The Hermès Birkin is the most iconic and sought-after handbag in the world (even if you don’t like it, it’d be hard to argue otherwise), and that means most fashion lovers have already absorbed a lot of information about how it was conceived, how it’s made and how hard it is to get one. There’s always more to the story, though, even for those of us who spend many of our waking hours thinking, talking, reading and writing about luxury bags.
When you envision a Birkin, your mind might go directly to the bag’s popular neutrals, but the bag has been made in a veritable rainbow of colors.
All Hermès bags, not just Birkins, are constructed by a single artisan in one of Hermès’s ateliers; it’s a more traditional approach to manufacturing than the one used by most brands, which have different people to work on different aspects of handbag construction. And although “48 hours” may sound like just two days, that’s 48 work hours–more than a week for a single bag on a regular full-time schedule.
Patrick Thomas, the ex-CEO of Hermes, has clarified this question explicitly during the interview with the Canadian Press. ‘There’s always one craftsman responsible for the whole process of the bag, from the start to the end. To create a single bag, it cost around 15 to 20 hours’.
According to Thomas, it’s because of the intensive labor and the raw material that Hermes uses to create the bag. And he continued with details: ‘It requires not only specialized skills but also high experienced craftsmen, and the labor cost is equal to the hours of work that it is need to get the product done. Then you’ve to deal with raw materials, Hermes source and only use the best of the best for each Birkin’