advertisement

Jane Birkin - The inspiration behind world's most expensive handbag

If you want to get your hands on a Birkin bag, you have to be able to fly, own a unicorn stable, read people’s minds, teleport, walk on water and like Donald Trump.

Just kidding, but the conditions for acquiring a Birkin is somewhat similarly difficult. The Birkin bag is considered to be one of the most luxurious and expensive handbags in the world. It’s made with the most prestigious craftsmanship and materials. This means that the price is sky high, and it is.

Price & Value

Prices for this bag starts from 12,000$ and up. A study showed that a single Birkin bag is a far better investment choice than gold. Birkin bags increased in value by staggering 14% each year.

The Birkin bag became the most expensive handbag ever to auction in history. An anonymous buyer from Hong Kong bid the bag for a 300,168$ and won. The bag must have been embroidered with diamonds!

Is it in human nature for people to have things that they can’t have? Who knows.

A picture of an orange Birkin bag. — by unknown
A picture of an orange Birkin bag. — by unknown

Everyone wants the Birkin. Celebrities, royalties, prestigious socialites and the common people. Because of a limited number of the bags, people would have to apply to be on a waiting list to purchase the bag. These waiting lists can spread up to 5 years. Of course, not everyone can get on the waiting list. So, getting this handbag ain’t no walk in the park. Kris Jenner is such a big fan of the Birkin, she has her a separate closet filled with just that, Birkin Bags.

Jane Birkin - A Designer's Muse

The inspiration behind this amazing handbag is, of course, a woman. A woman by the name of Jane Birkin. Jane Birkin is a French-English model, actress, singer, and songwriter. Her 10-year relationship with Serge Gainsbourg put her on the celebrity map. They met on the set of making the movie ‘Slong’. They hit it off in an instant. They were the celebrity ‘it’ couple of their generation.

Besides her infamous relationship, Jane was the generation’s style icon. She served the French right with her own laid-back bohemian look.

Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg having lunch. — by unknown
Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg having lunch. — by unknown

Hermes’ creative director at that time was inspired by her aura, he created a special line of handbags called ‘The Birkin Bag’. The legend behind that revolutionary moment was when the two met on an airplane. Jane spilled the contents of her straw bag in a plane and her stuff was spread everywhere. When Jean-Louis Dumas (the late creative director of Hermes) saw Jane struggling, came up with an idea of creating a big handbag that was both luxurious, practical and jet-set friendly.

Birth of the 'Birkin'

The idea behind ‘The Birkin bag’ was to help successful and busy women that need help when they travel, go to restaurants, shop etc. The bag would be ergonomically designed to fit up to 30 pieces of jewelry, technology, makeup and even baby bottles.

Hermes was by then known as a company that made amazing accessories such as scarves, which are very much popular today. Nevertheless, the Birkin bag made the company what it is today – a multimillion fashion brand.

The bag didn’t really become popular up until the late 90’s. The first initial bag was issued in 1989. During the 80’s, Chanel was a leader in luxury bags and Hermes couldn’t really compete until a decade later.

'Sex & The City'

A major influence in bringing light of the bag was an episode of ‘Sex and The City’. Samantha Jones wanted the bag so much, but she had to go on a five-year waiting list. Of course, our Sammy waits for nothing and no ONE. Especially, not for a bag. So, she uses one of her famous connections to get her hands on the bag. After the episode aired, the Birkin was even harder to get. The actual waiting list TRIPLED. Sales also skyrocketed and the Birkin was the new hottest thing.

A scene from 'Sex & The City'. — by unknown
A scene from 'Sex & The City'. — by unknown

Even today, this bag remains a hit despite every trend. The Birkin is worn by every major celebrity like the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, Kate Moss, Posh Spice etc. Kim even said that Hermes gave her a custom Birkin with a design her daughter hand painted.

This goes to show that everything happens for a reason. If Jane Birkin didn’t have trouble with her handbag, didn’t had to go traveling, didn’t had to catch a plane, wasn’t such a natural beauty, the Birkin bag wouldn’t exist today. The Birkin is regarded to be one of the most sought after and luxurious piece of fashion item in history and goes stronger every day.

This article was originally published on fashion