The History of the Hermès Birkin

Let’s face it, we’re all a little bit obsessed with the Hermès Birkin handbag and with good reason. It has a gorgeous and timeless style, it goes with every conceivable outfit and it’s a true designer staple. There’s also the fact that it has a fabulous history in line with its luxe aesthetic, so let’s take a trip down fashion’s memory lane to celebrate key moments in the history of the Hermès Birkin…


1983… where it all began


You might already know that the bag was named for Hollywood icon Jane Birkin, but it all began high in the sky when the actress took a seat beside Jean-Louis Dumas, chief executive of Hermès, on a flight from Paris to London. She told him about her troubles finding a travel bag that was both beautiful and practical with big pockets and enough space for her toddler’s bottles, and she ended up doodling her specifications on a sick bag. She spoke, and he listened. 


1984… the first Birkin is born


The 40-cm-large leather holdall featured an instantly iconic design including a swivel clasp and polished plaque. It was both classic Hermès with its saddle stitching and a groundbreaking design with a sporty luxe feel and four studs on the base as well as the now-iconic lock and key to keep everything inside it secure.


Early 1990s… Cult status is sealed


The Birkin hits the big time right on track with the It bag trend. Two new sizes are introduced – 30 and 35 centimetres - with mini and travel sizes to follow later down the line.


2001… Sex appeal


HBO aired an episode of Sex in the City where Samantha tries everything in her power to skip a five-year waiting list to get a Birkin bag. As a result, the Birkin’s waiting list tripled in length. Fashion icon Victoria Beckham is regularly seen out and about with her Birkin bags with rumours that she owns 100 Birkins at a total cost of £1.5m.


June 2018… Breaking records


Dubbed the rarest bag in the world, the Himalayan Birkin featuring a white gold, diamond-encrusted 18-karat gold lock sold for £162,500 at Christie’s London. This makes it the most expensive handbag ever in a European auction.

Since its inception, the Birkin bag has stayed almost entirely faithful to its original design, reflecting its classic and coveted status. While variations now take in a range of skins, colours and sizes including printed leather, and with some Birkin models featuring hardware studded with precious metals and diamonds, its original sturdy design remains one of the most sought-after in the world.


If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a Hermès Birkin, then make sure to take the very best care of it! We have recently created a range of Birkin hardware protectors specifically customised to shield your bag from damage and keep it looking as good as new. Our handbag hardware protectors are of the very highest quality with more than 1000 5-star customer reviews. After all, it’s only the best for your Hermès Birkin.

Shop Hermès protectors here



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