A woman holding a Birkin bag
The History Of Hermès Birkin Bag, Explained
Inspired by a chance meeting almost 40 years ago, the luxurious and elusive Hermès Birkin Bag is the most iconic in global high-end fashion.
Diffused from the Hermès Birkin bag to simply the Birkin, it comes in four classic sizes and limited availability lines of additional styles sold for exclusive periods of time.
A pivotal fashion moment happened in 1984 when two French style icons, the then-CEO of Hermès of Paris, Jean-Louis Dumas, and French actress, Jane Mallory Birkin, were on a plane.
After Birkin's straw bag ripped open and her belongings fell to the floor, she told Dumas what she believed would be the perfect handbag.
Birkin expressed her desire for a purposefully practical bag of perfect sizing, strength of well-made materials, and aesthetic beauty.
Her description inspired Dumas to manifest the first Hermès Birkin just a short while later, and since then, the bags have barely flinched in pattern and manufacturing.
In 1984, the first Birkins were sold for the equivalent of $2,000. Today, that amount may barely cover the sales tax, and some sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction.
Jane Birkin, who recently passed away, indulged in donning her namesake handbag throughout her lifetime. The bags have yet to go out of style nearly 40 years after their inception.