The evolution of the Birkin bag begins with the icon, Jane Mallory Birkin. A London born girl, she was known world wide for her beautiful looks, angelic voice and prolific acting appearances in English and French films. Interestingly though, she gained more grandeur within the public eye with her decade long relationship with French singer and song writer, Serge Gainsbourg.
Courtesy of Pinterest
The year was 1981 and Jane Birkin was flying back from Paris to London. The passenger sat next to her was the Hermès chief executive, Jean-Louis Dumas. The story goes that, after Birkin placed her infamous straw bag (seen in the picture above) in the overhead compartment, all of its contents spilled out on the planes floor. This lead to Birkin confessing to Dumas of not being able to find the ‘perfect’ weekend bag. Dumas started to sketch out designs straight away, incorporating features that Jane Birkin desired within a bag. Three years later (in 1984), Jean-Louis Dumas presented Jane Birkin with a spacious black leather bag.
Ten years after their encounter, in 1990, the whole world is fixated with the ‘Birkin’ bag. Classic, beautiful and timeless, perfectly personifying Jane Birkin herself.
A classic Hermès Birkin 30cm in Noir Togo leather with palladium hardware (flying first class homage to roots). Courtesy of @saranwangmuang
The overall anatomy of the Birkin, like all Hermès products is minimal and sleek. A labelled diagram of the bag can be seen below:
The Birkin bag has developed over the years since 1990, coming in a wide range of sizes; 15cm (Micro Birkin), 25cm, 28cm (HAC), 30cm, 32cm (HAC), 35cm, 40cm (Birkin & HAC), 42cm (JPG Shoulder Birkin), 45cm (HAC), 45cm (Shoulder Birkin), 50cm (Birkin & HAC), 55cm (HAC) and 60cm (HAC).
As well as sizing, it has been created in a vast amount of materials. From traditional calfskin, Togo, Swift and Chevre Mysore leathers to the more exotic skins such as crocodile, Ostrich and lizard Ombre.
Hermès Birkin 30cm in Croc Vert Emerald with gold hardware. Courtesy of Luxury Promise
With the influence of creative directors over the years, there has been a birth of rare styles produced, from colourful loud prints seen in the ‘One, Two, Three and away Birkin’ to the more subtle and unassuming style like the ‘Shadow Birkin’. This natural evolution of the Birkin has developed over the years varying in different styles yet still remains true to its original. Which means there is proof in the saying ‘If it isn’t broke, there is no need to fix it’.
Discover Luxury Promise’s collection of Hermès Birkin’s on their site.
Until next time,