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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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • miki_HK


    • phh

      Exactly right! So many women and men are perverted by this bag. WTF indeed is the right term!

  • offonvacation

    Too much money…not enough brains! ;)

    • Why not enough brain? They have that kind of money to splurge and use it to make art on their bags instead of walls. Why not? I would do it if I had the money. People express themselves differently. People appreciate art and luxury differently too. Just because what they do is different from the regular norm, doesn’t mean they don’t have brains, no?

      • Mint&Serf

        @Vibri_Wulandari:disqus Keeping an open mind is the key to understanding…

      • offonvacation

        Agree…something for everybody in this world. I just choose not to disrespect the Hermes…

      • phh

        Then you are one suck up to hermes. Sorry to say that, but I don’t have any respect for any company who make their clients wait for many years for an item ordered and many times, clients wait for nothing at all. What absurd hubris!

      • offonvacation

        Sorry, turned a 10K bag into junk. My opinion. I respect yours…please respect mine.

      • No one is disrespecting you dear. But calling someone not having enough brain is unnecessary. It’s not an opinion. That’s being judgemental, when you dont know the person.

      • offonvacation

        Please do not call me “dear”. I find the use of that word from somebody who does not know me personally very condescending. if you had looked at the statement I made when I posted originally you would’ve noticed that I “winked” at the end. That means it’s to be taken lightly and not literally. Here the United States, it a phrase often said in jest when someone sees somebody spending what they consider an excessive amount of money in what they consider a wasteful manner. We can agree to disagree.

  • laura

    Paint is for canvas not bags

  • It looks cool, I guess, but I don’t think I’d do this to my Birkin if I had one.

  • FashionableLena

    I wouldn’t even do this to a $5 handbag. This “art” just makes it look cheap, and I don’t see graffiti. I see Kindergartners at Work.

    • Jina

      You know Art Buro “Make 1t Easy” ? magic Buro

  • caroline

    I would do this too if I had a white Birkin (it seems like such a lovely space to draw on!) but only if I did it myself because then it’d mean a lot to me.

    • peggy

      I woud get my kids to draw on it, then it would be very special and pass it on to them for their own use when they are able to.

  • Andreita

    This looks cheap. I’m not opposed to the idea of customizing a Birkin (if it’s your bag, you’re entitled to do what you want to it) and I am also a big fan of street art, but this is a sad excuse for some “graffiti.” They should’ve commissioned someone that would have offered an upgrade to the bag, not a $5-looking street corner job.

  • miki


  • Kay

    I’ve seen several “pretty” hand-painted birkins and kellys, but this one looks dirty and ugly.. :/

    • Mint&Serf

      @Kay Graffiti isn’t suppose to be pretty or perfect. Its not a beauty pageant.

      • Kay

        OK. I’m a one who works in design company and think
        I have an open mind for arts.. and this is simply – not my taste; not only as a bag, but a graffiti art.
        If someone loves this one as a art piece, why not? It’s just their tastes. You’re right- “pretty or ugly” means nothing. But as a bag? I don’t know.

  • ash

    There’s just something so attractive about perverting a $10,000 handbag to look like crap.

  • Leanne

    I kind of like the idea…especially if you have the money to do it. But this particular art work isn’t my taste.

  • Leanne

    And the funny thing…people aren’t willing to draw on their bags..but they will get tattoos…I think it’s kind of the same idea, only it doesn’t

  • SandiG

    I have an open mind with ”Art” this is just so disrespectful to the beauty that is birkin.
    Shame on the Artists???

    • peggy

      why??? it’s her own property and she can well do whatever she wants with it, artsy or not.

  • thescm

    I don’t think it’s trying to subvert wealth. As mentioned, that would be ridiculous. It’s obvious you need money to buy a Birkin for any purpose. I think it’s widening the circle. It’s fashionable within the luxury industry right now to become more elite. That often comes with guidelines — body, hair, make-up, ideology, lifestyle, etc. Defacing a Birkin and carrying it brings a different kind of woman into the Hermes way, and when more follow suit the Birkin woman gains a wider range.

    • peggy

      That birkin woman who carry defaced birkin is sending a message to the world that the bag is only a thing to use for whatever purpose, not to be babied around. I would have mine strategically studded up with rusting nail heads to wear with my western outfit!

  • Abbi

    I love this! Turn a boring plain bag into something that grabs your attention! TDF! Not the best ive seen but i still love the idea/practice :)

  • art collector

    gernerally I think art on Birkins is a great idea. However graffiti art is what you find in the east side gallery or Banksy etc. In my opinion this is graffity scribbles you find on walls scribbled by frustrated and angry youngsters.

  • Guest

    I don’t mind it at all. And since any white bag will eventually be filthy and unusable anyway, why not? I am of the mind that once you’ve paid for the bag, you can do what you want with it.

    • Jina

      Art Buro “Make 1t Easy” the best! you see?

  • itslikealex

    Because they have more money, than they know what to do
    with. I love my Birkin but most people don’t have any idea what the bag is. I
    think this bag looks cool. But Hermes needs to change up the Birkin bag may be
    doing something like this or putting roses on it, a horse and carriage or

    • peggy

      eww, pardon me but if there’s anything I dislike the most is putting roses, printed, drawn on, or in any shape or form, BUT fresh ones, on any surfaces.

  • Jasmine

    Garance Dore filmed a video (it might be on you tube) about her trip to Japan which along the way she customized her Lady Dior bag with graffiti and japanese words along with other mementos. It was a quite interesting idea. I liked the finished product more than these horrific Birkins I must say.

  • An4

    I love graffiti art and doing something different, but this looks plain ugly. It doesn’t fall into my category of something aesthetically pleasing. And ugly can be good, it can be art as it can make you view the world differently. I don’t feel that here. Also, true artists let their work speak for themselves, they let it into the world to have a life of its own, as no work of art truly exists without the perception of its consumers. Artists who defend their work and feel the need to justify what they’re doing somehow devalue their work and seem immature, in my view.

  • Rashida

    I think it is beautiful to be honest.

  • Sofie


  • sunkiss

    It’s not a big deal if you have many of Birkins in the closet, but I wouldn’t to that to mine.. lol…

  • Eleanor

    I think that it’s a way not to subvert wealth, but to show it off. With a rise in consumers who are able to afford Birkins, they’ve become more commonplace – even exotics. So to show off your wealth, what do you do? You take a pristine object that most couldn’t dream of owning and you deface it. It shows that you can afford to be playful with a very expensive bag (like wearing a really extravagant necklace to the beach, I guess, or not caring if your designer dress gets dirty or something). There’s something ephemeral to the art, so it’s like you’re also stating that you can afford to turn what would be an investment piece into a temporary accessory.


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