There are few sacred things in handbag design, but among them is the Hermès Birkin. When Hermès is feeling creative, the brand generally looks to the Kelly to make tweaks and create new versions–we documented nearly a dozen in our guide to Hermès bag styles, and that doesn’t include limited editions. There are far fewer Birkin styles, but now, there’s another to add to the list: the pared-down Hermès Sellier Birkin 40.

According to T Magazine, Hermès leather design director Couli Jobert set out to de-clutter the Birkin down to its essential look, which involved losing the lock and key, hiding the stitching, smoothing the edges and removing the interior lining. The resulting 40cm bag comes only in black cowhide (T didn’t specify the Hermès leather name) with Palladium hardware, and it’ll set you back $14,900.

The timing of this Birkin is perfect; although interest in Hermès bags is seemingly unending, minimalism is very much en vogue for day bags, and any design, even a Birkin, runs the risk of feeling stale as trends ebb and flow. Breaking the Birkin down to its simplest state not only gives aficionados something to chatter about and clamor for, but it reminds all of us that Hermès is successful because the brand is built on a foundation of exceptional design and materials. Most brands’ bags would not fare as well when stripped down to their bones, but the Birkin’s magic endures.

Hermes-Birkin-Comparison

[Image via T Magazine]

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Aliza Zibkoff

    Yawn! Unless it weighs about 7 pounds less it ain’t nothin’ new.

  • _petitprince_

    For the price, I expect the bag to be FULLY LINED in LEATHER. I would also want the lock and key as well (it should be an option for wearer to hide the lock and key). Hiding the stitching is acceptable. Trend or not, we should get our money’s worth. Prices keep increasing and now they want to dictate “minimalism” by cutting costs?!

  • Sofia

    $15k for cowhide?!? Hermes is crazy!

  • kindled

    I like the minimal look but I don’t like that they got rid of the lining!

  • Sheila Kelly

    In a delemha!!! I don’t know if I want to sell my boy bag that I scoured the country for, or the lockit by LV. Neither have been used. Boy bag is new med but I’m used to larger bags. Help please????????????????

    • T Tara Bagnista

      Chanel would probably command more money than LV, which is less rare.

    • Sheila Kelly

      I just had to have that chanel bag!!!! I’m a LV girl all the way, but the black caviar boy had been on my mind for sooooo long. Also just purchased the gst with GHW and think that will suit my need for a larger size handbag. I guess the boy has got to go to someone who will enjoy it. Appreciate the feedback????

    • wuwu

      What color is you BOY, if I want it, I will talk you into selling it to me hehehe

  • Ago Prime

    WONDERFUL BAGS!

    http://www.agoprime.it

  • c.Miller

    Love it!!

  • AGC

    For 14k, I would expect a nice lining. Other than that (and the fact that I’m not a big fan of the Birkin) I think the scaled-down version sets up very nicely.

  • DB

    The minimal look is nice but the price tag is certainly not ” minimal.” I am definitely a HUGE handbag lover, but honestly, I would not fork over so much of my hard earned savings for a brand like Hermes. OVER THE TOP is what comes to mind. Yes Hermes leather is phenomenal, however, no one should have to go broke to buy a handbag. Its nice, but seriously $15K and above nice??? I think its very disrespectful of Hermes to try to dupe so many women. I will spend my money on Chanel or Celine (amongst others), because at least they try to keep the price in a range that won’t break the bank for many women. Sorry for the ranting…it just irks me that so many women continue to feed into this Hermes frenzy and that they are trying to sell a minimalist bag for an insane price!!! Just plain disrespectful….

  • Katrina

    The bag should be called Birkin minimalCOST bag. Wonder whether the signature skunk/pot scent comes in the new version too?

    • wuwu

      Skunk/pot scent? I own 11 Hermes bag, from when I bought them till now, they have never smelled of anything but leather. Just curious where you buy your Hermes?

      • Dylan

        Birkins from the HERMÈS stores have been reported to stink recently. But I’m sure you would know that since you allegedly own 11 bags:)

      • wuwu

        Sounds like you have a problem with others good fortune. If you re-read my comment, I did not attack you. I said “none of mine smelled & asked where you bought yours”. However, I did go on The Purse Blog, and sure enough, you had it right, & I thank you for the heads up! I will count myself lucky & hope this comment did not offend you. Have a nice evening Dylan.

