In The Bag

Why A Himalaya Birkin Is So Special

Danielle Gumina
Handbag aficionado: Award-winning handbag designer, content lover, and trend spotter

Birkin bags are special. But a Himalaya Birkin? Jackpot!

 

It’s a rare find indeed, and one of the most valuable Birkin bags in the world (second to the one with diamonds)! But with or without diamonds, the Himalaya Birkin is clearly special. Why? Hermes only offers these to their VIP clients, and it’s known for breaking auction records. It is one of the most exclusive handbags in the world because of the few quantities made, and the painstakingly long process to make them. Let us walk you through some of the luxurious features of this bag.

Textile

The number one reason this bag will always have a substantial price tag on it is due to its textile. This Himalaya Birkin bag is constructed of freshwater niloticus crocodile skin and expertly dyed. Its scales are larger and more symmetrical than alligator and saltwater crocodile, making it more appealing compared to other exotics.

The process to treat this skin is extremely time-consuming because the original color of the freshwater niloticus crocodile is much darker. Through various treatments, the skin is stripped away to reveal lighter pigmentation underneath. The niloticus textile is available in a variety of other Hermes styles, such as the Kelly clutch.

Investing in and caring for pre-loved handbags with exotic skins extends the life of luxury handbags and the materials it was sourced from. With resale, the use of animal skins is minimized and never trivialized.

Color

This color is referred to as Blanc. The Himalaya items also come in another colorway called Gris Cendre. This white-grey Birkin has unique shading and a beautiful matte finish, which is intentionally designed to reference the snow-capped mountains in the Himalayas. To achieve this highly desirable outcome, a variety of important manipulations are applied to the skin to make the color lighter at the center; it also makes the bag durable. Seen mostly on Birkin bags, this particular textile and colorway combo have been spotted on a few other smaller accessories in the secondhand market, such as the Plume and these Oran sandals!

Hardware

The beautiful palladium-plated hardware is iconic to Hermes and looks stunning up against the niloticus crocodile textile. The diamond-encrusted variation, mentioned earlier in the same textile and colorway, is dressed in 18k white gold hardware – absolutely jaw-dropping.

Speaking of hardware, you may wonder if it’s worth keeping the plastic on. Many collectors prefer to do so to avoid unwanted scratches, but at the same time, it can lead to tarnishing if kept on for too long. It’s almost like a catch-22. When it comes down to it, enjoy your bag; removing the plastic is a personal preference.

Industry tip: if you’re the original client, the Hermes Spa service can freshen up and replace the hardware. I truly wouldn’t expect anything less from Hermes.

We’ve had the Himalaya Birkin bag before, and it sold within hours! In the event this bag sells by the time you’re reading this, don’t worry. Exclusive items like this and more are always worth the wait. Visit your account and create an item alert on your favorite styles, like this one. You’ll be the first to know when we get your next Holy Grail accessory (like perhaps, another Himalaya… anything) in the building at FASHIONPHILE.

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