand the dialogue but I did post a link to the video in my reply to Hanakimi87 if you dare to watch it. :)

    • Hanakimi87

      Do you remember what show this was?

      • crescent

        Unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch the name of the show since I could only read basic Japanese but from what I gathered it was the last episode, hence the montage of past guests.

      • Imgoingbroke

        ha! what a goofy video. I like how the guy in the wig was big time puting because he didn’t get a Birkin. I don’t blame him!

      • ms101

        wow i never thought i would see smapxsmap on the purse blog hahaha! XD i love the show!

      • princess_stomper

        I felt queasy watching that. Poor bags!

    • Vivian Wijaya

      I watched the Smap x Smap show on air in Japan when Jane Birkin did that. It was hilarious. She did it because the hosts (they are members of very popular Japanese boy band from the 90s, Smap) were saying they’d be careful when using such luxurious & expensive bag so not to damage it. She made her point: don’t be so careful, it’s a bag just use it. She’s such a cool lady!

  • JaneH

    I really enjoyed this post. I’d actually love to own one of Jane Birkin’s “pre-loved” Birkins. There’s something about a luxury bag with a lived-in, down-to-earth vibe that just clicks with me.

  • Mya Wilkes

    Loved reading this. The fact about her using one Birkin at a time is very interesting.

    • Nancy Johson

      .?my neighbor’s mom is making $98 HOURLY on the internet?….A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over $87, p/h..Learn More right Here….
      ??? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportHome/GetPaid/$97hourly… ?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?


    • Jerri R

      Love it. Perfectly in synch with the French spirit of being practical and down to earth yet stylish.

      • Ruthie Gibson

        .?my neighbor’s mom is making $98 HOURLY on the internet?….A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over $87, p/h..Learn More right Here….
        ??? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportLabz/GetPaid/$97hourly… ?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?

      • Imgoingbroke

        i couldn’t agree more with your statement.

  • Yeda

    Just having had a lunch in the Maxim’s, we went for a little walk in Rue Royale, so we’ve turned left and founded ourselves in the faibourgSH , just outside the Hermès store,and just steped in, without any intention of buying something, when a sales worker came to is and ask if we were surching for something in particular . Just like that , being in Hermès boutique, I’ve asked for a birkin , so as simples as that I’ve had my frist…
    Accoding to their sales workers, there’s no such thing about waiting lists. And they made the point about this is a creation of média and gossips ….

    • Marty Pecciola

      French locations don’t have waiting list anymore for a few years now, but they used to have. You probably talked to a short term contract employee who wasn’t there at the time of waiting lists…

  • Sparky

    I can’t afford one but I think they are beautiful. I find it sad how celebs tarnish the brand.

    • Daria

      it’s what celebs do best. turn everything they touch into shit :)

  • Amazona

    The Himalaya and Nepal does look like that from above. Saw it once, on a plane’s downward camera and will never forget!
    Love J. Birkin’s attitude as well, I’ve discovered I prefer a little wear on a luxury bag. Makes me more at ease of using it. Although, if she ever gave me a new Birkin and then stomped all over it, IDK what I woulld do. Probably stomp all over her, probably… :D

  • I really enjoy reading such trivia about iconic bags and this one is very well put together!

  • kaly

    Love this post! I’m very fortunate to have several Birkin’s–and not a one did I wait for, there are far too many reputable resellers–but I tend to not carry them as they feel too “fancy” for my daily life :/ I appreciate this reminder that Jane herself carried her bag with happy abandon and actually ENJOYED it!! I need to do the same! :) BTW, Your bag is gorgeous, Megs!!



  • cdk lifestyle list

    Wow! Thanks for sharing the fun facts!

  • Slim

    Went to Paris for the first time with my husband in 1995. Went into Hermes, just to look. Saw a ostrich Birkin in brown, cost $18,000. I was in total shock, couldn’t believe a bag cost $18,000. Curious, what the price is today. Walked over to the left bank, saw a similar looking bag in faux croc in black. Purchase the bag, cost $500. Went to the Westchester mall in NY, ran into Joan Rivers,
    gave me the best compliment ever on my faux croc ” Birkin” . Joan was there shooting a video about shopping being the best exercise ever. She asked me, to participate. I was just too shy. Anyway, love my bag and love Joan!

  • Scottsdale Kim

    Regarding the supposed wait list for the Birkin. I was told by a few associates, including the one that I have given the most business to, that they receive a certain number of bags and they offer them normally to their established clients. I’ve also heard that they do not receive commission for Birkins or Kellys so if true, it would make sense to support those that are regular customers.

    I’ve also heard that location makes a difference. I was almost offered one in Cannes France likely because they have more in France. Smaller less popular stores in the US are a better bet for walking in and getting one than large city stores with large numbers of regular clients that they want to keep happy. I purchased my Birkin at a smaller store.

