Thursday, February 11, 2016

Birkin's are Out - Guns are In

Concealed Carry Purses Are the New Hermès Birkins

It's the bag trend you never saw coming.

The hottest trend in bags right now isn't fringe or studs or prints, it's guns. Specifically, purses designed to conceal guns.
According to Google, about 74,000 people search for the term "concealed carry purse" every month. That is the same number of people who look for "Hermès Birkin."

Concealed carry purses are most popular in North Carolina, followed closely by Texas, Ohio, Georgia, and Florida. 
It's a relatively new trend, popping up on Google's radar for the first time in 2011, but it has seen a dramatic increase in the last couple months at the same time that gun sales across the nation reached record highs following the mass shooting in San Bernadino, California, and President Barack Obama's subsequent calls for more restrictions on gun sales.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Wannabes have ruined Fashion Week

it all lost its luster when we discovered that the Birkin waiting list was a hoax

New York Fashion Week was once the hottest ticket in town. Style-obsessed teens would park outside the tents at Bryant Park — and, later, Lincoln Center — in all their finery, in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Anna Wintour or Sarah Jessica Parker. Naked PETA protesters would hurl pies and throw paint at editors’ fur coats. A weird club kid could crash a party at the Beatrice Inn or Don Hill’s and no one would bat an eye.
Not anymore, says Hannah Elliott, a luxury reporter for Bloomberg. “I noticed it [the other night] at the opening party for men’s fashion week,” she says. “Seemingly all of the people there were publicists and bloggers. Even as recently as five years ago, fashion parties were filled with downtown kids, artists, models and designers. But the whole thing has changed.”
She’s not alone in finding Fashion Week a bit stilted. As the women’s shows get ready to launch on Thursday, editors, designers and other insiders are saying the whole thing has become passé.
“We have designers, retailers and everybody complaining about the shows,” Diane von Furstenberg told WWD in December.
On Friday, Tom Ford canceled press previews of his fall 2016 collection, which had been scheduled for next week in New York. Instead, he’ll show — and, in a major industry shake-up, sell — his items simultaneously in the more seasonally appropriate September.
“Our customers today want a collection that is immediately available,” Ford said in a statement. “Fashion shows and the traditional fashion calendar, as we know them, no longer work in the way that they once did.”
The blow came on the heels of the news that London-based Burberry will combine its men’s and women’s collections in two shows every year, with “seasonless” lines immediately available to purchase on the Web.
In New York, part of the fashion fatigue stems from the fact that the biannual event is bigger — and more overwhelming — than ever. In 2012, the New York Fashion Week calendar boasted some 270 shows; that number has swelled to close to 400.
“Everyone in the industry complains about New York Fashion Week,” echoes Lauren Indvik, editor-at-large of Fashionista. “People just don’t want to go,” she says, “especially when the weather is freezing in February.” Indvik adds that she has significantly cut down on the number of shows she attends.
So has Bloomberg’s Elliott. “I don’t need to cover many of them,” she says, “but I go to support friends and sources who I use in my reporting.”
The lack of a central location — Fashion Week was kicked out of its previous Lincoln Center home in 2015 — adds to the hassle, making the event more alienating to outsiders who used to add color to the scene.
“You definitely see a lot less workers on their lunch breaks or tourists coming by to people-watch,” says Indvik.
On the whole, says Elliott, Fashion Week — once delightful and scrappy and exciting — has become overly corporate and creatively hollow. “It feels more like a game show or a reality show,” says Elliott, “than anything underground, fresh or unique.”

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Chanel vs Hermes

Chanel serves Champagne to their clients; Hermes serves water. I've always thought about that...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The (luxe) Snooze-Fest Continues at Hermes Men's Ready-to-Wear for Fall/Winter 2016

Rinse, change colors, repeat...(yawn)...

Photos by Giovanni GIannoni/WWD

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Apple Watch Hermès collection to be available online starting Jan. 22

Apple and Hermès will finally make the products of their partnership for the Apple Watch — known as the Apple Watch Hermès collection — available to purchase online soon … very soon.
Since its release a month after it was unveiled at the iPhone 6s event in September, the Apple Watch Hermès collection has been available to purchase only at select Apple stores, Hermès shops and boutique retailers in North America (Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Toronto), Europe (Berlin, Geneva, London, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Zurich), and Asia Pacific (Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo).
But as reported by Fashionista, the collection will be offered for purchase online starting this Friday, Jan. 22.
As touted by the Cupertino-based tech giant and the Paris-based luxury brand, each timepiece in the collection comes with a stainless case with “leather straps handmade by Hermès artisans in France and an Hermès watch face reinterpreted by Apple designers in California.”
In total, the collection offers 10 different style and size combinations across three band types: Single Tour, Double Tour, and Cuff.
Starting at $1,100, the Single Tour is available in Fauve and Noir for the 38mm and 42mm cases, and in Capucine for the 38mm case.
The Apple Watch Hermès collection will be offered for purchase online starting this Friday at both Apple and Hermès’ official websites.
Probably then, when it’s just a few clicks away rather than requiring a visit to a participating store, it will attract more users in spite of its relative priciness.

