Friday, December 25, 2015

NPR - National Public Radio - covers the Hermes Birkin bag

There are people with Birkin bags and there are the rest of us. Today on the show: the elaborate, upside-down strategy that has kept a $60,000 purse the "it" bag for 30 years.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hermes triples size of Moscow's Red Square store

(Reuters) - French luxury goods maker Hermes will reopen one of its two Moscow shops on Thursday after tripling its selling space in a gesture of long-term confidence in the market.
Hermes first opened the shop in Russia's landmark GUM shopping center on the Red Square in December 2007.
The original store occupied around 250 square meters but after expansion and relocation within GUM, the shop's selling space has risen to 740 square meters and it now offers clothing, accessories, watches and jewelry, perfumes, and home collections on three levels.
The store, now the company's second-biggest in Europe, will open at a time when Russia's economy has experienced a sharp downturn.
The company's chief executive officer Axel Dumas said the investment was taken for the long-term.
Nicolas Vlieghe, Hermes Russia Managing Director, told Reuters the company's Russian sales were rising without providing details.
Hermes took direct control of its Russian stores in 2011 from a local retail partner, having opened two stores in the capital city of Moscow in 2000 and 2007.

A Hermes sign is seen on one of their Paris stores

Monday, December 7, 2015

Bringing Home the Birkin - Book #2 ............TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Currently working on what might become Bringing Home the Birkin, Again.
If you have any insider information, something worth sharing about Hermes, Birkin bags, or anything juicy please post a comment or send me an email...I'd LOVE to hear from you.  Thanks!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Reading the label right

Reality stars have ruined the Birkin

No bag has held as firm or as long a grasp on “It” status as the Hermès Birkin, thanks to rumors of a decade-long waitlist and a line of celebrity fans, like Kim Kardashian — who has upwards of 20 of the boxy, structured totes, including one that daughter North West painted on — and “Real Housewives” like Kyle Richards.
But over the years, the style set has grown sour on the once-coveted item.
These days, anyone with a Wi-Fi connection and five figures to spare can score a Birkin at resale sites like The once-impossible-to-buy find is even available at Hermès’ own stores, if you know how to ask — circumventing the so-called “waitlist.”
Although the Birkin was officially born in 1984, stories of the waitlist didn’t begin popping up until the ’90s, and demand went into overdrive after it was prominently featured on a 2001 episode of “Sex and the City.” The supposed waitlist reached a fever pitch in 2006, with news outlets reporting it had reached 10 years.
“The waitlist is a total myth,” scoffs Michael Tonello, author of “Bringing Home the Birkin,” which detailed his experience procuring Birkins to resell at a markup between 30 and 50 percent.
The secret, he says, is buying a lot of other merchandise first, then asking for the bag as a reward of sorts. It’s this strategy, he said, that allowed him to purchase millions of dollars of Birkins over the years to resell.
Meanwhile, although the bag is still selling, the fashion elites are snubbing it in favor of more limited-edition designer offerings — like Chanel’s $2,400 “hula hoop” bag, which came down the runway in 2012 and is now being resold at a 40 percent markup, according to Fanny Moizant, co-founder of the online reseller Vestiaire Collective.
And earlier this year, Mansur Gavriel’s popular leather totes and bucket bags, ranging in price from $525 to $1,195, spurred waitlists in stores from Barneys to Steven Alan.
“[Before], people would only see [a Birkin] in a magazine, or a global celebrity like Sharon Stone carrying one,” says Tonello. “Now every woman in New Jersey is carrying a Birkin.”

By Leah Bourne

photos from top: Kim Kardashian (from left), Sofia Vergara and Khloe Kardashian all tote around their Birkin bags.

Irina Shayk hails a cab in NYC, Birkin bag at the ready.

Bethenny Frankel sports her Birkin around town.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gigi Hadid Loves Birkin Bags (here with Zayn Malik)

New lovebirds Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik desperately try to go incognito as they enjoy second date in a matter of days


They were pictured together for the first time as they left a Los Angeles party following the American Music Awards on Sunday.
And hot new couple Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik stuck to what they know as they were spotted leaving the same Hollywood haunt on Tuesday evening.
The newly-recruited Victoria's Secret model and the former One Direction singer desperately attempted to go incognito as their second date at The Nice Guy - where they were joined by Gigi's 19-year-old sister Bella - came to an end.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Where Will Hermès Find Growth in a Slowing Luxury Market?