    • Marty Pecciola

      Each and every store in the world orders a certain amount of bags per season, some will only get 2, some will get much more, depending on their budget and demands of their customers, and some already have their regulars asking on lists, even the French locations order, so it’s just a matter of luck. I know that there are no more lists in the French stores though, for a few years now.

  • Olivier S.

    I know these bags very well, i worked for Hermès as an artisan for 7 years and i made a lot of Birkin bags.
    What do you like exactly in this bag ? The shape or the brand ?
    If, it is the shape, i can redo exactly the same bag, with the same leathers in the exact dimensions but without the stamping Hermès…
    So, do you love the design or the prestigious brand ?

    Sorry for my english, i am french…

    • Nilsa Macknight

      I like the design not so much into the labels despite the fact that I will never be able to afford one.

    • Kokonuts

      Well said and thank you for sharing. I sometimes think it’s a bit of both – the prestige, the brand, and the design.

    • Aurore de La Gorce

      I like the design of the Kelly more than the brand !

    • sdsurfchick

      Do you still make bags for a living? I’d love to see your work if you have a website.

      • zoopath

        I’d be interested as well.

    • princess_stomper

      Your English is fine! :)
      For me, it’s the design – one of the first handbags I owned was a similar design (a few obvious differences, but definitely Birkinesque) and that was before I had ever heard of the Birkin. Other bags I like are along the same lines e.g. Bayswater, Sac de Jour. It’s hard to define exactly why: the combination of leather and metal hardware is intrinsically *elegant* – it really draws the eye. There’s a combination of femininity and no-nonsense practicality. It’s very roomy – I like to carry the whole house with me – and it looks amazing in a wide variety of colours whereas other bags might only look good in a particular colour. Finally, I have a weird fetish for lock details – no idea why, but it’s something I always look for in a bag.

    • elizahill

      Also consider the materials and the company philosophy.

    • Jan

      Please can you give me details how I can get in contact with you.

    • Cindy Giaquinto

      How much would you charge for one of your personal bags?

  • FrancineHibiscus

    Stickers on fine leather! Truly the sign of careless wealth! I treat my handbags well, and they last aong time. I don’t like purses with a flap, or heavy hardware, but I would get a Kelly or Birkin if the right one came my way. The workmanship is superb.

  • hanny

    May be some day <3

  • Lisa

    Enjoyed re-reading this. Reminded me again that a bag is meant to be used and enjoyed. Stomping it might go a bit too far, though!

    Would love to see more posts on other Hermès bags, not just the Birkin and Kelly. They have many beautiful options but celebs are like sheep and only seem to want the most obvious ‘status’ bags.

  • Kokonuts

    I feel so conflicted with this bag. I do not own one but I have been tempted many times over. I always want something, then get it, and the novelty wears off. A perfect example of this is my Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry which I drooled over for 10 years until I built a collection and now I hardly wear my key pieces, only the occasional wear of my earrings. I cannot seem to justify buying a bag where I need to wrap the handles with a twilly to prevent wear of the handles. I likely will continue to admire them from afar.

    • cyph3r_xray

      Everyone should appreciate a company that makes twillies to prevent “oils from hands” erosion of leather handles – it happens to all bags that aren’t plastic or metal – but no other company designs twillies for them. That should give you pause w/r/t those other companies instead of looking at H with derision. Additionally your taste may have changed w/r/t your jewelry–buy other pieces. I love VCA and H simply because they have artisans that work on their most treasured items by hand. For me, that is the ultimate luxury that will never go out of style.

      • Kokonuts

        I don’t think twillies were made for handbag handles to prevent oil from hands as you say in your post. Sure, they wrap them to the bag handles, but this has only recently over the past several years become more commonplace, and to be honest, I don’t like them. To me it says, the owner of the bag spent too much money on the bag and now feels too afraid to wear it and allow it to patina the way a bag should with regular use. Twillies were never ‘made’ for this purpose and something I see with the nouveau riche.

      • cyph3r_xray

        To each his/her own; that’s why I buy them and I love them.

  • ReneeO

    So funny, Jane Birkin really isn’t a handbag person at all. Before the Birkin, she seriously just used baskets to transport her stuff. I wish I was more like that. ha

  • melissatrv

    I re-read this. OMG I cringed looking at Jane Birkin’s bag with all the stickers . It is interesting to know she that she donates the amount Hermes gives her to charity. If I were her I would ask for a new bag each year in addition to the payment. They can afford it and have gotten out of the use of her name rather cheaply. I love that our beloved Megs was not wait listed. But as the owner of this influential blog I am sure that had a little something to do with it :)

  • Justice J. Srisuk

    I’m always torn between whether I favor the Birkin or the Kelly. I like both in the small and mini sizes and it depends on the day I guess. The Constance is also a great bag, and it doesn’t get nearly as much love as the other Hermes bags. It’s one of the few crossbody bags they make that is always in production.

  • Crochica NBF

    Nice and informative article thank you :)