Whether one happens to be a big handbag fanatic or not, the answer to the question “what are the most valuable Hermes bags of all time?” is always an interesting one. There’s a huge fascination with Hermes in general and Hermes bags, both due to their timeless designs and unmatchable legacy.
Owning a Hermes handbag equals owning a piece of history, as their incommensurable value is not only financial, but also artistic and artisanal. Hermès is, in fact, still an independent company that does things the traditional way, meaning that it might take a lot to get hands on a Hermes bag.
Aside from taking a lot to actually create any of the iconic Hermes bags, with the Birkin being the one that takes the longest, Hermes’ artisans also spend endless hours to select the best materials available, especially when it comes to exotic leather. With each Hermes bag being handmade, it is also possible to choose its colors and sizes, of course, as long as you are willing to wait a few years to see the final results.
Under these premises, there’s no surprise Hermes bags are valued so much, with Hermes as a fashion house being one of the most renowned and acclaimed ever since founder Thierry Hermès established it back in 1837.
Since Hermes’ prestige doesn’t show signs of fading, let’s have a look at 5 of the most valuable Hermes handbags of all time, which are also the most expensive designer handbags in the history of fashion.
1. Hermes Kelly Bag
Handbag collectors start dreaming about a Hermes Kelly Bag probably since day 1. It is, along with Chanel’s 2.55, the most valuable, desired and coveted designer bag of all time, and it is not that hard to understand why. Valued approximatively $7,600, the Hermes Kelly Bag is the epitome of cuteness and elegance, with its structured silhouette and top-notch material.
Designed by Robert Dumas in the Thirties, the Kelly was initially called ‘sac a courroie pour dames’ (literally ‘a bag with straps for ladies’), and was renamed “Kelly” after actress Grace Kelly, who was often spotted carrying it. Due to Grace Kelly’s innate elegance, and with the little help of tons of magazines covering her outfits, the Kelly instantly became a must-have, with its demand still being one of the highest in the history of fashion.
2. Hermes Birkin Bag
From one must-have to another, the Hermes Birkin Bag is, along with the Kelly, the most renowned handbag from the fashion house, with its value being up to $13,000 depending on the model. The Birkin comes in four different sizes – 25cm, 30cm, 35cm and the 40cm travel Birkin, as well as in various colors introduced each season.
Although there are plenty of models and colors to choose from, owning a Hermes Birkin Bag may take up to two years, as there’s an unbelievably long list of people who would do anything to get a Birkin bag. As if things weren’t frustrating enough, being on the waiting list won’t necessarily guarantee you’ll have the desired bag.
Like the Kelly bag, Birkin’s history is linked to one of our society’s most appreciated icons – Jane Birkin. Created in 1984 by Jean Louis Dumas, who sat nearby Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London back in 1981, and got immediately smitten with her, the Birkin bag is probably the one that represents Hermes the best way, and its value won’t stop growing over time.
“I remember it well. I’d been upgraded by Air France on a flight to London, and was sitting next to a man,” Jane Birkin revealed in an interview with The Telegraph back in March 2012.
“I’m not quite sure what type of bag I had with me – my husband, Jacques Doillon, had reversed his car over my basket, crushed it on purpose not two days before. Little did he know that on this airplane journey, when everything fell out of whatever bag I had, the man next to me said: ‘You should have one with pockets’. I said: ‘The day Hermès make one with pockets I will have that’, and he said: ‘But I am Hermès and I will put pockets in for you’.”
3. Hermes Constance Bag
Like the Birkin, the Hermes Constance Bag comes in different sizes and colors, too. And like the previous two iconic Hermes handbags, the Constance has been a diva’s all-time favorite as well.
Designed in 1959, the Constance was Jacqueline Onassis’ preferred bag, and was one of the Sixties absolute fashion must-haves. Sold for more than $7,000, the Constance comes in five sizes, with the wider one, namely the most popular, being called the Hermes Constance Elan.
Persistent rumors state the Hermes Constance might be soon discontinued, which means it is actually one step closer to soon becoming the actual most valuable Hermes bag of all time. Despite its inestimable value, we hope Hermes won’t stop producing such a breathtaking piece of art!
4. Hermes Garden Party Bag
How cool would it be to go shopping carrying a timeless Hermes Garden Party handbag? Available in three sizes – Small, Medium, and Large, the Hermes Garden Party handbag is also probably one of the most “affordable” Hermes handbags, as you can find it for as low as $2,625. The Garden Party has hit the mark on quality, functionality, and style ever since it was created back in 1964.
It is also the easiest Hermes bag to find, both in stores and at vintage shops (just make sure it is an authentic one and not a fake Hermes handbag!), so if you are eager to finally own a Hermes bag and do not know where to start and don’t have enough patience to wait more than two years, we highly recommend having a look at the Garden Party!
5. Hermes Bolide Bag
Valued circa $6,000, the Hermes Bolide Bag is one of the edgiest Hermes bags, as it appears to be somehow both contemporary and classic. It is also one of the first Hermes bags to be ever designed, as the fashion house began launching its iconic handbags in 1922, just a year before the Hermes Bolide was created. It was when Hermes creative director Emile-Maurice Hermes designed the Hermes Bolide, in honor of his wife.
Since the Hermes Bolide Bag is so old and emotively dear to the house, it is also one of the hardest Hermes bags to find, especially in the second-hand market. There are two different versions of the Hermes Bolide Bag – the Web Bolide and the Bolide. While the former has an external pocket and a two-way zip closure, the latter features only a single-zip closure, which was also the detail that made it famous in the early Twenties.
The Hermes Bolide Bag comes in four sizes, with each one of them being a little treasure one cannot help but invest in!
Photos via Kayture, Hermes