      • Dylan

        I actually don’t have a problem, but thank you for worrying! I was looking through the comments on this article and your comments are quite egotistical. I have quite a few designer bags myself, but I prefer Chanel to Hermès at the moment.

      • wuwu

        Egotistical, that is entirely possible, I am not the nicest person I know, really liberal, atheist and many more things people don’t like. However, I do love beautiful things, especially clothes & accessories. I am 52 and really have been buying high end fashion for many, many, many years. So I do know intimate details about all my greatest loves. You have amazing taste, I adore Chanel. One of my most favorite things in the world is a grey flannel coat from Chanel, winter 2012. I want to be sent to oblivion wearing that. I imagine that sounds egotistical to you, well sue me hehehe

      • Dylan

        That definitely doesn’t sound egotistical whatsoever. We seem to share a love for grey Chanel because I’m actually carrying my grey Jumbo as I type this.

      • Marvis

        Liberal –atheist –love beautiful things –what’s not to like!!

  • geenak

    I’m curious who wears these big bags. I guess if you need an expensive diaper bag. I like the minimalist look but it’d have to be half the size before I’d consider it.

    • Sofia

      People who feel the need to show off

      • wuwu

        Also people like me, who appreciate the work & can afford them.

      • geez

        wow, do you really need to stick “because i can afford it” in every response? you’re not the only one here that can afford them, it’s nothing special to be able to afford a birkin on the purseblog.

      • wuwu

        You didn’t seem to notice that I also wrote “I appreciate the work” also ” I love”! There were the only 2 comments of many I posted that I included the I CAN AFFORD THEM! That one was just for you geez U wish you could too???? Just curious, don’t be so WoWed by such little things, geez!

    • wuwu

      Me, because I love & can afford them.

      • geenak

        So you buy oversized bags because you can? I don’t have a problem with the price of the bags, the size is just very… large. I can’t imagine carrying such a large heavy bag around.

      • wuwu

        You think there is only one size of Birkins. Only some, like the one above are made specific and in limited quantity. All the Hermes bags I own are available in many different sizes. From small to darn near gigantic. You at least should go to a boutique, really see what the label is about. It’s really handmade quality.

      • bellabacci

        WUWU out of curiosity can you read? Please re-read the comments you are responding to and then make an educated response to them. Its a shame money can buy nice things but apparently they can’t buy you literacy. And for the record people don’t think i’m nice either…but that is no excuse.

      • wuwu

        They are perfectly coherent to me and those responding. I am not writing legal documents, I am writing simple comments. If the way i write bothers you, then refrain from reading anything that I post. Easy peasy! bet that peasy & uncapitalized first word of this sentence really grates your noives.

      • bellabacci

        Your passages would be so much easier to ignore if you didn’t comment on everyone’s posts. Trust me this is why I did not post on your first comment… I thought maybe you got the point. But no you continue to put your “2 Cents” in through out the bevy of comments. Excuse my non legal jargon, I’m not an attorney so I’m not quite sure what that comment was eluding too.

      • wuwu

        One can ignore anything, if they choose to. So if you do not wish to be part of a conversation that includes me, just ignore my comments. It is entirely up to you. If you choose to involve yourself, fucking deal with my 7th grade illiteracy. Now have a nice evening.

      • bellabacci

        7th grade? I wouldn’t flatter yourself that much, I just checked out your profile with all your comments. I would say 4th grade tops, maybe the next time your in Hermes ask if they have a thesaurus instead of a Birkin. Have a good night! ????????

      • wuwu

        You are just here to find someone to abuse. That really must suck for you.

      • bellabacci

        No I am here to observe and learn about the upcoming fashions. Maybe if you read more and observed your comments wouldn’t be picked apart by so many people.

      • wuwu

        Then observe & learn. Quit abusing me. I am happy with myself, I do not need you to be. You are an abuser!

      • bellabacci

        And yet you keep responding… Can we get back to fashion or do you insist on making this all about you?

      • wuwu

        Get some help!

      • bellabacci

        Oh sweetie maybe you should follow your own advice.

      • Marvis

        She is–I don’t understand the vitriolic comments from her –really?? It’s so high school –I really don’t know anyone who speaks like that –making the personal comments & frothing at the mouth

      • Marvis

        Why are you being so nasty? I enjoy the comments

      • Can you please just explain why you like carrying a big bag around? geenak actually brings up a good point. What is the allure?

