Why Luxury costs so much: The Birkin Bag

Hermes Birkin Bag

Luxury costs money. Big money. And while I cry and whine and beg for amazingly luxurious classics like the Hermes Birkin bag, it’s frankly too ridiculously expensive. Even if I were a millionaire, I’d have a hard time justifying the purchase of a handbag that cost up to *$150,000. (You can buy houses that cost that much!!!) Nevertheless, the Birkin bag has been one of the most coveted worldwide status symbols. For awhile there was said to be a waiting list that was up to 6 years long! Remember that Sex and the City episode where Samantha uses her new celebrity client Lucy Lui’s name to get to the top of the Birkin list? “Oh honey it’s not so much the style, it’s what carrying it means! When I’m tooling around town with that bag, I’ll know I’ve made it”

*Prices for the Birkin bag depend on the color, hardware fixtures, and skin. A standard bag will run you more like $5,000. Cheap in comparison to $150,000, no? With hide choices such as calf leather, ostrich, crocodile, and lizard, you can understand why they are highly rare and exotic. One of the most expensive is saltwater crocodile skin. Details such as scale size (bags with smaller scales cost more than those with larger scales) are also accounted in the price.

But if bags like this were available to the masses at an affordable price, they would lose their “special-ness.” The artful craftsmanship of brands like Hermes can’t be matched. Hermès opened in Paris in 1837 and originally produced harnesses and saddles, but the legacy of the original craftsmen still forms the core of the brand. Also famous for their scarves, the brand has been known for luxury and elegance for over a century.

See how they stitch their famous “saddle-stitch” is made and think about the difference between a handcrafted leather handbag, and your (well…mine too) mass produced faux-leather, machine made purse. Nowhere near as valuable or special. But, that’s the beauty of brands like Hermes.

*Source: http://www.glamour.com/fashion/blogs/slaves-to-fashion/2010/04/the-wait-list-is-over-now-anyo.html


1 Comment

Filed under Style

One response to “Why Luxury costs so much: The Birkin Bag

  1. Kelli Ellis

    Okay, so $150,000 for some exotic leather seems a bit much, but after reading this it makes the $5,000 for genuine leather and hand-stitching (cool video!) seem a little bit more understandable. I’ll still stick to more affordable purses; but nonetheless, I have a new appreciation for Hermes bags!

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