MIAMI, United States — The pristine sidewalks of the Miami Design District are illuminated by glowing streetlights. Tonight, a champagne flute-clasping crowd gathers around the front of the neighbourhood’s brand-new Hermès flagship. The whitewashed building, wedged on the corner of NE 39th Street and 2nd Avenue, across the street from Louis Vuitton and around the way from the popular restaurant Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, is set to open to the public the next day.
Hermès’ new Miami store is its third flagship in the US, which emerged from the global financial crisis and ensuing downturn much faster and stronger than most markets. It is widely seen as a major opportunity for fashion and luxury businesses, especially as growth continues to slow in a troubled China. The store is also strategically positioned to capture spend from wealthy Latin Americans, who come to Miami to shop. “Miami is cosmopolitan, very American, but also very open to Latin America. We really wanted to have a store that reflects what is Hermès in term of a Parisian house, but also in terms of a house that respects the local culture,” says Axel Dumas, the sixth generation member of the family that founded the brand, who became its sole chief executive in 2014 after sharing the title for a year with Patrick Thomas.
Outside the store, there are velvet ropes keeping top-tier clients, Miami socialites and press close to the entrance as a parade of flamenco dancers marches past. It’s about 7pm and the sky is already pitch black. The interiors of the three-floor, RDAI-designed space beckon them with promises of exclusive product (and relief from the humidity). Unlike in most Hermès stores, the company’s home — or maison — collection sits on the main floor alongside men’s and a Saint-Louis crystal shop-in-shop, the first of its kind in the United States. Jewellery and scarves sit on the second floor. For women’s clothing, shoes and, most importantly, handbags — the company’s largest revenue driver — one must venture all the way to the third floor. It’s not a terrible strategy. One of the reasons Hermès chose the location — trumpeted by local developer Craig Robins — was that it allowed the company to build a space from the ground up, rather than adapt to something already in place.
Later in the evening, guests will head to an even grander spectacle at Soho Studios in the city’s artsy Wynwood neighborhood. The party — which was inspired by 1950s Havana and featured a salsa band, a pop-up restaurant, a game room and several interactive stations where guests could play dress up and have their photo taken — reportedly cost the company upwards of $1 million, according to sources.
For Hermès, the extravaganza is reflective of the investment the publicly held, privately controlled French luxury goods purveyor is making in both Miami and the United States overall. Indeed, in the past three years, the company has expanded or remodelled eight of its 28 standalone US stores — Beverly Hills in 2013, Atlanta in 2014, and Seattle, Washington D.C., Houston, Dallas and Miami in 2015 — and opened a standalone parfumerie in the downtown Manhattan’s new shopping center Brookfield Place earlier this year. “If you look at the macro business in the US, it’s a very solid base,” says Hermès’ US chief executive, Robert Chavez. “The whole idea that less is more is really something that is catching on in a major way. People want what they’re buying to last for a very long time. It’s not the throwaway culture that existed for so many decades.”
But retail expansion in the US is just one piece of the puzzle for Hermès as the company seeks new sources of growth. “We always try to have a balanced way of investing,” Dumas explains, sitting in the corner of the store that houses the saddlery. “I think it can explain a little bit of the resilience of Hermès in a difficult time.”
To be sure, Hermès has plenty of resilience. As the luxury industry takes a beating globally — according to a recent report by Bain & Company, real growth in leather accessories, fashion, hard luxury and fragrance and cosmetics has slowed to 1 to 2 percent — the company has managed to maintain business momentum. In the first half of 2015, the company reported a net turnover of €2.3 billion, a 21 percent increase at current exchange rates, and a 9 percent increase at constant exchange rates. Every category — or métier, as they are referred to more elegantly within the company — saw an increase in sales, except for watches, which declined by 1 percent. Leather goods and saddlery was up 14 percent. Ready-to-wear and accessories: 8 percent. Silk and textiles: 5 percent. Perfumes: 4 percent. The “other” category, which includes jewellery, tableware and home, was up 12 percent.
However, as the company prepares to report its third-quarter earnings on November 12, it’s clear that there are challenges ahead. For instance, gross margins for the first of half of 2015 were 66.5 percent, down from 68.1 percent during the same period in 2014. The company has also projected that its 2015 turnover — at constant exchange rates — will be up 8 percent for the year, compared to the double-digit growth it typically reports. Operational profitability is also projected to decrease from 2014’s 31.5 percent. “Over the past twenty years, Hermès has achieved both high organic growth and very significant margin expansion,” wrote analyst Luca Solca in a recent note. “Going forward, neither of the two is likely to continue, as the company seems to be set on a course of mid to high single-digit organic growth and is probably close to peak margins.”
So, where will the growth come from? “When you are so successful, how do you maintain that?” Dumas asks rhetorically. “I’m happy for Hermès to have this kind of recognition? Unfortunately, for me, my job is not to relish this good news, but to see what can be done better.”
