Fashion Terms to Know: The Birkin Bag

The iconic black crocodile Birkin bag by Hermès

The Birkin bag by Hermès is one of the most iconic bags in the world.  Everyone in the fashion world knows a Birkin when they see one; It's like spotting a Lamborghini amongst a sea of Hondas.  So what is it that makes the Birkin bag stand out from the rest?
Well first, every Birkin is handmade and is worth from $9,000 to $150,000.  Second, the bag is not always on sale.  Actually, when they are shipped out to Hermès boutiques, they are purposely shipped at random times so that their shipment dates can't be tracked by us crazy shoppers.
 Kelly Osborne and her classic black Birkin
But what's so desirable about the Birkin?  Well, besides the fact that a black Birkin bag can go with virtually every outfit, it was named after actress Jane Birkin.  While on a flight in 1981, Jane sat next to chairman of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas.  She went to pull out her oh so chic Hermès datebook from her straw purse, only to have the purse topple over, causing its contents to spill.  Jane quickly picked up everything, complaining to Dumas that she couldn't find a leather bag that she liked and had to settle for a straw one without pockets.  So Dumas created the Birkin bag for Jane in 1984.  Ironically enough, Jane used the bag for a bit, but then decided she didn't like it.  But it was too late.  The Birkin bag has caught on and has been an iconic bag ever since.
For years, it has been rumored that there was a two year waiting list, but this rumor was actually fabricated by Hermès.   In order to get a Birkin Bag, you need to buy a lot of Hermès products from a Hermès boutique and either the sales associate would offer you the bag, or you could ask for the bag as if it was another thing to buy on your list. 
Victoria Bekham with a white Birkin Bag.  Bekam has a collection of over 100 Birkins

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