Thursday, 11 November 2010

Behind the Seams of a Birkin

Hermès Birkin handbags are hand-built by experienced craftsmen, one of the primary factors contributing to the high price of all Hermès handbags. The production of each bag may take up to 48 work hours, translating into weeks. They are distributed worldwide to Hermès boutiques on intentionally unpredictable schedules and in even fewer reliable quantities, creating a sense of scarcity and exclusivity around the product.

The exterior of the bag can be made of a variety of leathers. One of the most expensive variations of the bag is made of saltwater crocodile skin. The price of these bags depends on the size of the scales. Bags with smaller scales cost much more than those with larger scales.
Typically, a Birkin bag's lining is made of goat skin and its color will match the bag's exterior color. The bags can also be special-ordered with custom leathers and colors, but order privileges are granted only to certain established Hermès clients, and again, on an unpredictable basis.


Orders are reportedly submitted to Paris twice a year, with "special-order" bags coming back anywhere from a year to two years later. Occasionally, special orders may never arrive, as Hermès is notorious for discontinuing certain leathers or colors without notice, frequently making the arrival and "pick-up" of a special order Birkin a cause for some fun fanfare both for the client, and occasionally even for boutique staff.

The metallic hardware on a Birkin bag (the lock, keys, buckle hardware and feet studs) are typically plated with gold or other precious metals, such as palladium, which, unlike silver, will not tarnish. The metal lock may be covered with leather as an option when custom ordering. Certain notable Hermès clients have paved buckle hardware with diamonds, notoriously resulting in one black crocodile skin Birkin which notably sold for close to $65,000 at auction in 2005.

Birkin lock keys are enclosed in a type of leather lanyard known as a "clochette" which is typically, but not necessarily, carried by looping it through one of a Birkin's handles. The Birkin bag may be locked by closing the bag's top flaps over all buckle loops, wrapping the buckle straps, and closing the lock on the front hardware. Locks and keys are number-coded.

37 comments:

Krystal said...

So interesting, thanks for this post!

Rinny said...

Very informative post! I love the look of the Birkin bags - they seem like they would remain a very classic style for years to come. Too bad I will probably never be able to afford one in my lifetime lol

INTRO TO MY LIFE said...

I miss you fe, your amazing. I hope all is well and things are great
P.S. I wish some day someone would buy me one of these fabulous bags

Banhannas said...

I have never heard of the Birkin lock keys but with a bag with that kind of high quality and price it makes sense. If only ... some day I would get to touch one. lol

A La Mode et Plus! said...

Thanks for sharing the history of this luxurious bag!!

Hope you will check out my giveaway! http://alamodeetplus.blogspot.com/2010/11/in-fashion-giveaway.html

THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

Oh what a dream it would be to own a Birkin! What a fabulous post, sweetie! Have a wonderful weekend xoxo

eugenialejos said...

Thanks for your comment! Your blog is very interesting:) I hope talk with you in english:)
It,s very exciting for me to read your positive comment to my draws:)
thanks a lot!kisses

Forgetmenot said...

WOW... incredible... you almost have to be part of a sect to get one of these...
forgetmenotholidayhere.blogspot.com

Barry said...

Dropping by to say hello, it's been a while. Hope you're well Fe!

xo

Missy said...

wow i love this! thanks for sharing x

Missy
Blending Style, Beauty and Fashion
http://thefashionfusion.blogspot.com

MarchMusings said...

This made for great reading. It's no wonder it costs so much with all the work that goes in to it.

margg. said...

this is really interesting :)

the bags are amazing.
xo

gleenn said...

This is a very informative post, dear. I can really use this now that I'm shopping for a bag. I need a high fashion and durable one. :)

Win our Perricone giveaway worth $150

tywo said...

Fe dear, I miss you.
Thanks for sharing this. I learn a lot from coming here.
You are very interesting.
I love you.



LOVE!

Cheryl: Oh to Be a Muse said...

wow, i had no idea so much went into a birkin bag. now i understand the allure so much more.

thanks for this great info Fe!

http://ohtobeamuse.com

Whora said...

I've wanted a birkin since i could remember, incredible.

M

AH said...

i love these informative posts of yours! thanks for sharing!!

just_Mary said...

What a complete and awesome entry!
I really love this bag, but i can afford it.

Xoxo

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Fe,

I enjoyed reading your post on Birkin bags, they are so beautiful aren't they.
The bespoke bags are fabulous and so wonderfully made.

Happy week
Hugs
Carolyn

Lady Lipstick said...

Hey girl!! Thank you so much for stopping by!
I am absolutely loving this post, so informational!!
Thank you!

XX

Stacey said...

Awesome post and i feel like i am now "in the know":-). XX

this free bird said...

This is such a plethora of wonderful information on the Birkin...it truly is a dream bag of mine. Not sure I'll ever be so fortunate to have one, but it sure was great reading more about why it would be totally worth the investment. Thanks Fe!

xoxo,
Carrie

julianne. said...

i die for one of these bags.
please give me one.<3

Punctuation Mark said...

it's great to let people know what is it that they wear or lust after...

Indie.Tea said...

The Hermes bags are really interesting. Thanks for the info.
I have a book called "deluxe how luxury lost its luster" - its seems that Hermes is one brand that still uses the old techniques and puts a lot of attentions into crafting their bags.

Confessions of A Confused City Girl said...

Oh my gosh thank you for this! Birkin is def. on my "things to buy before i buy" list... Now i feel like i KNOW why i wanna buy (besides it's durability and classic chicness)

~Sherine
Check out my blog, follow if ya like :-)
http://sherinethegirl.blogspot.com

NANCYXO said...

its nice to know the bags arent made by machines =D

NANCYXO

Wear&When said...

Ah! one can dream. Thanks for all the info, I have always wondered about the illusionary Birkin.

Great Blog!

www.wearandwhen.blogspot.com

Embodying Fashion said...

This was very interesting, i would love to have one or two of thoes amazing hand bags :)

haircutting in high heels said...

I absolutely loved the book, "Bringing home the Birkin." Love your post too!
Gina

sexylegsandbody said...

Hi Fe, thanks for sharing, they seem to be durable and of great quality.
Thanks also for your sweet comment on my last post, I am glad to hear I could put a smile on at least one person's face. :)

Have a lovely day.

Colin.

Inez said...

I love those bags!

beeble said...

bag in the last picure is beautiful!

Joy said...

Hi Fe! Hope you're well... I've been wanting a Birkin for so long... However, I do hope that the animals are not harmed, in any way in the making of these luxurious bags.

Je suis Sophie said...

First of all: thanks for following me!

Gosh, I wish I had a Birkin. They are so perfect. Love this post!

x Je suis Sophie

Cylia said...

very nice post:) i like your posts are all so informative and I can really take out something out of the post. love:)

Fé... said...

That's very cute of you, Julianne darling. Well, if I was a billionaire, I would have Hermes bags as gift bags from my friends :p Seriously!

I read the book too, Indie Tea and finds it pretty interesting. It's such a fine book on the behind the scene of the fashion world.