Whether you've got $500 to spend or are ready to go to $50,000-plus, there’s a Hermès bag for you in our Handbags & Accessories sale in New York from 13-22 September. Our specialist Rachel Koffsky picks her favourites
The Muso is a discontinued and rarely-seen Hermès model, perfect for lovers of vintage and contemporary handbags alike. The lightweight, double shoulder-strap design makes it a stylish and functional piece, ideal for the woman on the go. Understated but masterfully crafted, this rare bag in Hermès’ vert olive is perfect for everyday use.
The Evelyne bag has been a favourite with fans of Hermès since its introduction in 1978. Named for the head of the brand’s Equestrian department, Évelyne Bertrand, the bag features a perforated H pattern that is not merely decorative — it was originally a functional feature that allowed for ventilation and drying should one be carrying horse-grooming equipment.
Hermès drew inspiration for the Picotin bag from the feedbags looped over horses’ ears — a nod to the equestrian heritage of Hermès. The Picotin bag is an extremely lightweight model due to its simple design and lack of bulky hardware. Produced in a show-stopping bright green, this bag stands out in the best way.
Hermès is well-known for its sense of humour, and this bag is a lovely example. Playfully inspired by a toolbox, it features a thick canvas strap that makes it supremely utilitarian. The limited-edition colour combination of etoupe and soufre, French for taupe and sulphur, adds an extra element of originality.
This stunning Kelly features hard sides and exterior stitches — the hallmarks of the sellier model. Particularly loved by collectors, the sellier Kelly is aesthetically striking and architectural in design. The bag is made in Hermès’ grain d’H — a highly-durable, stamped and processed leather. The shiny, embossed material was introduced in 2012, and is said to be inspired by adventure.
The Constance bag might be the least-known of the most collectible Hermès models, but it is no less loved. Designed in 1969 by Catherine Chaillet and named after her newborn daughter, this shoulder bag features a prominent, shiny H clasp, crafted from six pieces of palladium. Each bag takes 14 hours to make, with a single craftsman hand-stitching almost 50 individual pieces of leather. This particular bag is created from veau doblis — a lovely, delicate form of suede.
As serious Hermès aficionados are aware, the brand is heavily influenced by its equestrian roots. Everything from the physical construction of bags to the names of the colours it uses draws upon Hermès’ heritage as a harness workshop and saddler. Rouge casaque is a classic Hermès shade, inspired by a jockey’s shirt — called a casaque in French. This classic Birkin is created in the brand’s most popular size, 35cm, in sturdy yet lightweight epsom leather. Complemented by palladium hardware, it is both sporty and chic.
The sellier Kelly bag has been a classic since it originated in the early 20th century. Renamed after Grace Kelly — who allegedly fell in love with the bag after sporting one in To Catch a Thief in 1954 — it has embodied her ladylike style for more than 50 years. The ostrich leather used on this model enhances an aura of elegance in keeping with such a style icon.
For a sportier client with refined taste, the 30 Birkin in alligator leather is an alternative choice of exotic Birkin. The grey-brown gris elephant colour is a subtle neutral, and the matte finish has understated sophistication. At 30cm, the size of this piece makes it perfect for a transition from day to night.
The Hermès crocodile Birkin bag is the jewel in the crown for any handbag collector, a wearable work of art that has inspired a generation of handbag designers. Porosus crocodile is the most desirable material used by Hermès, while the deep cocoan colour is a romantic, dark chocolatey-brown with red undertones that works perfectly with gold hardware. The shiny finish is achieved by buffing an agate stone against the hide to complete the elegant appeal of this stunning piece.