Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hermès Birkin Sold for $185,000!

Sold, for $185,000! 'Extraordinarily rare' diamond-encrusted Hermès Birkin bag made from albino crocodile skin sells at auction 

  • The Himalayan Nilo Crocodile Birkin Bag is described as 'the rarest and most desirable handbag in the world' 
  • Its skin came from an exceptionally pale Hermès-bred crocodile, said to be 'almost an albino'
  • The winning bidder has chosen to remain anonymous
  • A rare Hermès tote sold at auction yesterday to an anonymous bidder for $185,000, the second-highest price ever paid for a Birkin bag.
    The Himalayan Nilo Crocodile Birkin - encrusted with 245 diamonds, boasting 18-karat white gold hardware and crafted from extremely pale crocodile skin - sent bidders into a frenzy via phone, online and in person at Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.
    Managing Director of the auction house, Kathleen Guzman told CBS MoneyWatch: 'Hermès raises crocodiles on its own farm, breeding them to have very light coloring. 'But then to search for a crocodile that has almost an albino skin is extraordinarily rare.'

    Eye-watering: This rare Hermès Himalayan Nilo Crocodile Birkin (pictured) sold at auction yesterday to an anonymous bidder for $185,000, the second-highest price ever paid for a Birkin bag
    Eye-watering: This rare Hermès Himalayan Nilo Crocodile Birkin (pictured) sold at auction yesterday to an anonymous bidder for $185,000, the second-highest price ever paid for a Birkin bag

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hermès’ Handbag Could Break Record Price For Diamond Birkin

Luxury Accessories:Bags, Hermes Extraordinary Collection 30cm Diamond, Matte Himalayan NiloCrocodile Birkin Bag with 18K White Gold Hardware. Pris... Image #1
BEVERLY HILLS ( — A Hermès handbag could break the world’s record price for a diamond Birkin when it goes up for sale during a public auction next week.
That’s according to the auction house, Heritage Auctions.
Current online bidding for the Himalayan Nilo Crocodile Birkin bag, which is adorned with 18-karat white gold hardware, is already at $137,000, Heritage Auctions said in a news release.
The bag will be sold at an auction next Tuesday in Beverly Hills along with hundreds of other handbags from top designers.
“This bag is so rare and sought-after that there’s a very good chance it could meet or exceed the world record price we saw three years ago,” said Kathleen Guzman, a Managing Director at Heritage Auctions.
She added, “This is the only time that a bag of this caliber has appeared on the luxury re-sale market. This is a dream piece for the collection of true Hermes aficionados.”
Auctioneers believe the bag’s price could surpass the 2011 sale of a diamond Birkin for $203,150.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Meet the Hermes Gallery Girl

