A luxurious Hermès handbag can speak volumes about its owner, and over the years we’ve witnessed the collectors of these sought-after bags gravitate toward different models, each of which has a distinctive personality of their own. Here, Christie’s Handbags Specialist Caitlin Donovan profiles five different types of handbag collectors, and recommends the perfect Hermès bag for each from Christie’s Handbag Shop.
The Classic Collector
Hermès 35cm Feu Clemence Leather Birkin Bag. USD 18,000. Browse and buy this and other exceptional Hermès handbags in Christie’s Handbag Shop.
With a keen eye for design and an appreciation for simplicity, The Classic Collector steers clear of the season’s highly-marketed ‘it bag’ and instead gravitates to the most iconic Hermès accessory of them all, the legendary Birkin bag.
The Birkin was conceived in 1981, when the CEO of Hermès, Jean Louis-Dumas, was seated next to Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London. Watching the actress struggle with her straw travel bag and complaining about the lack of acceptable large totes for women, the idea for the Birkin bag was born.
Sketched and conceptualized on that very flight, the first Birkin left the factory three years later in 1984. Like its namesake, the Hermès Birkin is synonymous with style. Crafted by highly-trained craftsmen in the famous Hermès métiers in France, the timeless Birkin is the most prized accessory of classic handbag collectors the world over.
Hermès, 2014, An Orange H Swift Leather Constance Elan Bag. USD 14,500. Browse and buy this and other exceptional Hermès handbags in Christie’s Handbag Shop.
Devoted to fashion, The Fashionista turns heads with her distinctive personal style. Straying from trends or fads, she appreciates modern design, and assembles her daily wardrobe in a distinctive manner altogether her own.
The Hermès Constance bag is said to have left the factory on the same day in 1959 that Hermès designer Catherine Chaillet’s fifth child was born, taking the name of the designer’s newborn child.
Coveted and highly collectible, the Constance is different in style and function from other iconic handbag styles that Hermès is best known for. Youthful in appearance, the Constance bag is designed to be worn cross-body or over the shoulder, making it a creation for the modern woman on the go. While streamlined in shape, the prominent H clasp, crafted of six individual pieces of hardware, adds an element of design and drama. Famous fans of the Constance include Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Anna Dello Russo and Diane Kruger — arguably three of the most famous fashionistas of our time.
Hermès Graphite Porosus Crocodile Constance Elan Bag. USD 45,000. Browse and buy this and other exceptional Hermès handbags in Christie’s Handbag Shop.
There is something dramatic about an exotic skin bag, and The Investor is a collector who understands that there’s both beauty and value in indulging in a sought-after exotic skin Hermès handbag. The investment potential in Hermès bags has recently been commented on in the press, and has even been likened to investing in gold. For this collector, there’s no bag that makes a greater statement than an exotic Hermès handbag.
Hermès bags are produced in a variety of exotic skins, most commonly crocodile, alligator, ostrich and lizard. A Hermès craftsman may be required to train for up to five years before being entrusted with the creation of an exotic skin bag, famously produced by a single craftsman from start to finish.
The finest of the exotic skins that Hermès uses in the production of their handbags is porosus crocodile, known for its smaller symmetrical scales. The skin is buffed with an agate stone to reach its lustrous shiny finish. When kept by a collector in ‘Like New’ condition, it is not uncommon to see a return of double one’s original investment for an exotic Hermès bag.
Hermès, 2013, A Special Order Horseshoe 30cm Rouge VIF, Rose Tyrien & Orange H Chevre Leather Birkin Bag. USD 29,750. Browse and buy this and other exceptional Hermès handbags in Christie’s Handbag Shop.
The Connoisseur collector has a discerning eye for the impeccable craftsmanship, composition and design that Hermès is best known for. With an appreciation for the minute details, The Connoisseur gravitates toward the special, the limited edition, the unusual, and — most impressively — the one of a kind bag, to add to her often expansive collection.
The Horseshoe Birkin is a one of a kind creation, custom ordered and created for a top client of Hermès. Extraordinarily rare and desirable, there is no greater status symbol. Often found in creative multi-colour combinations and donned with exceptionally rare hardware finishes, the beauty of a Horsehoe Birkin is in the details.
Hermès 26cm Terre Cuite Ostrich Lindy Bag. USD 36,000. Browse and buy this and other exceptional Hermès handbags in Christie’s Handbag Shop.
While Hermès may be best known for its iconic collectible bags such as the Birkin, Kelly and Constance, The Individualist collector appreciates the maker’s lesser-known models. This collector appreciates the unusual and diverse, in both style and medium.
The Lindy bag is the ultimate find for the Hermès collector who values the brand’s high standards of craftsmanship and design, but wishes to carry an accessory that is understated and not instantly recognizable. The Individualist collector gravitates toward the lesser-known models, like the Lindy, in exotic mediums and colorways. The exotic Lindy exemplifies Hermès’ standards of functionality and attention to detail, while remaining both subtle and chic.
No matter what type of handbag collector you are, visit Christie’s Handbag Shop to find a wide assortment of sought-after luxury handbags. As always, receive complimentary shipping and pay no additional commission fees on all purchases from the Shop.