The Most Popular Hermès Bags and Why They are so Coveted
Hermès may be a brand known today for its luxury and high-value handbags, but it wasn’t until 1922, 85 years after first launching, that handbags became a staple in the Hermès catalogue.
Hermès was first conceptualised in 1837 as a harness workshop, providing noblemen across France and Europe with saddles, harnesses, and other riding gear. The shift towards the fashion accessories market, inspired by Emile Hermès’ wife who complained of not being able to find a bag that she liked and that met her everyday needs, embodies a vision that has long underpinned the brand. That is, Hermès combines its high level of craftsmanship in the workshop with the lifestyle needs of its customers – enabling the brand to expand from riding accessories into the world of fashion seamlessly.
Today, Hermès is recognised as one of the leading luxury handbag brands – with its most coveted and in-demand bags garnering huge returns for investors who buy at retail price and then resell on the second-hand market.
With that in mind, we thought we’d take this opportunity to explore some of the most popular Hermès bags on the market, considering why they are so coveted and how valuable they are as an investment.
The power of low supply and high demand
Before we dive into the top and most popular handbags in the Hermès collection, it’s worth understanding a little more about luxury bags as an investment, and how demand feeds into their investment value.
Hermès, alongside other luxury brands like Chanel, operate on a low-supply and high-demand basis – that is, the release of both classic and new models is always limited, retaining the kind of exclusivity that makes these bags all the more coveted among those who can afford them. When a luxury handbag of immensely high value leaves its original retail store, its value increases almost immediately – with the resale market often fetching far higher prices.
Why does this happen? Because while buyers have to meet specific criteria, join waitlists, and be considered a VIP to be in with a chance of purchasing a new model direct from retail, the reseller market is open to anyone with the money to make a purchase. In essence, the competition drives the sale price skywards.
The following are all classic Hermès styles that are considered highly coveted, with specific styles and colours more in-demand than others. In order to understand the exact value and investment potential of a specific and particular model, it is advised that you visit a reputable reseller to get a formal valuation and proof of authentication.
The top Hermès bags
The Hermès Birkin is not only one of the brand’s most popular bags in terms of style and design, but also boasts one of the most well-known origin stores. Named after the actress Jane Birkin, the Hermès Birkin bag was brought to life after then-Chief Executive Jean-Louis Dumas sat next to Jane Birkin on a plane and heard all her requirements and needs for an everyday bag.
He heard her requests, took them to the Hermès designers, and subsequently launched the Hermès Birkin – a bag which has gone on to become arguably one of the most famous bags in the world, crafted from the finest and highest quality materials, with a wide and varied assortment of finishes ranging from rare crocodile skin to classic leather and block colour patterns.
The status of this bag and its recognition across the market plays a major part in the demand that surrounds every single new release and bag which ends up on the resale market – as does the fact that the Birkin is functional, aesthetically pleasing, and incredibly stylish.
The Hermès Kelly bag started life as a saddle bag way back in 1892, with elements of the original design passing forward into the everyday design that was launched in the 1950s. The Kelly boasts a great deal more structure than some of the other bags, and while the variety in materials have an obvious effect on the presentation and finish of each model, the Kelly remains one of the most effortlessly stylish bags with a refined silhouette – and a high price tag to match.
When considering why the Hermès Kelly is so coveted and in demand, one need only look at the diverse collection of finishes as well as the varying sizes which make the Kelly accessible for all users, with the colour range ensuring that there’s a Kelly for every buyer.
To own a Hermès Birkin or Kelly bag is to own a piece of the brand’s history, with both collections highly sought after and fetching incredibly high prices on the resale market.