What Is A Birkin Bag?

    Trends come and go but the Birkin bag isn’t going anywhere. The epitome of luxury, the Hermès Birkin bag is famously the world’s most expensive style of handbag. You’ve certainly heard of the Birkin bag, but what do you know about it?

    What Is A Birkin Bag?


    Whether you love them or don’t quite get the hype, Birkin bags are not only the most talked about luxury accessory, but the hardest to get a hold of. Ingrained in popular culture, the Birkin is prominent in movies and TV, as well as the music industry.  From Beyoncé claiming hers are in storage, while Drake is collecting them for his future wife, let’s talk all things Birkin bags.

    The History Of The Birkin Bag

    Without Hermès, there is no Birkin bag. Thierry Hermès founded his namesake company in Paris in 1837, becoming known as one of the best leather goods producers in the equestrian industry. In 1880, the Hermès flagship store was relocated to 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, which is where it still stands today. Hermès expanded its range into the world of golf accessories in 1918, which extended into handbags, jewelry, scarves, and all of the accessories the luxury brand still sells today.

    The Birkin’s story begins over the English Channel in 1984. On an Air France flight, the contents of Jane Birkin’s wicker bag fell out from the overhead compartment. By chance, Birkin had been sat next to Jean-Louis Dumas, the executive chairman of Hermès. The two got talking about Birkin’s ideal bag, which would contain pockets. This was when Jane Birkin sketched the first iteration of what would become the Birkin bag, which Hermès went on to produce.

    The Birkin bag is notoriously hard to buy firsthand, which demonstrates the demand is much higher than the numbers produced. This makes it a particularly popular style to purchase on the resale market.

    The Birkin Bag’s Best Pop Culture Moments

    Sex & The City

    In the episode ‘Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda’, Samantha is put on a five-year waiting list for the Birkin bag, which is when she decides to falsely claim the bag is for actress Lucy Liu.

    Kate Moss

    There are an infinite amount of iconic photos of the British model, with one being the time she was photographed carrying her baby while carrying a Birkin, which was filled with diapers.

    Kim Kardashian

    The members of the Kardashian family are renowned for their love of Birkins. Kanye West gifted Kim Kardashian a $40,000 Birkin bag, which the artist George Condo had painted on.

    The Best Birkin Bags

    Not all Birkin bags are created equal, from size to material to style differences. The different leathers used can alter the way that the Birkin sits, from a sturdier appearance to a softer construction. 

    Birkin bags

    What Are The Different Types Of Birkin Leathers?

    The Hermès Birkin leather list is long, however these are some of the most popular and best-known ones:

    1. Togo
    2. Epsom
    3. Clémence
    4. Ostrich 
    5. Crocodile

    1. Togo

    Made from calfskin, the Togo is made from lightweight leather with a sturdy construction. It has a lightly pebbled facade for a slightly textured look. The Togo bags are more likely to feature internal rather than external stitching.

    2. Epsom

    Perhaps one of the lower maintenance options, the Epsom leather is printed with embossing for a textured finish. This makes the bag scratch-resistant and the easiest to wipe clean. It also maintains its silhouette easily thanks to its sturdy shape.

    3. Clémence

    One of the original materials for the Birkin, the Clémence is made from bovine leather and has been an option since the 1980s. A heavier type of leather, it offers durability without looking overly structured.

    4. Ostrich

    Ostrich leather has a distinctive look and that is thanks to the porous nature of the skin, which creates a mix of tones. This skin is particularly susceptible to changes due to its environment, in particular sunlight.

    5. Crocodile

    Within the crocodile range of Birkin bags, there are still variations. Some of these skins are matte, whereas others have a glossy finish. Naturally, the crocodile leathers from Hermès have a crocodile-skin embossed finish. The larger-scale patterns tend to be more desirable than the more compact ones.

    What Are The Birkin Sizes?

    The classic Birkin bag comes in four different sizes: 25, 30, 35, and 40. The number reflects the width of the bag in centimeters. The original Birkin bag was in a size 35. Sizes 25 and 30 would generally be considered as the styles best suited to everyday use. As of 2022, the 25 is the most popular Birkin size but 35's are looking increasingly popular in 2022/2023.

    Birkin bags

    How Much Is A Birkin Bag?

    A Birkin bag at retail can cost anywhere from around $10,000 to well over a six-figure sum. This depends on the size of the bag and which leather it has been crafted from. At resale, you can expect to pay within a similar price range, with prices starting at around $8,500.

    Is A Birkin Bag Worth It?

    In short, it depends. If you are looking to purchase a Birkin bag, one of the best tips is to make sure you retain the packaging, the receipt, and any other proof of authenticity. Another tip is to make sure you keep your bag in excellent condition, this will ensure the price does not depreciate. Over the years, the price of Birkins has increased and they are often sold for more at resale than at retail due to how difficult they are to purchase first-hand in a store.

    However, this is not to say that if you buy a Birkin that you shouldn’t be taking it out. Yet, as one of the priciest bags on the market, you will want to make sure you use it as an investment by keeping it in the best possible condition should you want to sell it in the future.

    Where To Buy A Birkin Bag

    The process for buying a Birkin bag can be an extremely lengthy one, with no guarantee. As you may know, it is not as simple as walking into an Hermès store and walking out with a Birkin. For many, the opportunity to purchase a Birkin straight from Hermès is not one that will materialize. However, there are other ways to get your hands on this coveted bag. The resale market is your best bet in this instance. 

    myGemma has an extensive range of Birkin bags, from the smaller 25 size to the 40. Whether you’ve got your eye on a classic black Birkin bag or a unique multicolor alternative, myGemma’s collection is regularly updated so you can find the Birkin bag of your dreams. Each bag is expertly authenticated, so you can rest assured it is a genuine Hermès Birkin bag.

    How To Sell A Birkin Bag

    If on the other hand, you have a Birkin bag that you no longer wear, now is the time to begin the selling process. The popularity of Birkin bags is not declining and so you can get the very best price for your bag on the resale market. The process with myGemma is simple, fast, and secure. Our experts will ensure you get the very best price for your bag and the entire selling process can take as little as 24 hours. Get in touch today to get a price quote from our experts.

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