|The lady herself, Jane Birkin, with her 'customised' Birkin - complete with lucky charms and worry beads.|
The Birkin bag is a handmade purse by Hermes and named after actress and singer Jane Birkin. The bag is a symbol of wealth due to its high price and elusiveness to the public. In 1981, Hermes chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas was seated next to Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London. She had just placed her straw bag in the overhead compartment of her seat, but the contents fell to the ground, leaving her to scramble to replace the contents. Birkin explained to Dumas that it had been difficult to find a leather weekend bag she liked. In 1984, he created a black supple leather bag for her based on an 1892 design. she used the bag for herself then later changed her mind. Nevertheless, the bag has since become an icon.
Although Birkin bag is free of logos, it is one of the most recognized bags in the fashion industry and by the public. Its prices range from $ 9,000 to & 150,000. It is highly coveted and, for several years, was reputed for having a waiting list of up to 6 years - the longest wait for any bag in the history. As a result of the strong demand, the Birkin bag has a high reselling value in many countries especially Asia. In April 2010, Hermes announced that the waiting list would no longer exist, implying that it is potentially available to all.