Hermès Hysteria: Part I

Continuing from this post,

So I’ve been a lover of Hermès about the same time as Chanel. I already have a couple of Hermès accessories that are cherished and wanted a bag. The Kelly was originally on my wishlist that changed to the Birkin…that changed back to Kelly…that – oh you get the picture.  It’s only this year that I actively went about searching for it. Of course the Birkin is not even available to buy ‘off the shelf’ so I knew the task was going to be even more laborious than finding my beloved Chanel bags. There’s an interesting article about a guy’s journey with Birkins here He basically bought up as many Birkins as he could find from the boutiques and resold them on *bay, until he was banned from further purchases at Hermès!

There are more Kellys around simply due to the fact that la Birkin was only born in 1984. I began my research in May by reading blogs and websites that have recommendations for reselling and consignment shops. There are so many reselling sites as well as the dreaded *bay. I checked about 5 or 6 of these everyday to see what kind of products they carried and the rate of sale. At the same time you could do a lot worse than to read the Hermès section of The Purse Forum. Not only do they help to authenticate items but there are permanent reference sections on the many different types of leathers, colours and even the current worldwide prices. Of course there are lots of photos of genuine bags that can be used for cross referencing and general information. It really helped to learn about the various factors of sizes, colours, leathers – I never knew there were so very many different types and most of them have unique properties with varying degrees of ease of maintenance.

There were pros and cons to weigh up with just about every type of leather and it forced me to really think hard about which would best suit me and my life. The most popular sizes are just too big for me which narrowed down the choices plus I prefer silver to gold hardware. As with the Chanel bags, vintage was my first option, however this brings along its own set of issues with regards to having to be much more careful with the actual integrity of condition and structure. Over the last 4 months, I must have looked at several hundred Birkins and Kellys. I’ve seen some vintage ones in absolutely shocking condition – something I would never dream of selling – that still sold, such is the lure of Hèrmes. I began to see the same bags on different sites – thought I was going mad but this seems to be standard practise!

I discovered the particular type of bag I really love, always came close to double the Hermès boutique price – but of course – they are not sitting there to be bought! Frustrating. Even the vintage bags were priced at close to the retail cost of a brand new version. But of course there are none to had in the boutiques. Double frustration. Even dealing with sellers proved to be very stressful. I thought I’d found The One only twice but nothing came out of it except disappointment and regret. In fact I was ready to give up, resigning myself to abandon my search until whenever. It really felt that futile although I’m so pleased to have been on a very steep learning curve. Honestly, the amount of information out there is staggering. What I have researched in the last few months would have taken me at the very least several months to find the conventional way ie before the WWW was born! And there’s still so much more to learn.

I’m happy to say my efforts were finally rewarded! I’ve got to take some photos and will post them asap.


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