Hèrmes just broke its own record — again. On Wednesday, a 30-centimeter Birkin bag made of specially dyed crocodile skin sold for $379,261 at a Hong Kong Christie’s auction, making it the world’s most expensive handbag ever auctioned. (South China Morning Post described the 15-minute bidding war as “intense.”) The 2014 matte white Himalaya featured 18-karat white gold hardware, with hundreds of diamonds embedded in its straps.
The previous record-holder? An identical matte white Himalaya from 2008, which went for a relatively affordable $300,186. Before that, a fuchsia diamond-studded Birkin — sold for $222,000 — held the top spot.
Why, you ask, are these bags selling for the price of a modest Manhattan apartment? “The most valuable bags are the diamond pieces, and the top collector pieces are the ones from the Himalaya family,” Matt Rubinger, Christie’s international director of handbags and accessories, told WWD. “This example, with white gold detailing and 245 diamonds, combines the two. It is a Himalaya with diamond hardware, and thus the apex of the market.” Adding to the fervor, rumor has it the company is discontinuing the Himalaya style because it takes so darn long — at least 48 hours — to dye the leather. As it stands, there’s a six-year waiting list for a brand new Himalaya.
A 2016 study claimed that Hermès Birkin bags are a better investment than stocks or gold. We’d say that sounds about right.
[ via WWD ]