The Birkin bag is a tote bag introduced in 1984 by French luxury goods maker Hermès. Birkin bags are handmade from leather and are named after the English-French actress and singer Jane Birkin.
The bag quickly became a symbol of wealth and exclusivity due to its high price and assumed long waiting lists. Birkins are a popular item with handbag collectors, and were once seen as the rarest handbag in the world. The bag’s value is a matter of its intentionally high price, which has led to its being described as a Veblen good. In 2020, prices started at US$11,000 for a regular leather bag.
Costs can vary widely according to the type of leather, if exotic skins are used, and if precious metals and jewels are part of the bag. A bag made of exotic skin and diamond was sold at auction by Christie’s in Hong Kong for a record price of US$380,000 (HK$2.94 million) in May 2017. Birkins are distributed to Hermès boutiques on unpredictable schedules and in limited quantities, which creates artificial scarcity and exclusivity; however, the bags have also flooded the upscale resale market and are frequently sold in second-hand boutiques (resellers) and through social media.
The Birkin bag is a status symbol for many people, and it is often seen as a sign of wealth and success. The bag is also a popular choice for celebrities, and it has been seen on the arms of stars such as Kim Kardashian, Victoria Beckham, and Rihanna.
The Birkin bag is a highly sought-after item, and it can be difficult to get your hands on one. If you are lucky enough to own a Birkin bag, you can expect to pay a high price for it. However, the bag is also a valuable investment, and its value is likely to increase over time.