Five Things You Didn't Know About Hermes

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Dark Horse

Hermes may be almost synonymous with its iconic Birkin bags, but the luxury fashion house started off as a harness making shop in Paris. Established in 1837 by Thierry Hermes, the workshop started handcrafting horse harnesses, and Hermes quickly became revered amongst European royalty for his exceptional saddle stitch craftsmanship.

The Original Handbag

Thierry’s grandson, Émile-Maurice Hermès, took over the family business around the 1920s. When his wife expressed dissatisfaction at being unable to find a handbag to her liking around Paris, Émile-Maurice personally took to designing the handbag collection, introducing Hermès’ debut leather handbag collection in 1922.

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World Record

Last May, a new world record was established when an unidentified buyer splurged a record US$300,000 on white crocodile skin Birkin at Christie’s Hong Kong, well above the high estimate of $260,000. The staggering price makes this Birkin the most expensive handbag ever sold at auction, beating the previous year’s Himalaya Birkin, purchased for US$223,000.

Earth to Moon

The Hermès carrés is famous for its kaleidoscopic, intensely gorgeous designs. If you spread out the thread used to make a thousand Hermès carrés, it would be the distance between the Moon and the Earth!

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Birkin & Kelly

The ‘Hermès Birkin’ and the ‘Hermès Kelly’ are some of the most elusive bags in the world, with rumored waitlists going up to six years thanks to the bag’s scarcity which lends to its exclusive appeal. The bags are named after famous actresses Grace Kelly and Jane Birkin; Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas famously sat next to Jane Birkin while flying to London in 1983 when Birkin told Dumas how hard it was to find a leather weekend bag she liked. Her straw bag had let loose some contents as she placed it in the overhead compartment when she expressed her dissatisfaction. In 1984, a black leather bag was created for her in 1984.

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