Photo: Courtesy of Hermes
Walking into the Hermès store on Madison Avenue is like walking into a bright orange shoebox (filled, of course, with some seriously stunning shoes). The first floor has the most delicious silk scarves, the second floor has clothing that define French-style, and the third floor has everything you could ever wish to decorate your home with.
Last night, attendees of a party thrown by Hermès got a peek at the fourth floor: A gallery space used only a few times a year, in this case to showcase a collection of 11 works by artist Sharon Harper.
The photographs were hand-selected by Cory Jacobs, the curator of the Gallery at Hermès. Sound like the chicest job ever? We thought so. Here, we learn more about the current exhibit on view at Hermès and what a day in the life of this gallery girl is like.
Related: Meet Hermès' Secret Weapon: Bali Barret
Tell us a little bit about the exhibit!
We just installed the Sharon Harper show, which is opening to the public today, Friday, September 19. Sharon is a fascinating artist with whom I am so thrilled to be collaborating. She is constantly trying to confound our expectations of time and space. Her works explores the intersection of technology and perception using the moon, stars, and sun as her subjects. The work also happens to be startlingly beautiful. It slows you down.
Photo: Courtesy of Hermes
We always love hearing about new female artists that art industry insiders love. In addition to Sharon Harper, is there anyone’s work that we should keep our eyes on?
I feel very proud that The Gallery at Hermès has an excellent track record in supporting female artists. Artists we have championed include Sharon Core, Martine Fougeron, Rinko Kawauchi, Martina Hoogland-Ivanow, Miranda Lichtenstein, and Victoria Sambunaris. They are all doing interesting things!
You should be on the look out for a new, knock-out monograph Victoria Sambunaris just published called Taxonomy of a Landscape. I showed a remarkable body of her work for the first show I curated here.
Related: Hermés Puts on One Hell of a Carvinal
What does a day at your job look like?
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is selecting the artists we exhibit and giving them a great platform to show their work. My selection is then approved by the Foundation in Paris and then we're off and running. So a big part of my job is staying up to date with the artists and what they are working on. I do this online and also visit artists' studios, galleries, museums, art fairs, and photography festivals. My job involves not only the selection of the artist and the work we show, but also the budgeting, production, press, etc.
What’s the best way to discover new art?
Of course the best way is to get out there and visit galleries and museums. But there are so many great avenues online from blogs, to sites like Artsy and Exhibition A.
Can you tell us a little bit about Hermès commitment to the arts?
Hermès has many galleries around the world like The Gallery at Hermès that exhibit contemporary art. Every year the curators converge in Paris for an annual meeting to present their work for the year and I am always amazed at how many truly talenteds international artists are supported by the Foundation.
In addition to mounting gallery shows, the Foundation also supports artists through residency programs and prizes. The Foundation also recently co-produced a major exhibition at the Centre Pompidou-Metz in France called Simple Shapes. I had the pleasure of seeing it this summer and I can report it is one of my favorite museum shows I've seen in recent memory. Worth the trip. It's up through May 1, 2015.
What have been some of the most memorable shows you’ve worked on since being at Hermès?
Like children, it's hard to pick just one!  I've really enjoyed each and every exhibition for different reasons. I feel very grateful I'm able to spend so much time getting to know each artist through the process of putting the shows together. It often spans a full year from start to finish.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Worker: Boutique sold fake designer bags as the real thing

Worker: Boutique sold fake designer bags as the real thing An ex-employee says Tisha Collette (left) would sell fake designer handbags as if they were real ones; like the fake Birkin bag doctor Tara Allmen unknowingly bought (right).

A Hamptons boutique owner routinely bought fake designer bags, slapped them with luxury labels, mixed them with the real things and peddled them as originals, her former assistant claims.
Collette Consignment owner Tisha Collette “would bring in counterfeit handbags from locations in Queens, unpack them, remove the plastic wrapping, hang tags and paper stuffing, then tag the items as Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton luxury handbags for sale,” the ex-employee, Cathy Silverstein, says in a scathing new Manhattan court affidavit.
“It was a common practice to mix and sell counterfeit handbags with authentic handbags and other luxury items to customers,” Silverstein added.
The statement was submitted as part of a prominent Manhattan doctor’s lawsuit against Collette, claiming that the shop owner duped her into buying a fake secondhand Birkin bag.
Tara Allmen, a gynecologist who frequently appears on TV programs such as “The Dr. Oz Show,” charges in her suit that Collette is a fraud.
Allmen said she was humiliated to discover that the supposed secondhand Birkin bag she bought from Collette for $3,425 was worth a mere $75 when she took it to the Hermès store on Madison Avenue for a cleaning. The bags sell for $20,000 new.
The fake Birkin back that Tara Allmen bought from Collette Consignment.

Collette’s lawyer, Patricia Weiss, responds in court papers that Silverstein’s “opinion of defendant’s business practices is irrelevant because her affidavit contains nothing about the purchase transaction of the single item in this lawsuit.”
Weiss notes that Allmen’s store receipt from the Southampton store in September 2005 describes the purchase with only one word—“orange”—and does not specify the designer or that it was even a handbag.
“Therefore, plaintiff has no testimonial evidence to support her allegations in her claim for fraud,” Weiss says.
Allmen, who says she has spent $40,000 at Collette’s stores between 2005 and 2013, countered in an interview, “Tisha Collette can lie all she wants. I will prevail.”

