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.