The Economics of Hermès Color
Throughout its history, The fashion house has developed over 250 unique colors. Each color is tied to a specific year and season and reflects the trends at the time of its inception. The first handbags were produced in five shades: Noir, Rouge H, Etoupe, Gold, and Orange H. Soon, Blanc, Etain, Rouge Casaque, Craie, and Blue Nuit, were added to the classic core shades, and are consistently manufactured year after year.
Specific colors are selected to complement certain handbag styles and material combinations. Some of these combinations are more coveted by collectors than others and therefore hold more value on the secondary market. Production for certain colors can be halted (“rested”) for an allotted amount of time or discontinued (“retired”) altogether.
Regarding return on investment, Hermès bags have consistently outperformed traditional assets such as gold over the past four decades, and color can be one of the most impactful factors on resale performance.
The Non-Neutral Honorary Classic
Among the coveted neutrals and iconic Hermès orange, the color that consistently proves to be a standout on the secondary market is pink, and its many shade variations. The lightest shades are most desired and are the top performers. Relative to retail, the secondary market value of the most popular light pink shades sells at a faster velocity and for a higher premium. In 2022, Sotheby's sold a store fresh with all of the plastic intact L4 Bubblegum Ostrich Mini Kelly for $85,000.
The most sought-after Hermès pinks are Rose Sakura, Mauve Sylvestre, Rose “5P” Bubblegum Pink, Rose Azalee, and Rose Confetti. A special mention is Rose d’Ete. An extremely rare cool-toned elegant shade proves to hold its value year after year.
Some of the Best Hermès Pinks
Rose Sakura is a soft, natural baby pink inspired by the cherry blossoms of Japan’s Sakura tree.
Mauve Sylvestre, a cool pastel pink with a hint of lilac, was developed to resemble a woodland wildflower of the same name.
Similar to the iconic Hermès Orange, Rose “5P” Bubblegum Pink is considered to be the Hermès standard true pink. It is one of the most sought-after pinks often seen on exotic skins.
Rose Azalee, inspired by the Azalea flower, is a warm pink with coral undertones and known to be one of the rarest pinks.
Rose Confetti was introduced in 2014 and is one of the best-performing shades on the secondary market. The question of whether this color is a true pink or leans on the peachy side is highly debated among Hermès enthusiasts.
Mauve Pale is the newest addition to the Hermès pink collection and surpasses Mauve Sylvestre as the lightest pink shade Hermès has to offer. Mauve Pale is a revival shade from the early 2000s that was originally produced for a limited edition of pastel bags in a unique leather called Box Nepal. Extremely rare today, the bags produced in this leather included Sellier Birkin 25, Kelly 25, several clutches, and the Constance 18.
The new Ostrich-exclusive shade, L4 Bubblegum, is a near match to 5P and is one of the most sought-after shades of Ostrich on the secondary market. Fuschia Ostrich was popular for some time but examples in excellent condition are very hard to come by. Some recent Ostrich bags have been produced in Fuschia and display the shade brilliantly. Terre Cuite has held its popularity quite well since its release and continues to be one of the most valuable shades for Ostrich bags.
Vibrant Hermès Pinks
While Hermès added to the light end of the pink spectrum in 2023, they also added to their deeper side with Rose Pop. The more vibrant existing shades of pink include Rose Shocking, Rose Extreme, Rose Texas, Rose Mexico, Rose Tyrien, and Magnolia. The new shade, Rose Pop, closely resembles Pantone's 2023 color of the year, Viva Magenta.