More Than A Bag, A Myth

In 1981 the CEO of Hermes, Jean-Louis Dumas was sitting next to Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London.

More Than A Bag, A Myth

To attach his bag of straw in the upper compartment of your seat, content that was carrying fell on the aisle of the aircraft. Birkin said Dumas had found it difficult to find a leather bag that he liked for the weekend.

Thus began the history of one of the great myths of the world of luxury: the Hermes Birkin. He quickly managed to become a status symbol.

The bag in question is one of the most cherished and desired signature and has a retail price that continues to increase. Like the other models of the Maison, is hand-made with cowhide Hunter and need twenty days of meticulous craftsmanship.

This Hermes has managed to differentiate itself in its sector, both for its commitment to 100% handmade long waiting lists, necessary to be able to purchase their products. Some lists have helped elevate the myth of the Birkin, since you can not enter the shop and buy one. The customer in question must have a purchase history for store to include him on its waiting list which can have a duration of more than two years.

Is it the best of the sector or the myth more profitable marketing strategy?

The reality is that in addition, Hermes does not reveal the number of copies which sold a year or the percentage of sales attributed to this line of handbags leather.

“Hermes was very smart not to flood the market with Birkins,” says Mario Ortelli, luxury of Sanford C. Bernstein analyst. This strategy has benefited the firm both in the perpetual struggle of luxury brands against counterfeiting, as in feeding its appeal.

Perfect example of the attraction is the auction that was held in Christie completo Hong Kong last month, to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Composed by a batch of 30 products chosen by its origin and rarity, included works of art, antique ceramics, rare wines… and a bag.

A Birkin 30cm, made of matte crocodile leather from the Himalayas, with the closure of 18-carat white gold and set with 245 10-karat diamonds. Its starting price was 175,000 euros. This Birkin which finally sold for 270,000 euros already is regarded as “the most expensive bag in the world”. The precedent was another Birkin, Fuchsia, also auctioned in Hong Kong by 202,000 euros.

Thus, the fact that a bag has been sold for more money than a roll of parchment belonging to China Qing dynasty is proof irrefutable the mystery that surrounds the myth of Hermès Birkin.

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