When Dumas thinks about the future of the firm, he often thinks 10, 20, 30 years ahead. He also uses the word “balance” frequently in conversation. The importance of maintaining a balance, he says, is why the company has continued to invest in mature markets like the US, Europe and Japan. “We are not proposing a new country where we invest a lot and discount the other one,” he says. In Japan, for instance, the company opened or expanded stores in Kobe, Nagoya, and Tokyo long before the weak yen brought in an influx of tourists. “There is the groundwork that has been done, which is to become relevant and very different to the Japanese clientele. When people weren’t investing, we were there,” Dumas continues. “We made a statement to the Japanese community. At the same time, the decrease in the yen has created an opportunity for tourists in Japan. But even without tourists, we would have some good growth.” In the first half of the year, the company saw an 20 f percent increase in the country’s sales.
Wherever Hermès focuses its efforts, it aims to tightly tailor the product assortment to the local market. Twice a year, store directors from each boutique visit Paris to buy inventory for their outpost. In Miami, for instance, there are more exotic skin bags on offer than any other location in the world, in response to local demand. “It’s important to be relevant to your local clientele,” Dumas says. “You will have the tourist flow, but that is dependent on many things you cannot control.”
This dialogue with the customer extends to overall product assortment. The idea is to let the customer guide what the brand should make next. “We don’t have a marketing department. There is this profusion of offer, and we let the customer decide and then we see where the traction is coming from. Obviously, we’ve seen a very strong result in our fashion business. The shoe business has been very strong. We really believe that maison has a strong potential,” Dumas explains. “I’ve talked to you about geography, but it’s also one of our specialties to be balanced in our product offering. Those two pillars — geographical balance and métier balance — are what is important. Now is the time for me to invest in each of them, at our own pace. If you take a 20- or 30-year perspective, you don’t know what is going to seduce your client.”
Dumas is also proud to note that the brand is popular with both sexes. “Maybe it’s because of our equestrian roots, but we are also balanced between men and women,” he says. “That’s something we’ve been enjoying a lot.”
One category that is not performing as well is watches, which saw a 1 percent dip in the first half of the year. Again, Dumas’ strategy is to invest in the métier, rather than ignore the problem. At Baselworld in the spring of 2015, the company introduced a new range — the Slim d'Hermès — which was recently recognised at the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve. “For us, it’s creation first, so I’m glad that we won this award,” Dumas says. He also believes the watch industry’s transition from a primarily wholesale business to a retail business will play in the company’s favor. “I think that will help propel the watch category into growth again,” he says.
To be sure, the introduction of the Apple Watch Hermès in September 2015 is also a part of that growth plan. “We had an incredible talk with Jonathan Ive, and there was a lot of mutual admiration and common values. From that, we said, wouldn’t it be nice to have something combining our craftsmanship, our vision? It was about trying to make a contemporary, elegant object. It was not a master plan of global domination,” Dumas says of the drivers behind the partnership. Yet, as Solca recently wrote: “For Hermès, it attracts attention back to a category with which the brand has been struggling and offers an easier entry point for aspirational consumers. It sells a little piece of the brand — a Hermès leather band — at a very significant premium and, I assume, a considerable margin.”
Hermès is also making investments in its digital presence. Currently, the company’s brand website is divorced from its e-commerce platform. In mid-2016, the company will integrate the two. “E-commerce is important, but also it’s about communication, telling your value,” Dumas says. “That’s why we are really thinking hard on re-launching the new website in 2016. I view digital as a great opportunity and something that is going to become more and more important.” Indeed, according to Solca, digital is expected to drive, on average, 40 percent of projected luxury sales growth from 2013 to 2020. “[E-commerce] is one of very few ways luxury goods companies can now grow,” he says.
When Dumas was named co-chief executive three years ago, he spent a lot of time looking at the archives, and quickly drew a correlation between the international expansion that happened in the 1970s and the digital expansion that is happening today. “There was a discussion in the 1970s, should we go international or should we not? People were saying, you don’t need to go international because everyone is coming to Paris. Going international will be risky and costly. Fortunately for us, we took the step to go international. I think it’s the same subject about digital now.”
There is another lesson learned from the 1970s, Dumas says: brand control is more important than ever. “If you believe that digital is strategic, then you should do it yourself,” he says. “In the 1970s, some did licensing, which was quicker than expanding international by opening your own stores, which was longer, slower, harder. But then, 15 years later they all tried to buy back their licenses.”
In the end, it’s clear that Dumas believes long-term prosperity will come from the brand’s belief in creativity. “Part of Hermès is resistance. It’s about keeping your value alive, protecting yourself in the future and believing in creativity,” he says. “There is no magical recipe. When you are a house that is 180 years old, there are good times and bad times. We have been able to reinvent ourselves many times. If we were just doing saddle making,” he continues, gesturing over to the horse-y goods stationed next to him, “that would be the size of the store.”

