Rumor Has It You Want to Buy a Birkin Bag—Read This First
All the tips and tricks for exclusive access.
The Hermès Birkin is the heavyweight champion of handbags. You see, while Bottega Veneta purses compete for the top spot of our Instagram feeds, the Birkin bag sits comfortably—resting on its legacy. Donned by fashion front runners like Victoria Beckham and Kim Kardashian, the Birkin bag is a coveted symbol of style and stature, earned by its exclusivity (only a limited number get made per year), high-price point (prices range from $9,000 to $500,000), and quality (artisans train for five years). Much like a classic fable, the Birkin bag’s truth has become blurry. But we’re here to separate the sword from the stone, fact from fiction, and tell you where you can buy this luxury handbag.
A Quick Birkin Bag History
Have your pens ready? Good. Like a classic rom-com (sadly there are no boyfriend blazers in this story), it started with a man, a woman, and a serendipitous moment. In 1981 British actress Jane Birkin was on a flight from Paris to London. Before take-off, she became exasperated by her everyday bag which had tipped over revealing her purse contents. Frustrated, she vented to the man beside her, who turned out to be Jean-Louis Dumas, the chief executive of Hermès. What followed was a long conversation and the initial sketches for the Birkin—all done on the back of a travel sickness bag. A month later Birkin traveled to Paris to approve the final designs and lend her name to the fine leather handbag. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Where Can You Buy a Birkin Bag?
This is where it gets tricky. Securing a fabled Birkin depends on whether you want a new one or a pre-owned design. Either way, the Birkin is a better investment than gold and the stock market—in 2019, the Birkin bag saw a 13 percent value increase, and continues to appreciate in value each year.
For a straight off-the-shop-floor silhouette, your best bet is the Hermès store. Unfortunately, you can’t just buy one the second you enter a boutique, you have to earn the stores’ trust—now don’t act surprised, after all, Hermès is French. Brand loyalty is built by purchasing products from various departments (not just fine leathers). We recommend focusing on ready-to-wear items, fine jewelry, and even their furniture. Because nothing screams “I want a diamond-encrusted Himalayan Birkin bag” quite like buying a Hermès coat rack.
But if you prefer checkers over chess, we advise using direct buyers. Companies like Privé Porter and Jane Finds have accumulated a loyal customer base and a wide following, for their ability to obtain the rarest of Birkin bags—both brand new and pre-owned. However, forewarning, if you’re enlisting a third-party dealer then a high-premium usually follows.
Fear not, we have another solution—the Editorialist YX app. Our exclusive membership service not only gives you access to expert wardrobe curation, but it also grants you access (via our stylists) to exclusive products like the storied Birkin bag.
Second-hand items are a little easier to obtain but they’re no less expensive than pristine purses. Retailers such as Farfetch and luxury consignments like the Vestiaire Collective are shopping hotspots for the renowned Birkin, offering the well-known Epsom designs and exotic leathers. The trick to securing your desired style is persistence and a little faith that the right bag will come.
With a great bag, comes great responsibility. And with its polished hardware, intricate detailing, and fine-leather craftsmanship, the Birkin bag increases in value and looks fabulous while doing it. Whether you opt for a classic or an exotic leather style, it’s a staple for life.