(By: Jorge Gonzalez S, founder of FashionMall.online)
For decades Hermès, the French luxury leather goods company, was known as a manufacturer of exquisite saddles and luggage and they came up with a bag made famous by Grace Kelly (she wore it in an Alfred Hitchock movie called “To catch a thief” and kept it for personal use and was often photographed wering it) and later a bag inspired by famous actresss Jane Birkin (the bag that became the now iconic “Birkin” bag).
Both bags made Hermès a very well know name among the elites all over the world but nothing special, just one more luxury name. They were made in very limited numbers and known for their impeccable craftsmanship and high quality of materials and due to the small numbers produced they had a waiting list. Then came “Sex and the city” the popular TV show chronicling the lives of a group of hip and chic women from New York, a show that ran from 1998 to 2004, and during that time it made some fashion names ultra famous and ultra coveted. Among them the Hermès Birkin bag. With a simple comment from the character “Samantha” (played by actress Kim Cattrall), where she was asked about the high price and waiting list for a simple bag and she replied in an emphatic way, “it is not a bag it’s a Birkin!”, and then the legend began.
That simple comment brought that bag from an exclusive status to an iconic and legendary level. After that, waiting lists and demand for the bag became much bigger, and the popularity of Hermès extended to many of their other products.
Just a decade after that, the Hermès Birkin bag and Hermès Kelly bag , have become the “it” items for women wanting to show they have arrived in life, they have achieved a level of success only a few have.
Pretty much any fashion influencer in social media at some point will show in their pictures one or several of such bags.
For a rich and famous woman having a Birkin or a Kelly bag has become a must. And in more extreme cases, the ultra wealthy will have several of them or even collections of them.
In brief, those two bags have become the easiest and fastest way for a woman to show her social and economic status.
Thinking of a handbag costing $20,000 or more decades ago was unthinkable, but today, with the Kelly and the Birkin, such prices have become the price of admission to be in a list of the elite in fashion. And women all over the world have them at the top of their wish list as that item they want to have one day.