The Hermes Birkin Bag is a cultural phenomenon that never ceases to amaze me. The was created in 1984 after Hermes's chief executive, Jean-Louis Dumas, was seated next to actress Jane Birkin on a plane and had a conversation about how difficult it was to find a good looking leather weekend bag. A bag was then created and a sensation began. The bags range in price from ($7,500-$150,000) and are produced in limited quality in an effort to maintain exclusivity. The bags range in size and material, accounting for the price gradient. At one point it was rumored that there was a waiting list of up to six years to obtain the bag, but in April 2010 the company released that they would no longer have a waiting list.
So much intrigue surrounds the bags and it got me to thinking, if I could even afford one, would I want one? It's clear to me that a vast majority of the celebrities who carry them, do so as a status symbol since they no more go with their personal style then a strand of pearls and cardigan do. I have to say the bag isn't really my style either. I think it's a good looking bag but is more appropriate for older women. I think that, just because of the novelty that surround the bag, we are trained to like them. I always think about the scene from Sex and the City (one of my all time favorite episodes) in which Samantha is interested in purchasing one (funny how back then it cost $4000) when Carrie insists that it's not even Samantha's style and Samantha replies "It's not so much about style, as it is what carrying one means". It got me to thinking, how much of fashion are we programmed to like, and how much do we actually care for?
I recently read an article about how there is an even more exclusive Birkin Bag known as the "So Black Birkin" which is a limited edition bag with all black hardware. (Only a select few celebrities own one). Which I think is just redundant, there is already restricted access to the Birkin Bag, then to make an even more special one is absurd.
Plus I'm just going to say it- spending that much money on a single handbag is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Even the least expensive one is outrageous (and you know me, I'm not one to shy away from big ticket purchases, but this is just obscene). The fact that Kim Kardashian alone has several make me never want to own one.
Here are just a few more celebrities that own one:
So I'm curious, do you like Birkin Bags? And if so, do you think you really like them, or just like them because of what they tell the world.