This leather bag’s price rivals plenty of its exotic counterparts
By now, we’re all used to seeing six-figure price tags for particularly rare versions of exotic Hermès Birkins at auction. Himalayan Crocodile Birkins are especially popular, as are particular shades of bright pink and red in glossy crocodile or alligator; of course, pavé diamond hardware always helps. At Christie’s most recent auction in Paris, though, a never-before-seen thing happened: a non-exotic Birkin broken the three-figure price ceiling.
According to the New York Times, the bag in question is the Hermès Birkin you see above, in metallic bronze chevré leather. The NYT didn’t give the bag’s size, but based on the photo, it looks quite small—my guess is it’s 25cm, a somewhat harder-to-find size that’s quite trendy right now, which likely helped boost interest in the rare piece, which sold for $117,394, after being priced at less than a tenth of that when it was manufactured.
The NYT also reports that the bag was only made one year—2005—and that it was inspired by the work of legendary Hermès window designer Leïla Menchari. Hermès hasn’t produced many metallic Birkins over the years, and the photos of this particular bag are the only ones that come up when you do a Google search for the style, which certainly makes it rarer than some of the exotic Birkins that have become popular on the top-end auction circuit.
Christie’s Matthew Rubinger, senior director of luxury handbags and accessories, said he thinks the market’s thirst for novelty is what made this piece the auction’s most expensive bag, beating out Himalayan Birkins and those with diamond hardware. “It proves that the market is driven by collectors who come for something unique and different.”
The design is extremely iconic; some fashionista can spot a Birkin in a mile off. The boxy shape, double handles leather pull closures are what makes this bag. Of course the hardware stands out as well. The fact is, the Birkin is one of the three very iconic handbags EVER and now I’m a true lover of this bag. The aesthetic is what drew me in. Let’s just be honest. The functionality of the bag isn’t terrific. If you close up the bag correctly it might take you a few momemnts to get in and out of it every time you need something that’s inside. When you do not close the bag correctly, you leave the bag’s contents easily accessible to anyone and everybody. This has just the Birkin norm. It is meant to carry a lot of things, but it is not designed for ultimate usability.The outside does not feature any additional storage, in fact all it has is the dual leather pull handles which scrunch the bag and close it through the grip. This is quite iconic to the manufacturer and also the bag, but it is hardly used by anyone.The inside has a little pouch pocket, but the pocket is so slim not much fits indoors. There’s no other design aspect for this tote that aids in functionality and usability. In reality, it makes it all look so easy when you really look at it. Other than that, the 35 cm variant is great for everyday use due to its size and capability to carry heaps.