The story of the iconic Hermès Birkin bag is as fascinating as the bag itself. A chance encounter, a sketch, the style and elegance of Jane Birkin.
The year was 1984. Jane Birkin, a British actress and singer residing in Paris, was on a flight from Paris to London. Seated beside her was Jean-Louis Dumas, the then Executive Chairman of Hermès. During the flight, Birkin’s belongings fell from her bag onto the floor. Seeing her struggle, Dumas suggested she should have a bag with pockets.
Birkin, known for her panache, retorted that she would have one the day Hermès made one with pockets. Dumas revealed his identity, and thus, the idea of the Birkin bag was born.
The Hermès Birkin bag is a symbol of luxury and exclusivity, often considered the most expensive bag in fashion history.
Its value is not only determined by the high-quality materials and craftsmanship but also by its scarcity and the status it confers to its owner.
The Birkin bag is a classic example of a ‘Veblen good’, a term coined by economists to describe goods that see an increase in demand as their prices rise. This is due to their exclusive nature and appeal as a status symbol.