Invest in these Hermès bags for the ultimate handbag wardrobe
“If my house was on fire, this Himalayan Birkin bag is the only bag I would try to save,” said talented Love Marie Payawal Ongpauco. Professionally known as Heart Evangelista, she said this while showing off some of her favorite bags on her YouTube channel in a video, in 2021.
Not only that, the First Lady of Sorsogon also revealed that the bag was an “investment”, as the price, which appears on various websites, is triple the amount she paid when she bought it. In 2016, Time magazine, citing bag huntereven went on to say that a Hermès Birkin bag was a better investment than gold.
That’s why Hermès is one of the most sought-after luxury brands, and its handbags are just as much a status symbol.
History of Hermes
Thierry Hermès created the Hermès brand in 1837, rue Basse-du-Rempart in Paris, in a workshop. The finesse of its work and the endurance of the products earned the brand an award at the 1867 Universal Exhibition.
Thierry’s son, Charles-Émile Hermès, took over in 1880 as he moved the location of the workshop and opened a store selling harnesses and saddles. This made the brand a household name across Europe.
In 1922, Émile Hermès obtained exclusive rights to zippers and pull tabs. He then introduced men’s ready-to-wear, jewelry, watches, ties and sandals.
Émile had four daughters, so according to the traditions of the time, he handed over the reins of the family business to his sons-in-law in 1951, including Robert Dumas. It was under his leadership that the luxury brand took the shape of what we know today. Dumas was the mastermind behind Game of omnibuses and white checkersthe famous silk scarf.
He was also behind the Kelly bag and the anchor chain bracelet.
Robert Dumas’ son Jean-Louis Dumas began running the high-end brand in 1978, and it was under his leadership that the iconic Birkin bags were introduced. In 2005, Pierre-Alexis Dumas took over as artistic director and was replaced by his nephew, Axel Dumas, who is currently the brand’s CEO.
Here are some of the iconic Hermès bags to invest in
“It’s not a bag, it’s a Birkin,” the salesman told Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) when asked about a five-year waiting list for the bag, is one of the archetypal scenes of the famous show sex and the city (1998–2004). And that’s the power of a Birkin, one of the most exclusive Hermès bags.
A coveted luxury handbag, Birkin is the result of a chance encounter between Jean-Louis Dumas and singer-actress Jane Birkin. The two were on a Paris-London flight together, and it was their conversation that led Dumas to design a bag.
The “it girl”, a young mother at the time, complained to the designer that she could not find a bag that could hold everything. This prompted Dumas to come up with a handbag design, on the spot, that was very functional and had a space dedicated to baby bottles.
The coveted bag is a favorite of celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Heart Evangelista, Jennifer Lopez and Drake, who are said to have owned more than one Birkin.
A Hermès store is only stocked with a handful of bags twice a year. Moreover, the style, color and size are never known before. This means that if a person has their eye on a particular size of Birkin in a specific color, they cannot simply walk to the Hermès boutique to purchase it; finding the bag takes time. These bags are not even sold online, on the official Hermès website.
This boosted the resale market for the Birkin. Even though the new bags are not readily available, the pre-loved bags can be purchased online easily. Sometimes even good quality vintage bags are available on these sites.
One of the most iconic handbags created by Robert Dumas is the Hermès Kelly. The trapezoidal handbag for women has two triangular gussets, two side straps, a handle and a cut-out flap. The same bag became the brand’s window to the modern world.
It is said that in the 1950s, Grace Kelly was spotted carrying the bag. The Hollywood superstar, who became Princess of Monaco, was pictured holding the bag to her stomach, in an attempt to hide her baby bump. It was then that the handbag became famous and became as we know it today.
However, before the incident, he was called Bag-of-Dispatches. It’s also a prized possession that adorns the wardrobes of many celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Jennifer Lopez. The bag even made an appearance in the famous K-drama Crash landing on you. Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) wears a not-so-common Kelly backpack in one of the scenes.
Constance is another beloved bag from the brand along with the Kelly and the Birkin. This is a modern, simple and very functional shoulder bag, secured with a simple H clasp. It was designed by Catherine Chaillet in 1967, when she was pregnant with her daughter. Thus, the bag bears the name of his daughter.
This timeless piece is available in four sizes – the classic Constance 24 as well as its mini and micro versions. There is also a rectangular model called Elan.
The Evelyne bag was first produced in 1978 for riders to use while caring for their horses. It is unlined and features wide straps and a bold H perforated on it. These holes have been made to allow air to pass through the bag so that horse care equipment like a comb can easily dry out.
The sports bag is now considered an essential luxury accessory. There are four generations of bags. Generation I lacks the exterior pocket and adjustable strap. Generation II only has the outer pocket. Generation III includes both, making it the most convenient.
The latest is the Sellier Evelyne bag, which has been modified. It has no perforation. However, it still features a printed H in the shape of a diamond. At the moment only Generation III and Sellier Evelyn are in production, and these are available in four sizes – Evelyne 16, Evelyne 29, Evelyne 33 and Evelyne 40.
Strappy Top (HAC)
Strappy top is the first bag ever produced by the brand, and it will not be wrong to say that it is also one of the most stylish Hermès bags. Designed to carry and protect saddles and riding boots, the height and width of this bag are larger than usual. It made life easier for motorcyclists, as it was before the era of the automobile boom.
As well as being practical, the stunning piece also features a touch of suave. The bag that is held in place with straps had no name initially. So it just became Strappy topwhich, when translated into English, means tall (High) and straps (straps). This leather bag is the quintessence of Hermès know-how and saddlery.
It comes in two sizes. Size 40 falls somewhere between a handbag and a travel bag, but size 50 is the ultimate travel bag. Many celebrities, including Travis Scott, Kim Kardashian and Victoria Beckham, have often been spotted wearing a Belted top.
Bolide’s history dates back to 1923, and it was created with globetrotters in mind. This bag had a zip, which was brought back from America by Émile Hermès, and he had a monopoly on it.
The zipper closure of the designer bag made it easy to store in trunks while travelling. Additionally, the zippers give this Hermès bag its distinct round angled shape.
The Bolide bag is available in 5 sizes – Bolide Mini, Bolide 27, Bolide 31, Bolide 35 and Bolide 45, which is the travel size.
Picotine in French refers to the amount of food given to a horse at one time. That’s exactly the inspiration behind this bag – a horse feed bag. This classic bucket bag never goes out of style thanks to its minimalist yet functional design. Realizing that functionality is one of Hermès’ main priorities when it comes to handbags, the Picotin bag allows the user to store everything in it. The latch closure adds an alluring aesthetic angle, making it the perfect designer bag.
(Main image credit: iamhearte/Instagram; featured image credit: kyliejenner/Instagram)
This story first appeared on Prestige Singapore.