Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hermès Birkin Sellier 40

Is this just a trick to sell less of a bag for more money?

Hermès is selling a 40cm Birkin with no lock, no keys, and no clochette - yet charging more than they typically do for a basic 40cm Birkin. Add in that they claim the "stitching is extremely subtle" - which suggests to me that the stitching is done by machine and not hand/saddle-stitched - which further reduces their costs. 
Hmmm...Scratching head...


New York Times T Magazine

An Icon Goes Minimal

Credit Marko Metzinger
It’s tough to improve on perfection, but that’s precisely what Hermès has done with the new hyper-pared-down Birkin Sellier 40. According to Couli Jobert, the leather artistic director at Hermès, natural brown was deemed too obvious for the new Birkin, which is only available in matte black with silver palladium hardware. As the goal was to create an essential design without clutter, the structured cowhide bag is extra-wide, has no lining and the stitching is extremely subtle. It’s a radically modern update of the elegant classic, which has been the subject of girl envy — and the cause of waiting lists — since it was first crafted in 1984.
About $14,900,

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Is There Life After Hermès?

The designers behind Lemaire: Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran. They are partners in work and in life. Credit Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times
PARIS — Christophe Lemaire, the whispery, whiskery designer of Lemaire, is an odd avatar of steel-spined grit. He’s a philosophe of fashion, given to long pauses for thought as he chews over how and why he makes the clothes he makes. He dresses plainly, in Japanese-denim work shirts tucked into Japanese-denim jeans. He doesn’t broadcast bravery.
Yet last fall he stepped away from a marquee job as women’s wear designer of the global powerhouse Hermès to concentrate on his own, much smaller brand, Lemaire, which held its fall show on Wednesday, full of pale-rider tweed capes and high boots, off-the-shoulder tops and flaring skirts.
“There was a little bit of anxiety,” Mr. Lemaire said of the decision in his measured way, as he sat in the back office of his studio on the Rue du Temple in Paris, the day before his fall 2015 women’s show. “Definitely, it was a difficult decision to make, because I loved working there. But it was also a way to challenge us, to say O.K., this is happening with Lemaire. It’s been a few seasons that it’s growing and growing, the sales are growing. We get more and more attention. It’s happening now.”
Outside, models clustered in a hallway and waited their turn to be presented to the show’s stylist, Camille Bidault-Waddington, while employees churned around them. But inside the office, seated by a framed photo of David Bowie at his most aristocratic, Mr. Lemaire betrayed no anxiety, only calm.
“It was a recognition when Hermès came to ask me to design for them,” he said. “It was, of course, a recognition from the system. It’s true that all of a sudden people started to look at the brand a little bit more carefully. The shows started to be more crowded. Some people started to like it. That’s all natural. And personally it gave me confidence and I think by association, to Sarah-Linh too.”
Sarah-Linh is Sarah-Linh Tran, Mr. Lemaire’s companion in life and work, and until recently, the silent and mostly hidden partner behind Lemaire. She is now its co-creative director. They have been together for eight years, Mr. Lemaire said, and Ms. Tran has been working on the label for five. In January, Mr. Lemaire changed the name of the label from Christophe Lemaire to Lemaire to acknowledge her contributions, and those of his small studio. “We wanted it to become a family name,” he said.
Lemaire’s aesthetic reflects the designer’s own unforced elegance. Earlier collections included more references to esoteric regional wardrobes and workwear, but recent ones have loosened up and become, as Mr. Lemaire described his last men’s wear collection, more personal. “We’re all conditioned to create fantasies,” he said. But “we’re interested in the quality of everyday life. That’s where culture really is.”
Even without Hermès, whose new artistic director, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, shows her first collection on Monday, Mr. Lemaire still compels attention. The show on Wednesday drew an appreciative crowd. The day before, he announced — with no undue fanfare, just a mass-emailed press release and very little comment from either company — that he would collaborate with the Japanese retailer Uniqlo on a collection for men and women, to debut in the fall.
Uniqlo is, on the face of it, a full swing of the pendulum away from Hermès, whose luxury is out of reach to all but the most wealthy consumers. By contrast, Uniqlo is the home of affordable basics, a rainbow of under-$100 cashmere sweaters stacked high in its megastores. “Good design is good design,” Mr. Lemaire said. “There is something we like about Uniqlo in the generic dimension.”
Generic is not a selling point for every designer. “We’re not trying hard to be distinctive. I don’t think we are. …” He paused, then said: “Don’t try to be subversive. We believe in things, we agree with things in the fashion system and we don’t agree with some things, we just follow our own path.”
But subversion takes many forms. It can be a nearly monastic dedication to careful, nearly obsessional design. (Mr. Lemaire called the racing speed of contemporary fashion “the disease of our time.”) It can be the smaller, independent path less taken.
Or it can be, lest all this philosophizing sound chilly, more traditionally subversive, like the molded-leather bags, designed with the Chilean sculptor Carlos Penafiel, in the gracefully if protuberantly rounded shape of a woman’s décolletage, nipples included. There is, perhaps, more to the Lemaire woman than has yet met the eye. “Maybe there’s a misunderstanding about who we are,” Mr. Lemaire said. “Maybe we are also responsible for that. The Lemaire is not only an intellectual, wise Puritan — she could be naked under her coat.”
When someone is holding a bag like that all day long, Ms. Tran added, “it’s quite intriguing.”

