(Forbes) For all the stories of waiting lists and the $10,000 price tag, is the Hermes Birkin still the mother lode of handbags when every
If Birkins are so expensive and so hard to get, then why do so many women—and men—carry them? Maybe they aren’t all that special if everyone has them?
In my quest to find all sorts of information about the Birkin, I talked to a bag blogger, a socialite and a fashion insider on the myth, and shall I dare say it, the decline of the Birkin. I also visited Milan Station in Central, Hong Kong, a second hand luxury bag shop that now almost exclusively deals in brand new Birkins and Kellys. (See their shop windows in the accompanying photographs).
Masako Kumakura, a global communications practitioner who recently moved to China, believes that the Birkin has become a bit démodé especially among the stylish set. “Too many people who are not all that fashionable have it. And they carry it everywhere. In Asia, I have seen women carry their big Birkins to dinner parties. So not chic,” she said.
“Since almost everybody has a Birkin bag, more and more ladies are opting for bags made from exotic skins now, not necessarily Birkins,” shared socialite and Singapore PR maven Olga Iserlis.
Popular blogger Bagaholicboy who hails from Singapore had this to say: “Truth be told, I’m honestly still puzzled why the Birkin is still so coveted. Yes, it still seems to be the most coveted bag in Singapore and around the region, and every month I get at least 10 new snapshots of Birkins from their proud owners from South East Asia.”
But he also points out that to a lot of people, the fact that the Birkin is a handbag is beside the point. It represents success, achievement and status. It shows that the wearer is a card-carrying member of the $10,000 handbag club. “It is still the ultimate status symbol, for first-timers who save for months on end to buy their first very Birkin to those seasoned collectors who must have every new color or size in their wardrobe. Because the Birkin is more than just a bag, it’s a lifestyle.”