Name: The Birkin bag.
Age: 35 years old if you got one while it was hot.
Appearance: Beclasped, clutchable, sort of like other
Birkin bag? What’s all this about? Are you being unnecessarily rude
about the woman who sang Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus? Not at all. We’re
talking about a handbag named after her.
What has she done to have a handbag named after her? Apparently,
she ended up on a flight next to the chief executive of Hermès
and was complaining about how she couldn’t find a decent leather weekend bag.
They have bags that are designed specifically for weekends? They
do! Anyway, in that instant the Birkin bag was born. And slowly, but surely it
has become one of the most sought-after things ever ever. Ever.
I like the dinky little lock. Yes. Also, since its
inception, its value has increased at a faster rate than gold, or indeed the US stock
Buckle my clasp, you’re having me on! We would never be so
flippant. According to Baghunter, a website that trades in high-end
baggage, since 1980, gold has depreciated in value at a rate of 1.5% a year,
while the S&P 500 went up by 8.7%. Your Birkin bag? A whopping 14.2%.
Well, then I must go out and purchase one immediately! Do they do them
at House of Fraser? Aha ha ha. No no no. It’s their scarcity
that is the source of their ballooning value. There’s a six-year waiting
list to own one, and they are perpetually in a state of “sold out”. The only
way to get one quickly is at auction.
Well, then I shall just go to an auction and purchase one there. It’ll
be like Storage Hunters. That’s nice for you, given that they retail for $60,000 (£41,000), and then go for as much as
$223,000 when sold on.
So, who actually gets to own these things? Well,
Pharrell Williams has got one. Victoria Beckham has got one. Presumably Jane
Birkin gets the odd one for free.
Neither of those first two particularly surprise me. Truly,
it is the clutch-purse of the highest of high rollers.
Do say: “Ah, I see you have the 30cm Shiny Rouge H
Porosus Crocodile Birkin with 18K gold fittings. Very tasty.”
Don’t say: “Oops, I think I may have spilled red wine
on this funny little shiny rouge bag with the lock on it.”