The Hermès brand is one of the most iconic in terms of luxury branding and has seen several collections inspired or spearheaded by celebrity fans and fashionistas of note. The Hermès Birkin is one of the most famous both in terms of its design and its backstory, owing both its concept and name to the actress Jane Birkin, whose desire for a functional but stylish bag sparked an idea in then-Chief Executive of the brand Jean Louis Dumas.
But in this blog, we’re not so much focussed on the history and the backstory of the Hermès handbag collection as we are with its popularity today and across the world of pop culture.
So, sit back and keep reading to find out how and when your favourite Hermès bags made their name and became international treasures of their own.
The Hermès Kelly and How It Got Its Name
We’ve already touched on the backstory of the Hermès Birkin and how its entire design and concept was conceived as the result of a chance encounter on a plane. When actress Jane Birkin told the Chief Executive of Hermès that she needed a handbag to meet all her needs as a young mother, as well as looking great, he took the idea back to his design team and created the concept for a bag with plenty of inside space and segmented pockets – latterly releasing the bag in a number of different sizes to meet different specific needs.
The Kelly is another Hermès bag that takes its name from a celebrity – this time Grace Kelly, who was famously pictured using what became the Kelly bag to conceal a pregnancy bump in 1956. This image catapulted the bag to fame, so much so that it was renamed as the Kelly bag officially in 1977.
Hermès in SATC
It doesn’t get much better for a fashion or accessory brand than appearing in Sex and the City – a program, then a movie, which is synonymous with the finest fashion and for sharing the most coveted looks of last season, this season, and the seasonal collections which haven’t even been released yet.
When, in SATC 2, Samantha drops her Hermès Birkin, it makes for a comic moment on screen, which equally references the value of the bag itself. Mistaking her genuine Birkin for a counterfeit, the bag is broken when a shopkeeper grabs it and Samantha fights back – ultimately breaking the bag (and the hearts of Birkin bag owners everywhere as they sympathise with the character’s grief).
Another Hermès moment appears in the SATC series, during which Samantha is trying to get her hands on a bag of her own, and says to the store employee, “Five years for a bag?” when she is informed about the customer waitlist. The employee simply replies with, “It’s not a bag, it’s a Birkin”, epitomising the status which surrounds each and every Hermès bag’s release.
Hermès in Blue Jasmine
Blue Jasmine is another movie in which an authentic Hermès handbag is used to denote the status of the character holding it; in this case, it’s the main character played by Cate Blanchett, who struggles to part with her own Hermès Birkin bag when she falls on hard financial times.
In fact, when she tries to fly first class with her Birkin as hand luggage, the bag and its brand is used to show her decline in wealth as she battles with her new life situation.
Hermès in The Proposal
The Proposal is another rom-com movie where the recognisable Hermès Birkin is used to draw attention to a specific character (are you sensing the theme at play here?)
In The Proposal, the orange Birkin that Sandra Bullock’s character takes to a remote island in Canada is used as a means of showing how much of a city girl she is, and how out of place she is on the island. It’s more subtle than the SATC examples, but the same sort of bag is used to depict the same kind of character.
Socialite Jamie Chua’s Collection
It’s not all movies and TV shows – some celebrities and influencers shine their own spotlight on brands like Hermès, simply by owning impressive collections that they show off across their online profiles when they can. A socialite from Singapore called Jamie Chua is recognised as having what could be the world’s largest collection of Hermès handbags – boasting the Himalayan Diamond Birkin as one of the most expensive pieces in her collection.
Kylie Jenner’s Collection
Of course, a member of the Kardashian family is on this list, with their connection to some of the best, most luxurious, and most coveted brands in the world. When it comes to Hermès, Kylie Jenner is top of the pack with an extensive selection of bags that include some of the rarest and most exotic materials and animal skins that the brand has ever used.
Other Famous Names Who Own Multiple Hermès Bags
This is the kind of article which could go on forever, as we continue to list all the names and faces who have been spotted out and about with their own bag from the Hermès collection.
However, we thought we’d finish with just a few names that you will almost certainly recognise, of celebrities and individuals who love and covet the Hermès brand just as much as the rest of us. These include J Lo, Lady Gaga, Victoria Beckham, Lindsay Lohan, Rita Ora, and others.
With that said, is an Hermès bag worth the investment for you?
If you find a reputable second-hand seller who offers valuation and authentication services, as well as a vast selection of pieces, like the team at Love Luxury, then an Hermès handbag makes a timeless investment that delivers on style and status as well as financial returns.
Visit our boutique store or website for more information and to discover where to start when looking to buy your own Hermès bag.