A handbag for the price of a house

In the global marketplace, where everything is readily accessible to anyone with extra cash, the definition of luxury is elusive. For those who can afford it, the very word "luxury" has become as overused and meaningless as the old catchphrase "new and improved."
Post-recession, the rich are looking beyond the "more is better" philosophy and instead, choosing to purchase items they view as truly luxurious. Those that make the cut are typically one-of-a-kind, crafted of exceptional quality and have a history that has meaning to the new owner, says Cara David, managing partner at YouGov.
Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions,
Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

This handbag deserves its own security guard

For handbag aficionados, the iconic Hermes Birkin has long been at the top of the list of covetable items. And for those who truly seek to redefine luxury, the vintage, one-of-a-kind Birkin headed for the auction block later this month ticks all the boxes.
The crocodile bag, encrusted with 245 diamonds and 18-carat gold hardware, is "meant to evoke images of the majestic Himalayan mountains," according to Heritage Auctions, which is offering the bag to the highest bidder in a sale later this month. Experts expect it to smash previous records and fetch as much as $200,000, according to London's Daily Mail.

How the rich are buying now

David says The Survey of Affluence and Wealth, by Time Inc. and YouGov, finds that the affluent feel that luxury is less about price than it is about experience. "Luxury is in the eyes of the beholder," she adds. "It's very personal, and what might define luxury for one person is different than it is for someone else."
In the survey, 70 percent of respondents indicate that in the wake of the recession they are buying fewer items, but they want higher quality. Even more interesting, 52 percent say they actively take part in auctions, partly because they feel they are getting a better price for something unique, David notes, and partly because it gives them an enjoyable experience.

The thrill of exploration

Buying at auction is different than your run-of-the-mill shopping trip, David says, because you have the adventure of an unknown outcome and an unusual story to go with your acquisition.
The diamond Birkin is more than a handbag, David says. It's a collectible and, as with any other collectible -- whether it's fine wines, watches or vintage toys -- the ultimate luxury is the thrill that comes from obtaining the top of the line. "It's about enhancing the quality of life with the acquisition," she adds. "It's about the story behind it."
In that way, buying at auction becomes sort of like travel, she adds. For 87 percent of survey respondents, the ultimate goal of luxury is to allow for more meaningful experiences. Auctions are viewed as not only a fun activity, but a chance to have that experience.
"If you think about the experience of travel -- exploring the new and unknown, the memories, the first-class service -- and then you think about retail these days, is there anything about retail that replicates that? Not much," says David. But auctions still do, she adds.
"Luxury has more to do with the time spent versus the things purchased," she says. The rich want to know, "Is the time it's taking to make this purchase valuable to me?"
For more auction news: You won't believe what they're auctioning off at an event commemorating country-music star Waylon Jennings.

By Judy Martel ·

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Jane Birkin is auctioning off one of her namesake Hermes bags on eBay

Jane Birkin is auctioning off one of her namesake Hermes bags.
The Brit actress has decided to put the sought-after accessory on the web marketplace to raise money for Anno's Africa which seeks to offer an arts education to orphans in the continent's most deprived cities.
The Parisian luxury label created the bag in 1981 when their late chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas sat next to Jane on a flight from Paris to London and - after noticing her flimsy straw carry-on - created a leather weekend bag for the stunning brunette to travel with.
Her daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg, will also auction off her own signed edition of the Balenciaga City Bag for the charity which was set up in honour of Jane's nephew, the poet Anno Birkin, who perished in a car crash shortly before his 21st birthday.
The 67 year old fashion icon told The Telegraph newspaper: ''My handbag is being auctioned off to help a charity called Anno's Africa. That this epitome of 'chic Parisienne' should end up being useful in the Kenya slums...
''I'm very proud...By it's sale, to be able to bring art and dance, music and circus and a bit of fun and self worth to children who have nothing... to bring lightness and a future to hundreds of children in these slums, to permit artists to go there and work with these children... What better end for this Birkin bag than to help this cause, Anno's Africa in memory of that poet's name.''
The starting price for the handbag - which retails in store from around £4,800 up to £100,000 - has been set at £10,000, although it is expected to fetch well over £30,000.

Here's a link to the eBay listing:
JANE-BIRKIN'S Signed/Owned Black Leather Hermes Birkin-Bag

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hermes Goes Underground....Opens in Grand Central Station NYC about taking a brand to the masses. i guess Hermes figures if you can afford a subway token then you can afford a $45,000 handbag or $470 cotton boxer shorts.


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Bag Man