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Hermes Twilly and the Hermes Handbag

Who is the evil monster who started this gawd-awful trend of wrapping handbag handles with an Hermès Twilly? Honestly, whomever it was they should be brought before the Fashion Police and the Board of Health.
Exhibit A:

I have two thoughts looming large on this subject.
One. Why would you spend $10,000 (entry level) on a fine leather handbag only to cover part of it with cloth? Oh right, to protect it from dirt, stains, and germs. Well if that's the case then why not use the plastic rainjacket (which Hermès provides) on the bag? This way you protect the entire bag (rain, wine spilled in a restaurant, etc). Oh, I guess not...that would be considered unattractive. 

Two. Okay, so you use the Twilly so the handle(s) don't get dirty or germy...but doesn't the Twilly get filthy? And how often does the owner wash the Twilly? Oooops, but wait, Hermès says you should NOT wash a Twilly (or any of their silk, for that matter). So, do these Twilly-handbag-wrapping nut cases actually dryclean their Twilly after carrying the handbag? Somehow I think not.

Don't people carry their handbag with them everywhere they go? From the house to the car (or to public transportation) to work, to the gym, to the restroom. And don't their hands go with them to all of those places, picking up dirt and grime, sweat and oils, and all the germs and bacteria along the way? I can't imagine that the Twilly isn't the most disgusting germ riddled piece of fabric this side of the toilet paper dispenser in an airport restroom.

It's for those reasons that I recommend No Sacrifice Love Handles® handle protectors. These Patent Pending clever little luxe devices are made of eco-friendly Ultrasuede® and become nearly invisible when placed on your handbag handle. They come in a multitude of sizes and colors, are fully machine washable and machine dryable, and look and feel great!
Exhibit B: No Sacrifice Love Handles® in use:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Iconic Women’s Bags | Hermès Birkin: Big, Bold and Beautiful

Monday, February 9, 2015

Rosmah Mansor with her $55,000 Crocodile Birkin Bag (and husband, Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia )

Mr. Najib, who earns an annual salary of about $100,000 as prime minister, has been battered by news media reports of his wife’s lavish spending. A notable episode involved the Birkin bags: A series of photos that went viral on social media in Malaysia showed Ms. Rosmah holding at least nine of the purses. They typically cost between $9,000 and $150,000 apiece.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Sad Day for Hermes

Apple now leads the luxury gift market in China, taking the #1 slot from Hermès

Apple is on rather a roll at the moment. A new world record for quarterly profits. Best-selling smartphone maker in China. Joint leader of the global smartphone market. Record-breaking app store earnings. Now Reuters reports that it’s picked up a new accolade, leading the luxury goods market in China.
Apple Inc has taken the number one luxury gifting spot in China from designer goods maker Hermès International SCA, according to a Hurun luxury report on Thursday, reflecting the iPhone maker’s recent hot streak in the country.
Hermès is a French maker of designer clothing and accessories, known for its scarves and handmade leather luggage. Apple also beat Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel to the title. The Hurun luxury report is an annual survey of the spending of millionaires in the country which has been running for more than a decade. The launch of the Apple Watch in April is likely to solidify Apple’s position in the Chinese luxury goods market.



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