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The luxury list is a monthly column on luxury that reaches out to the leading experts in the fashion industry to explore everything from deep craft dives to the little-known details to consider when buying fine jewelry.
I always have an eye for them newest it bags on the market and the vibrant new bag brands to share on Who What Wear. However, looking at the outfits of fashion insiders lately, I've seen a surge in popularity of two iconic bags: the Hermès Birkin and the Kelly. The holy grail of accessories, Hermès bags are famous for their celebrity following, exquisite craftsmanship, expensive price tags, and long waiting lists – and there is no denying that they are one of the most sought-after bags ever designed. Why are they suddenly everywhere?
Although I had a hunch that Hermès bags were growing in popularity, it turns out that data from retailers back it up. According to retailer Moda Operandi, the average price for handbags rose dramatically in 2020, up 67% year over year. That surge in investment bag purchases was also reflected in The RealReal, where handbags priced over $ 1,000 in November and December 2020 rose 43% during the holiday shopping season. Included in these numbers is the Hermès Kelly bag, whose sales increased 59% over the period. Similarly, Rebag saw growth in the region with demand for Hermès bags increasing 20% year over year.
Overall, this suggests a new way of shopping – less shopping but a focus on quality and special capital goods that will stay in their closets forever. Even lightly used vintage versions are still a substantial buy, but you can rest assured it's a solid investment – Birkins is expected to double in size over the next 10 years. Would you like to see more? Before us, we dive into the best Hermès bag styles and how fashion insiders wear them.
The Hermès Birkin is one of the most iconic bags of all and the ultimate luxury bag with a slightly casual shape that gives every outfit a cool element. Named for Jane Bikin, this bag was specially designed for the British actress after she mentioned that as a young mom she couldn't find a bag that would suit her needs. The original version was even finished with a space just for baby bottles.
The Kelly bag is a bit more polished and refined than the Birkin. It has a more structured silhouette and a slightly more compact shape, which makes the transition from day to night a little easier. Originally called "sac à dépêches", it was renamed after Grace Kelly when she was discovered to protect her baby bump from photographers.
Next, read about my favorite fashion staples after living in NYC, Paris, and LA.