The Story Behind The Bag: Hermès Kelly & Hermès Birkin

By Kikemonk
January 15, 2021

The internet lost it when rapper Offset gifted his 2-year-old daughter Kulture with an $8,000 Birkin handbag for her second birthday. 
Cardi B, the Kardashians, and the Jenners are all avid lovers of the Hermès Birkin.
Other celebrities like Drake have been reported to be purchasing Birkins as collection items that they will be gifting to their future partners or wives. 
Prior to the creation of the Birkin, the Hermès Kelly was recognized by several celebrities and fashion icons like Grace Kelly to be the ‘dream bag’ for many women across the world. 
Some of the highest priced luxury handbags in the world, ranging anywhere from $100,000 to over a million dollars, are from Hermès.
But what is the history behind these luxury handbags and what makes them so unique and prestigious? 
From Hermès Bugatti’ to ‘Hermès Kelly’

Before the emergence of the world-renowned Hermès Birkin, there was the Hermès Kelly.

Émile-Maurice Hermès and Ettore Bugatti originally created this famous handbag in 1923, and it was first named the ‘Bugatti.’ 

However, after the Monégasque princess and actress Grace Kelly was photographed in 1956 using the bag to shield her pregnant belly from the media, the public started referring to the ‘Bugatti’ as the ‘Kelly’ – which Hermès later adapted and officially renamed the bag in 1977. Grace Kelly was seen as a fashion icon at the time, and still is remembered today as a style setter, and it’s safe to say, she brought this handbag a lot of attention and popularity. 

Overtime, the value of the Kelly has increased drastically, at an average entry level price of $10,000, compared to $1,000 in the 1950s. It’s a timeless classic, that can be passed down to generations, with several bag treatment and spa options available.
The ‘Hermès Birkin’ Has Now Entered The Chat

After the launch and success of the Kelly. Hermès went on to create their next big ‘it’ bag – the Birkin. 

Jane crossed paths with Jean-Louis Dumas, a Hermès executive, on a flight where she was complaining about how difficult it was to find a luxury handbag that was both fashionable yet still practical and able to carry all her essential items .
After this interaction, Jean-Louis began creating the ‘Birkin’ – a luxury handbag that was both prestigious, versatile, and spacious. 
Today, the starting price of a Birkin can begin as low as $8,000 and can go upwards to the six/seven figure price range. 

How Can You Purhase A Hermès Handbag?

Hermès has one of the most exclusive and limited shopping experiences for their famous handbags. 

It isn’t as simple as walking into a store and walking out with a bag in hand 30 minutes later.
Hermès clients must build up their brand profiles by purchasing other Hermès  items to have their name put on a waiting list. Sometimes, clients are offered their first handbag after being on the list for a few months to a year, but that is never a guarantee, especially when looking for a rare or limited-edition bag. 
This is why one the most convenient and cost-effective methods to purchase a Hermès handbag is through the pre-loved or pre-owned market. There is a higher selection of color choices, leather materials, and limited-edition handbags in good, excellent or like-new condition. Additionally, there is no waiting list, and you are able to save several thousand dollars off the retail price of the bag. 

Rent Our Hermès Collection

We frequently have many Kellys and Birkins in stock, along with other Hermès items – rent our collection of Hermès pieces today.