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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

the Hermes Birkin bag that costs a fortune !!!!

Have not  heard this expression ‘Dopp kit’ – a small toilet bag, made of leather, vinyl, or cloth, that is used for storing men's grooming tools for travel. Common items kept in a Dopp kit are deodorant, a razor, shaving cream, comb, shampoo, nail clippers, scissors, toothbrush, toothpaste, and cologne. The name derives from early 20th century leather craftsman Charles Doppelt, a Jewish immigrant to the United States who invented his toiletry case in 1919.  ‘Vanity bags’ are more popular – for sure we know that the branded ones are costly [but then how much is costly ? – can you hazard a guess ??] ~don’t say the one containing wads of currency inside ! ~ and how much would you pay for this bag ??? [on the highside !]

In the 1950s, women became obsessed with carrying a "good" handbag, which was defined as a sophisticated, well-designed leather handbag made of black calf, crocodile, or alligator. An affordable alligator handbag, with a "griffe" or designer label, could give elegance and class to a woman who didn't have the money for a couture jacket or evening gown.

Both Alligators and Crocodiles are large reptiles of crocodilian species. They are quite alike, but also have some differences in habitat and appearance. Alligators live in fresh water in subtropical climate, and they have rounded snouts. Crocodiles live in salt water in tropical climate, and have pointed snouts. Without getting into their  physiological features -  strong and pliable, the skins of both species have been used for making luxury accessories worldwide for over a century, priced similarly and often used interchangeably.   Crocodilian leather is perhaps the most popular natural material for vintage purses and handbags.  Perhaps under the common nomenclature it would encompass  crocodiles, alligators, gariyals, and caiman.

Hidesign is a popular brand here.  Have heard of names such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes and Prada who are luxury brand of handbags and other accessories.  The Birkin bag is a handbag by Hermès, handmade in leather and named after actress and singer Jane Birkin. The bag is a symbol of wealth due to its high price and usage by celebrities.  Costs escalate according to the type of materials. The bags are distributed to Hermès boutiques on unpredictable schedules and in limited quantities, creating scarcity and exclusivity.

Prestigious luggage and accessories firm Hermés, who count many of the world's wealthiest women as fans, is known for luxury leather accessories. By some accounts, in 1981,  Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas  travelled seated  next to Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London; and in 1984, he created a black supple leather bag for her.  Birkin bags are sold in a range of sizes. Each one may be made to order with different customer-chosen hides, color, and hardware fixtures. There are other individual options, such as diamond-encrusting. Renowned for its immaculate finish and top quality materials, Hermès claims never to use any assembly lines with one craftsperson making a single handbag at a time, hand-stitching individual pieces to create the finished product.

Now comes the news on the costliest of them all – a  rare Hermès bag setting a new record for the most expensive handbag ever sold at auction – going for HK$1.72m (£146,000) (Rs.1.42 crores approx).  MailOnline reports that the  fuchsia diamond-encrusted crocodile skin 2014 Birkin was sold to an anonymous phone bidder at Christie’s international handbags and accessoriesauction in Hong Kong.  The sale price was above the highest estimate at HK$1.5m (£127,000), with the final cost including buyer’s commission.

The previous record for the most expensive handbag sold at auction stood at $218,000 (£144,000), for a gold and diamond piece once owned by Elizabeth Taylor, in 2011. A Hermès Birkin sold at $203,150 (£133,000) in a heritage auction the same year.  So, for now, a bright pink designer handbag has become the most expensive in the world after it sold for £150,000 at auction. The luxury crocodile skin Hermes Birkin bag, in fuchsia, features 18 karat gold detailing encrusted in real diamonds.

It was picked up by a mystery buyer at auction where the final hammer went down at 1.72 million Hong Kong dollars (£150,000).  The high-end bag has smashed the previous world record set for the world's most expensive designer handbag.

Now Christie's auction house said they have a second Birkin Bag in black which is scheduled to go on the block later in the same auction may sell for even more than the latest record price.  The Birkin Bag is famous for having a price tag in the thousands of dollars and a years-long waiting list. With the same amount of money that the handbag costs, you could splash out on an Aston Martin DB9 Volante

Whilst they don't own the exact same bag, Kim Kardashian,  and Heidi Klum, are both the proud owners of pink Hermes Birkin bags.  Celebrity fans include Victoria Beckham  who reportedly owns  as many as 100 bags,  believed to be worth £1.5million. The actress Jane Birkin, is seen as a fashion classic. It follows in the footsteps of the 1935 Kelly bag - named after Princess Grace of Monaco because of her many appearances with it. The bag was one of more than 300 that Christie's put on the block in Hong Kong, which has emerged as a global auction centre thanks to wealthy mainland Chinese.

It is a different World out there !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

2nd June 2015.

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