Most ordinary housewives can well-do without a Birkin bag, but aside from Adrienne Maloof & Gretchen Rossi who most likely sport their own handbags these days, most of the Real Housewives carry a variety of Birkins depending on the outfit they’re wearing.
The Birkin bag, made by Hermes, is pricey. Its prices range from £6,000 to £100,000 ($9,000 to $150,000). Costs escalate according to the type of materials.
- The bag also has a variety of hides such as calf leather, ostrich, crocodile, and lizard. One of the most expensive is saltwater crocodile skin. Bags with smaller scales cost more than those with larger scales. The bag is lined with goat-skin. The color of the interior matches the exterior. Prices for the Birkin bag depend on the color, hardware fixtures, and skin.
- Sizes are 25, 30, 35, and 40 centimeters. The 50- and 55-centimeter bags are meant for travelling. It also comes in a variety of colors such as pink, red, brown, baby blue, navy blue, olive green, orange, white, black, and golden tan.
- The bag has a lock and keys. The keys are enclosed in a leather lanyard known as a clochette, carried by looping through a handle. The bag is locked by closing the top flaps over buckle loops, wrapping the buckle straps, or closing the lock on the front hardware. Locks and keys are number-coded. Earlier locks only bore one number on the bottom of the lock. In more recent years, Hermès has added a second number under the Hermes stamp of the lock. These numbers for locks can be the same for hundreds of locks as they are batch numbers in which the locks were made.
- The metallic hardware (the lock, keys, buckle hardware, and base studs) are plated with gold or palladium to prevent tarnishing. Hardware is updated regularly to maintain the top quality available in the industry at time of production. The metal lock may be covered with leather as a custom option.Diamonds are another custom addition.
- Hermès offers a “spa treatment” – a reconditioning for overly used bags.
- A “Shooting Star” Birkin has a stamp shaped like a shooting star adjacent to the “Hermès, Paris Made in France” stamp; this is in gold or silver to match the hardware and embossing. Rarely, the stamp is blind or colorless, if the bag is made of one or two leathers on which Hermès does not use metallic stamping. Birkins or other Hermès bags can sometimes be made by independent craftsmen for “personal use” once a year. Every bag bears the stamp of the craftsperson who made the bag. These identifications vary widely but are not different for every bag made. More than one craftsman’s stamp on a bag is not uncommon because the stamp is not a serial reference. Fonts and stamping orders may vary depending on the craftsman.
- Visible difference between the Hermes Birkin and Hermès Kelly handbag. The easiest way to identify the difference between the handbags is the handles. The single handle handbag is the Kelly, and the Birkin has two handles.
Although the Birkin bag is free of logos, it is one of the most recognized bags in the circles of the well-heeled.
It is highly coveted and, for several years, was reputed for having a waiting list of up to 36 years – the longest wait for any bag in history. As a result of the strong demand, the Birkin bag has a high reselling value in many countries especially Asia. In April 2010, Hermès announced that the waiting list would no longer exist, implying that it is potentially available to all.
Now you’re a woman in the know.