Sep 17, 2008

Making of a Hermes Birkin/Kelly Bag

Why would sane person pay an upward of $8000 to about $150,000 for a bag we might ask, but there are plenty of gals willing and able on list.To make one of these much coveted bag, Hermes must first procure finest hide without any imperfection, which is just one of the hurdles. For example, an exotic hide such as crocodile or alligator might take up to 7 years to find to meet exact specifications by Hermes as each bag is made from one complete perfect hide rather than a collage and only the best will do. I have found out it is actually extremely difficult to find aged croc or alligator hide without any imperfection, not even a nick or scratch because with age, crocodiles and alligators tend to have battle scares of some sort.

From the beginning to completion, a Kelly or a Birkin bag is the collaboration between 8 workshops at Hermes handbag headquarter where each workshop employees about 30 to 40 skill artisans. It takes about 5 years of training before an apprentice learns all the techniques to work independently. Sewing a Kelly/Birkin bag by hand takes an individual about 15 hours, not including all the prep work prior and attaching all the hardware afterward. And, only the most skilled senior artist can perform the final act of turning the bag right side out. Any imperfection however slight is not tolerated by quality control staff.

Hermes is truly costly but a gal is paying for a handmade bag by skill artisans one stitch at a time. So savvy gals, are Hermes bags worth the price?

image: people.com

6 comments:

  1. Not worth it at all. How much can leather and labor cost?

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  2. for the whole process and the prestige yes I guess. I see that as an emotional experience - buying a product like that. Although I would never be able to afford that I appreciate the fact that someone in the world has the skills and know-how to build such a piece.

    I could easily tho get someone in Korea to make something similar at a bargain price of say $400 but it's not the same is it? I'm not going to have that experience.

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  3. I have a few Hermes pieces and adore Hermes but I must say they are very costly.

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  4. I'd never part with that much cash for a bag; I'd rather pay off my condo, or buy a new car. However, the bags are gorgeous.

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  5. Those bags are worth more than some people's houses.

    Sad.

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