Friday, January 15, 2016

What’s the better investment: The S&P 500, gold, or an Hermès Birkin bag?

This would have been true five years ago; not so today. Years ago Hermes only had about 400 craftsmen and was opening new stores at a fairly fast pace so supply did not begin to equal demand. Today Hermes has more than 3,000 craftsmen and the Birkin has been around since demand is beginning to slow - and supply is exceeding demand. The article (and ones like it) are quick to point out that an Hermes Birkin sold last year at auction for $223K - but they don't mention that that bag cost more at Hermes than $223K (so it defeats their premise). And why do all of these stories perpetuate the MYTH of the waiting list? There is NO waiting list. Even the CEO of Hermes, Robert Chavez, has stated that there is no waiting list. My book debunks the waiting list. And finally, your block of gold, your Exxon stock certificate, will not lose their value if you get a drop of wine on them....

If you’re looking for a long-term investment, you might want to forget the stock market, skip the gold, and instead, buy yourself a new handbag. Though not just any bag will do—it’s got to be a Hermès Birkin bag, possibly the most exclusive handbag in the world.

According to Baghunter, an online marketplace for buying and selling high-end bags, the average annual return rate for the Birkin bag actually outpaced that of both the S&P 500 and the price of gold over the last 35 years. Accounting for inflation, the S&P returned an average 8.7% a year, and gold -1.5%—while the resale value of a Birkin in pristine condition rose 14.2%, according to Baghunter’s number crunching.

The bag’s value also showed considerably less volatility than the stock market, which could be good or bad depending on what type of investment you want. The figures above assume the investor purchased the item or stock and simply held it all those years, without actively trying to maximize profits by moving in and out of investments as the markets moved. In the timeframe examined, the S&P saw a high annual return of 37.2% in 1995 and a low of -36.6% in 2008. The Birkin, on the other hand, fluctuated between a high of 25% and a low of 2.1%, never falling in value. But an investor who timed the market just right could have made more from the S&P.

Baghunter tells Quartz that its figures for the S&P and gold start in December 1980, just before the Birkin’s conception in 1981, when actress Jane Birkin, in a chance encounter on a plane with the then-CEO of Hermès, said the company should offer a bag with pockets.

Evelyn Fox, the founder of Baghunter, which has an obvious stake in promoting the Birkin’s resale potential, told Luxury Daily the findings reflect the stability of the ultra-luxury market. Unlike the stock market and the regular old luxury market, which includes high-end but still relatively accessible goods from brands such as Burberry or Gucci, it fluctuates little, even in difficult economic times.

The comparison between “investing” in a bag and the stock market is somewhat apples-to-oranges, though in some ways that’s because of the very reason the Birkin is so valuable to begin with: The barrier to getting a Birkin is extremely high compared to buying stocks. To start, the average cost of a new Birkin is about $60,000, and they’ve reached as high as $223,000 at auction. Even a Class A share of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will only set you back $192,000 at present.

One reason for the Birkin’s lofty prices: Scarcity. The bags, a status symbol carried by celebrities from Victoria Beckham to Pharrell Williams, are infamously “sold out” almost constantly, creating wait lists up to six years long. Hermès says the lengthy process required to produce the bags, made of premium animal skins that take time to harvest and are then hand-sewn by rigorously trained artisans in France, prevents it from meeting demand. But not everyone accepts that reasoning; there’s a lot of motivation for Hermès to create shortages to keep the bag’s value and prestige high.

Exclusivity also helps keep the Birkin’s value from pitching wildly: You don’t get a lot of people dumping $60,000 bags they waited years to buy and flooding the market. Though if the bags did go out of fashion, their “investment” value would plummet. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to buy new: Baghunter would be happy to have you invest in your bag through them.

Update, Jan. 14, 5:00pm EST: Baghunter clarified that its calculation of the Birkin bag’s average annual return rate includes inflation. The post was changed to compare this figure with the inflation-adjusted returns for the S&P and gold. 


NBC-TV/Today Show
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Bag Man