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Hermès Bags 101 and how to buy them in South Africa

In a rather crowed luxury market, Hermès handbags (think: Birkin or Kelly), shoes and accessories including unique scarves reign supreme. Glamoritza discusses the most coveted Hermès bag styles and Hermès bag prices in South Africa to help with your choice to acquire some serious arm candy.

The History of Hermès 

The Hermès logo – a duc carriage and horse – serves as a reminder of the brand's equestrian roots. It was established by Thierry Hermès, a bridle-maker who set up a workshop in Paris in 1837. In 1880, his son Charles-Émile, moved the shop to 24 Rue Du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, which remains the company's global headquarters to this day. The brand has been passed down through six generations of the family, all of whom have protected both its independence and its emphasis on exquisite craftsmanship.

The Beginning

In the beginning, Hermès made leather bags designed to carry saddles. In the 1920s, lines of handbags and travel bags were introduced and by the 1930s, the company started to produce fashion icons such as the Sac à dépêches, now known as 'The Kelly' in honour of Grace Kelly. The princess's preference for Hermès took the brand to new heights. Over the decades, it has cemented its reputation as the world's most luxurious brand.

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Coveted Styles

The Birkin Bag

As legend has it, Hermès' most exclusive handbag was born out of a chance encounter in 1983 between then CEO, Jean-Louis Dumas, and Jane Birkin. Seated next to each other on a flight, the pair discussed the ideal handbag - capacious yet elegant, practical enough for daytime and stylish enough for evening wear. And so, the famous Birkin Bag was conceived. It was not an entirely new design, rather it was adapted from the larger ‘Haut à courroies’ or HAC bag, which is exclusively available at Glamoritza, which Hermès had been making since the turn of the century. 

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Since its launch in 1984, theHermès Birkin has broken records. It's the world's most expensive—and most televised—handbag. It's also incredibly hard to attain. As Samantha learns in Sex and the City, unless you have celebrity status, you're in for a long wait.

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Indeed, the Birkin has many famous devotees, from Kim Kardashian to Victoria Beckham and Cardi B. It also epitomises Hermès' commitment to craftsmanship: each Birkin bag is made by a single artisan and takes days to complete.

The Kelly 

In 1956, the Kelly bag became an overnight success thanks to a single photograph. The image of Princess Grace Kelly holding the bag over her baby bump featured on the cover of Life magazine, and it quickly became a must-have accessory around the world. Renamed 'The Kelly' in 1977, this timeless classic holds an enduring appeal for collectors. 

The Kelly comes in two styles: the Sellier and the Retourne. The Sellier is the more formal of the two, with a structured look, sharp edges and visible stitching. The Retourne is so called because the bag is 'reversed' - turned inside out - during the manufacturing process. As such, it doesn't have visible stitching and tends to be made of a softer leather, giving the bag a more casual feel.

The Constance

Named after the designer's daughter, the Constance was launched in 1967. While it may not be quite as famous as its big sisters, this small-but-perfectly-formed bag is in high demand.

It's loved for its bold design, centred around the clever H-shaped clasp, and its practicality, with an adjustable strap that can be worn on the shoulder or cross-body. Available in four sizes, and in a range of colours and leathers, the Constance is a staple for any self-respecting fashionista's wardrobe...and Instagram account.

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The Picotin

A celebration of simplicity which truly speaks to Hermès equestrian heritage. Reintroduced in 2002, the Hermès Picotin Lock Bag with its roomy bucket shape is inspired by horse feeding.

While most Hermès bag names are female inspired, Picotin, directly translates to a measurement unit used to portion a horse`s daily ration of oats. The Picotin is crafted in the Hermès Retourne style and made from durable Epsom and Clemence leather. Simple, yet functional design  - the Hermès Picotin is a desirable everyday handbag which remains in frequent demand at Glamoritza.

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These bags remain the best investments any luxury fashion owner will make and are worth lusting over time and time again.

How much is a Hermès Bag

Over the recent years, Hermès has increased its prices generally in the range of 8 to 10%. It's worth noting that certain materials are undergoing a more significant price adjustment with the exotic skins increasing between 10 and 20%.

Hermès bags come in various different sizes - from iterations like the Mini Kelly or Birkin 25 to more spacious Birkin 35 - and leathers, for example Epsom and Togo. The price is mainly dictated by the size, leather, colour, hardware and demand. 

The scarcity principle ofHermès bags means the demand always outweighs the supply which in turn increases the price. 

Taking current popularity andHermès bag styles into account, the price will range from R90 000 to R 1 million for the more exotic designs. 

How to buy your Hermès Bag
Hermès bags are exclusively available at Gamorizta. Contact us now on the WhatsApp button or via phone on 0-60-317-2315 for enquiries.

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