        Like, do you actually carry more stuff in your large bags? Because to me that almost seems the opposite of luxury, being weighed down. But I’m looking from the outside and I don’t have your perspective.

        Maybe you can shed a little light on the discussion.

      • wuwu

        I brought up a good point also. The one above is a limited edition, so it does only come in a 40 cm. However, Hermes bags, including the Birkin come in many sizes, quite small to quite large. They are also available in many amazing types of leather in many unbelievably gorgeous colors. Also, they are not incredibly heavy. What I love about a 40cm, is not that I can stuff it till it burst, but that I can look in and find anything I am looking for with out a search & rescue. I love the bag, I love the look, I am 5’6″ and can carry a substantial bag. If I do need to carry a lot, it work too. It’s not for everyone or for every circumstance, however, it is for me.

  • Y Ajayi

    For so much money, it’s a no from me. Such a rip off.

  • Taselllove

    Fine that they eliminated the key and clochette, but the hand stitching is one of the important elements of this handcrafted bag.

    • wuwu

      It is still hand stitched. Each Hermes craftsman makes a bag from cutting leathers, piecing it together together & stitches every stitch & attaches hardware. Stitches are just all in the interior of bag. They are really amazing.

  • Lynnie

    I actually like this version of the Birkin versus the normal one. In fact, I really love this version! That being said, the price not so much. *shrug*

  • Heated Mouse

    Well, well, well…. my initial reaction to this is to make the bag as light as possible because of all the complaints about how heavy it is….. and to NOT lower the price is crazy. I believe the price of all our VINTAGE Birkins just increased! That’s the only good I see out of this huge change… it looks boring without the lock. I’m looking forward to seeing one and feeling the weight difference if any at all. Great post thanks for always keeping us updated! We are here to serve you, too: HeatedMouse.com & SimplyLuxuryVintage.com

  • Vivi

    Who the hell wants an unlined bag!? Especially when it’s Hermes!!! That seems absolutely ridiculous.

  • Firdaus Hilmy

    I’m 100% sure that the term ‘Minimalist’ is for them, not for us the buyers.. Minimize the cost, maximize the profit.

  • Jack Neill

    Hermes quality is superb but the Hermes Magic is lost here. For 14K, Hermes has bags with more luxury features that justify their price tag. Te only thing I can see here are higher profit margins for Hermes because they have to provide fewer features for their product.

  • Adrianne

    I own no major big time labels like Hermés, Chanel or Valentino…my most expensive bag is $1400…so I really have no reference. But, I covet the Hermés. I like this look. I’m not a fan of things hanging off my bag. I have a Louis and i would never buy one of those charms. I love that the stiching is hidden! Im not concerned about the non lining…quality leather doesnt really need it. Just shows dirt/stains more anyway…if that happens. With all that said I still wouldnt shell out that much for a purse. I would be happier with the new LOUIS lockit! Adore that!

    • wuwu

      Considering what you have typed. Do not go to an Hermes boutique & really get to know the merchandise. You may just fall in love with something & shell out more than you would ever believe*)

      • Adrianne

        Lol! Im sure I would have no problem spending that on a bag. Its the heart attack i would give my husband that I’m concerned about! ????

      • wuwu

        Those husbands are kind of resilient & have a tendency to bounce back*)

  • Lisa

    Hmmm… less material… no lock and key… more money. Who’s the sucker here?

    • wuwu

      You should really go see it, if you are lucky enough to be able to. With so few made, they may be sold before they get to a boutique. To actually see is to actually appreciate. A picture’s worth is a thousand words, real life can be positively breathtaking!

  • Jacquie Storch

    I love my Birkins, but this looks kinda like a fake Birkin.

  • James

    Okay, all the people here complaining about the price, lets get serious…If you buy a ferrari and you ask them not paint it, do you really expect it to cost LESS??? The real people who buy Hermes are not purchasing it for the name or the kind of attention the tiny “details” such as the lock and keys, and exposed stitching brings, they are buying it for the quality that comes with the Hermes name.

    • wuwu

      And I say, Bravo to you sir!

  • Marvis

    Honestly –my new Birkin feels so light –soft — roomy compared to my Sac de Jours—I just can’t see myself using them anymore.