How The Birkin Bag Became So Iconic

Hilary Duff with a Birkin bag

How The Birkin Bag Became So Iconic

In modern society, the Birkin Bag has become a symbol of status. Anyone who is anyone is carrying this stylish Hermès bag. They are so exclusive and iconic that many people signed up for a waiting list in order to purchase one. That is on top of the multi thousand dollar price tag. How did the Birkin bag become the epitome of luxury? With its namesake’s recent passing, now is the time to take a look.

Beginning of Birkin

Jane Birkin with her old straw bag
Photo from Madison Avenue Couture

The coveted bag’s origins started on an airplane with French actress and singer Jane Birkin. When she was putting her straw bag in the overhead compartment, everything fell out. Her purse was just not able to hold everything in. Coincidentally, and perhaps serendipitously, Birkin’s seat was next to Jean-Louis Dumas, chief executive at Hermès. Dumas saw this incident and decided to create a fine leather bag that could hold everything necessary. He then named that purse after this incident. Thus, in 1984, the Birkin bag was born.

The Birkin Style

Two Birkin bags
Photo from CNN

The bag is not just one style. As is the case for many trends, there is a variety when it comes to the Birkin Bag. The basic silhouette is the same for each purse, with its large size, rectangle shape, straps on top, and the simple handle. However, everyone can have their Birkin with a bit of flair. The purses come in almost every bold color of the rainbow. They also come in many different hides, such as leather, crocodile, and more. There are also many sizes for everyone on the go. The Birkin bag can be instantly recognizable, but there are still little touches that make each one unique.

The Exclusivity

Kim Kardashian with a Birkin Bag
Photo from The Hollywood Reporter

There used to be a time where people had to sign up for a multi-year waitlist to get a Birkin bag, due to how exclusive, scarce and special the bags were. While the waitlist is no longer in practice, the exclusivity still remains. They still cost upwards of thousands of dollars, often over ten thousand dollars. Buyers have to go to the boutique to buy the purse, as opposed to simply buying online. While some resellers have been getting the bags to other people, Birkins are still synonymous with high-class. It has become a bag reserved for the elite. The Birkin bag has been used by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, and Jennifer Lopez. It has been on tv shows like Sex and the City and Gossip Girl. The Birkin bag has a reputation unlike any other bag.

The Legacy

Jane Birkin died in Paris on July 16, 2023, of yet to be determined causes. Her legacy is more than the purse. She was an accomplished singer, actress, and style icon in her own right. However, it makes one wonder what would happen if she happened to take a different flight that fateful day. The Birkin bag has become an essential part of the Hermès brand. Styles come and go, but this purse has lasted a long time.

Featured Image from PurseBlog

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