Hermes Birkin
Exotic Hermes Birkin Bags
Handbags and Accessories

A Closer Look at Rare Hermès Birkin and Kelly Handbags

By Mason Howell
Shop Hermes Handbags and Accessories available for immediate purchase including rare exotic Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags in a range of sizes and materials.
Hermès Bleu Sac Birkin Faubourg 20cm.

Hermès Faubourg Birkin

Extremely rare, with only a limited number crafted for VIPs, Hermès Sac Faubourg in Bleu is the ultimate in unique luxury designs. Designed in a contemporary 20cm size, Hermès blends modernity and history, as this special Birkin plays homage to the facade of 24 Rue de Faubourg Saint Honore, which has been the address of the historic Hermès store since 1880 when the founder’s son Charles-Émile took over the business. To epitomize the iconic location, the Bleu Faubourg Birkin features five different leathers, as well as exotic alligator. The body is masterfully crafted of Deep Blue Madame calfskin; the front flap, handles and strap are of Bleu Marine matte alligator; the awnings, tiret and "shopping bag" style clochette are of Orange H swift leather; the trim is of Bleu Indigo Sombrero; the window panes are of Craie epsom leather and the base is of Bleu Obsure Sombrero leather.

The Hermès Faubourg Birkin bag measures 8" width x 6" height x 4" depth; with a 2" handle drop.

Hermès Birkin 30 Himalaya Matte Niloticus Crocodile Palladium Hardware, 2016

Hermès Himalaya Birkin

T he Himalaya is, for many Hermès lovers, the crown jewel of handbags: for not only does this bag feature unrivaled design (the product of a unique, painstaking construction process), but it's also a symbol of status – as the brand only offers Himalaya handbags to its VIP clients. Himalaya bags are extremely difficult to come by, making them a true collector's item with excellent market value.

The Himalaya Birkin is named for the Himalaya mountains, though the skins used for the bags do not hail from the region. Rather, the skin is made of Niloticus crocodile – an reptile native to the freshwater of Africa – and the bag's name refers to how the careful dying process makes the bag look like the snow capped Himalayan peaks.

As you can see, the skin appears smoky gray and brown on the sides – emulating the bottom of the mountain – and gradually lightens to a pearly white in the center – representing the peak of the snow caps. Achieving this effect is arduous, and can only be done by one of Hermès' esteemed artisans.

The Niloticus crocodile scales are larger than those of the alligator or Porosus (a saltwater crocodile). This enables greater symmetry on the sides of the bag and an evenness in the middle, adding to the bag's appeal. What's more, this Himalaya bag has a matte finish, so there is no reflection or distraction from light. The bag is accented with palladium hardware (which can be encrusted with diamonds).

Hermès Birkin 25 Ombre Lizard Palladium Hardware, 2020

Hermès Birkin 25 Ombre Lizard

Hermès Birkin 25 in Ombre Lizard is extremely rare since lizard is the rarest of all of the exotic materials. Hermès Ombre Lizard bags are done made from Salvator Lizards and buffed to a sheen. The first lizard Birkins are thought to have been made after the introduction of the Birkin 25 in 2004. While Hermes has been making Kelly bags in Lizard, Birkins are more recent. The Lizard Birkin comes with either gold or palladium hardware now but many early Lizard bags from 2005 and 2006 have the discontinued Ruthenium hardware that is gunmetal-like in color. Ombre is the most desirable of the Lizard Birkins and is considered by many collectors equal to the Himalayan birkin. The Ombre Lizard Birkin showcases the natural coloring of the animal, but also requires hours of work and are subject to even higher quality standards by Hermès. The artisan must make sure the the skin is free of blemishes, the pattern has to be symmetrical and distinct. While Ombre Birkins that haven't been carefully maintained show yellowing with age. While some collectors appreciate this patina that comes with age, the newest bags maintainin in pristine condition without any yellowing sell for much higher premiums in the secondary market.

Hermès Cargo Birkin 35 Blue Toile and Swift Leather Palladium Hardware, 2021

Hermès Birkin 35 Cargo

In 2020, Hermès released its newest limited edition Birkin called the Cargo Birkin. The bag is made in lightweight canvas with leather trim and has five exterior pockets including a cup holder. The Cargo Birkin was inspired by military clothing and is the most casual and versatile of the limited edition Birkins. This newest Birkin is a favorite among collectors and celebrities including Cardi B. The bag retails for about $25,000 if purchased from Hermès but sells for 2x+ on the secondary market due to demand exceeding available bags.

Hermès White Mini Kelly Picnic 20CM Osier Wicker and Swift with Palladium Hardware.

Hermès Mini Picnic Kelly

First introduced in 2019, Hermès Mini Picnic Kelly 20cm is a limited edition design crafted from Osier wicker and leather and accented with palladium plated hardware. The Mini Picnic is a redesign of the original Osier Picnic Kelly introduced by Hermès in 2011. That bag, which was last reissued in 2018, was available only in 35cm and became a collector’s item. Hermès Osier wicker bags are quite an achievement in design. Osier wicker is a delicate material and to craft it into a bag that is sturdy, secure and long lasting required a high level of expertise. The Mini Picnic Kelly is similar in design to the original Picnic Kelly with the advantage of the Mini Picnic having a shoulder/crossbody strap in addition to the top single rolled handle. Given the long term popularity of the 35cm Picnic Kelly bags among collectors, the Hermès Mini Picnic Kelly 20cm is certain to be a collectible for a long time.

Hermès Kelly 25 Sellier Black Shiny Alligator Gold Hardware, 2021

Hermès Kelly 25 Sellier Shiny Alligator

Hermès Kelly 25 Sellier in Black Shiny Alligator with Gold Hardware is a timeless classic for any collector. The small size with the shoulder strap makes it a great option for day or night. The Kelly Sellier is also more structured and will hold its shape better with ages versus the Kelly Retourne. The Kelly Sellier is also more limted than the Retourne and exotic bags in the smallest sizes have significantly higher demand due to the overall trend to carry smaller bags. Mobile phones have replaced many of the items that were carried in a bag including day planners and large wallets.

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