The Birkin bag is a handbag by Hermès, handmade in leather and named after actress and singer Jane Birkin. In 1981, Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas was seated next to Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London. She had just placed her straw bag in the overhead compartment of her seat, but the contents fell to the deck, leaving her to scramble to replace the contents. Birkin explained to Dumas that it had been difficult to find a leather weekend bag she liked. In 1984, he created a black supple leather bag for her, based on an 1892 design. She used the bag for herself then later changed her mind because she was carrying too many things in it: “What’s the use of having a second one?” she laughs. “You only need one and that busts your arm; they’re bloody heavy. I’m going to have to have an operation for tendonitis in the shoulder.” Nevertheless, the bag has since become an icon.
Although the Birkin bag is free of logos, it is one of the most recognized bags in the fashion industry and by the public. It is highly coveted and, for several years, was reputed for having a waiting list of up to 6 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. In April 2010, Hermès announced that the waiting list would no longer exist, implying that it is potentially available to all.
The bag is a symbol of wealth due to its high price exclusivity and usage by celebrities. Price ranges from $7,400 to $150,000. Maybe I could save up and purchase one of the cheaper varieties, but I would rather donate the $$ to someone in need of a roof over their head. I prefer this, more delicious version with delightful almond chiffon cake and almond cardomom mousse filling, Très dèlicieux.