Hermès Birkins can’t be called anything other than iconic. These exquisite handbags are a wardrobe essential – courtesy of their exclusive status and timelessness.
The Birkin doubles as an investment since they are often sold for much more than their original price due to their exclusivity. Unfortunately, the appeal of this bag is matched by its reputation as one of the most counterfeited bags on the planet.
Knowledge and buying from reputable resellers (like us!) are absolutely essential to avoid heartache and enablement of black market activity.
Here are 8 tell-tale signs to ensure you’re buying an authentic Hermès Birkin Handbag:
The Price of A Birkin
If you’ve shopped around for a Birkin Bag before, you’ll quickly become aware of the fact that they’re quite difficult to find – there is very limited stock in Hermès stores, thus they provide for an interesting (and very exclusive) resale market.
A 2017 study discovered that the value of the Hermès Birkin Bag has seen a 500% increase in the last 35 years, as a result of an astounding 14% increase each year.
Dust Bag & Authenticity Card
Authentic Hermès products should be accompanied by a branded, cotton flannel or velour material dust bag. These should feel soft, yet durable, and should have distinctive stitches closer to the bottom of the seam. The logo has distinct attention to detail, hence you should beware of over-simplified logos.
An authentic Hermès piece never comes in plastic wrapping. If you’re looking at a Hermès Birkin accompanied by an orange authenticity card and/or hang tags to prove its authenticity, that item is 100% counterfeit. The only authenticity papers that come with any Hermès handbags are CITES which accompany bags made with exotic skin.
It’s no secret that only the finest leather from select origins are used for Hermès handbags.
The leather of such quality has a particular feel and even smell that cannot be duped. The leather should never be puffy, nor look coated or painted because leather used for Hermès handbags are dyed.
The Hermès Birkin is typically lined with Chèvre goatskin, which looks and feels like grained leather, dyed a tonal colour that coordinates with the outer leather, and both the outer and inner leather will always be a colour straight off the Hermès colour chart, which are also almost impossible to replicate.
The Shape of A Birkin
The “posture” of a Hermès Birkin bag exudes a signal of status and discipline. An authentic Birkin bag doesn’t slouch, bulge, and neither do its handles. It stands upright and symmetrical on 4 feet positioned evenly apart – a feature attributable to the superior quality leather.
It should be noted, however, that a bag can be a little oversized or undersized, which is usually an indication that it’s authentic because they’re handmade, thus not every single bag will be exactly the same.
Check The Hermès Logo
A high-quality Hermès logo appears beneath the front flap of a Birkin bag. Each Hermès Birkin bag has the phrase of dreams lined up – evenly and centred: “Hermès Paris” “Made in France”.
Check that the accent is correct on the è in Hermès and all other spelling for that matter. Authentic label stamps are lightly embossed into the leather in gold, silver or as a colourless imprint, where metallics usually match the hardware on the bag.
Most noteworthy here is that Hermès never attaches leather tags or metal nameplates with its logo onto the bag.
Authentic Hermès handbags are fitted with hardware or metal accents that generally feature one of two finishes: gold plated or palladium finish. There are, of course, rare finishes applied to custom bags and unique designs, including 24K plated gold, silver palladium, ruthenium, burnished, and guilloche.
The use of precious metals means that the metal on an authentic Hermès Birkin handbag will not tarnish. The studs on the bag are designed to protect the precious leather from damage from contact with various surfaces – needless to say, the finish on the studs always match the finish on the buckle hardware, lock, and keys. Even with heavy duty use, the studs should maintain their fresh appearance and resist major scuffing.
Lock, Clochette, and Keys
Of course, there are many specific details on both the lock and keys that reveal authentic Birkins from high-quality fakes. The pair of keys for the lock come enclosed in a leather clochette, which is looped onto the handle of the bag.
Locks on newer models feature an engraved serial number on the bottom, which correspond with the serial number on the set of keys. Bear in mind that the locks on Hermès bags didn’t feature any serial numbers prior to 2000. These will instead carry a Hermès stamp and a single number on the bottom which should still correspond with the key number.
The clochette cover should be the final piece that houses the keys is made of one single piece of leather – not two separate pieces sewn together and should be able to lay flat in the clochette with no puffiness.
Stitching and Workmanship
Hermès bags are handmade with a special type of stitching that has been around for 2 centuries in France. The entire Birkin bag is sewn by hand with the utmost care by expert artisans. With this in mind, these bags can take more than 48 hours to make. They should, for this reason, always look hand stitched. In other words – not completely perfect, but slightly angled, tight, precise, and always follow the same direction.
Particularly things like loose or hanging threads are no doubt the work of a counterfeiter. Flat, even stitching too is a sign of a machine stitching and most probably a fake Hermès bag. Upon inspecting the interior, the zipper on the inside pocket should lie perfectly against the horizontal zip line; zippers should never lay in a perpendicular to the zip line.
We hope this list exemplifies the care and craft taken to create an authentic Hermès Birkin bag, and why it is such a worldwide favourite.
If you’re interested in pre-owned Hermès investment pieces, visit one of our Luxity stores or contact us, whether you’re buying or selling.
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