The value of the Hermès leather weekend bag, named after Jane Birkin, has increased at a faster rate than gold, or indeed the US stock market. But you’ll be waiting a while to get your hands on one.
Name: The Birkin bag.
Age: 35 years old if you got one while it was hot.
Appearance: Beclasped, clutchable, sort of like other handbags, really.
Birkin bag? What’s all this about? Are you being unnecessarily rude about the woman who sang Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus? Not at all. We’re talking about a handbag named after her.
What has she done to have a handbag named after her? Apparently, she ended up on a flight next to the chief executive of Hermès and was complaining about how she couldn’t find a decent leather weekend bag.
They have bags that are designed specifically for weekends? They do! Anyway, in that instant the Birkin bag was born. And slowly, but surely it has become one of the most sought-after things ever ever. Ever.
I like the dinky little lock. Yes. Also, since its inception, its value has increased at a faster rate than gold, or indeed the US stock market.
Buckle my clasp, you’re having me on! We would never be so flippant. According to Baghunter, a website that trades in high-end baggage, since 1980, gold has depreciated in value at a rate of 1.5% a year, while the S&P 500 went up by 8.7%. Your Birkin bag? A whopping 14.2%.
Well, then I must go out and purchase one immediately! Do they do them at House of Fraser? Aha ha ha. No no no. It’s their scarcity that is the source of their ballooning value. There’s a six-year waiting list to own one, and they are perpetually in a state of “sold out”. The only way to get one quickly is at auction.
|Elissa Valenzuela with a Hermes Birkin Bag|
|Pharrell Williams with his Hermes bags|
Well, then I shall just go to an auction and purchase one there. It’ll be like Storage Hunters. That’s nice for you, given that they retail for $60,000 (£41,000), and then go for as much as $223,000 when sold on.
So, who actually gets to own these things? Well, Pharrell Williams has got one. Victoria Beckham has got one. Presumably Jane Birkin gets the odd one for free.
Neither of those first two particularly surprise me. Truly, it is the clutch-purse of the highest of high rollers.
Do say: “Ah, I see you have the 30cm Shiny Rouge H Porosus Crocodile Birkin with 18K gold fittings. Very tasty.”
Don’t say: “Oops, I think I may have spilled red wine on this funny little shiny rouge bag with the lock on it.”