Axel Dumas

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hermes, Prada bags worth HK$440 million seized

Smuggled Hermes, Prada bags worth HK$440 million seized

Mainland customs officials seized about 6,000 Hermes, Prada and other luxury-brand goods worth about HK$440 million from suspected members of syndicates who used Hong Kong as their transshipment point.
The groups bought the luxury handbags overseas and asked the sellers to deliver them to Hong Kong warehouses through courier services, according to a Metro Daily report.
From there, the groups employed young and pretty ladies to take the luxury items across the border, each time carrying only one or two items so as not to arouse the suspicion of customs inspectors.
The goods were then sold in shops in Shenzhen’s Futain district as well as on online platforms.
Due to the high tax rates imposed on luxury items on the mainland, smuggling has become a lucrative business, the report said.
One shop in Shenzhen selling smuggled luxury items has raked in 270 million yuan (US$42.5 million) in just three years, a Shenzhen customs official said.
At least 32 suspects were arrested on Oct. 16, when customs and other law enforcement units raided several stores and warehouses in a number of key cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. The operation was codenamed Justice 14.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Hermès launches flagship store in Miami’s Design District

13K sf boutique is among brand's largest in the U.S. and the only one with Saint-Louis crystal


More than two years in the making, Hermès of Paris’ flagship store in the Miami’s Design District is set to open on Friday.
With three stories and an undulating staircase, the 13,000-square-foot boutique at 163 Northeast 39th Street represents one of the French brand’s largest stores in the United States, said Robert Chavez, president and CEO of Hermès U.S., who was at the boutique’s unveiling on Thursday
“It really started with Craig Robins’ vision,” Chavez told The Real Deal, recalling how Robins, president and CEO of Dacra, came to see him three-and-a-half years ago, and told him of his plans to transform the Design District into a luxury shopping destination. “Let’s do it,” Chavez recalls saying after learning more and witnessing what could be created. Once Hermès lease expired at Bal Harbour Shops, Hermès opened a temporary store in the Design District, and began designing and building the new flagship. 
“We felt it was definitely a market where we wanted to make a significant investment,” Chavez said.
The goal was to create an inviting setting for visitors to experience the full Hermès collection, amid floor-t0-ceiling glass and an abundance of natural light. The building’s facade has two layers: a glazed glass box, covered with a white-coated steel grid, broken up by hundreds of vertical steel tubes of varying thickness. 
“It’s the perfect expression of what the Design District is all about,” Robins told TRD of the new store. “It’s a neighborhood where brands can get out of the more boring context and be creative, and create flagship stores that are different, because it it’s a place where they can experiment and do things that are more exciting,
As part of Hermès’ new store concept, the Hermès men’s collection is at the front of the space on the first level. The Miami boutique also is the first store in the United States to have a “shop-in-shop” of Saint-Louis crystal, which has its own entrance on the first floor.
The store’s second floor showcases Hermès’ silk scarves, fashion jewelry, accessories, and the brand’s watch and fine jewelry collection. The third floor offers handbags, apparel, shoes, saddles and perfumes. The array of products reflects the Florida market, like flamingo print scarves and brightly colored items, said Peter Malachi, Hermès’ senior vice president of communications.
At the top of store’s rooftop sits the Hermès symbol of a horse, one of just six stores in the world to have it . “The fact that they chose Miami as one of six cities in the world is a huge statement for us,” Robins said.
In the Design District, commercial rents are now about $150 per square foot, blended, for three stories, Robins told TRD. Other brands with three-story boutiques include Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford and Valentino. Dior, which will open its flagship in March, will also have a three-story building.
Amid the transformation of the district, Dacra now has 50 retail businesses open and other property owners  — including Thor Equities and TriStar Capital — have an additional 12 stores open, Robins said.  By March, Dacra’s figure will rise to 60. Construction on another 20 stores has begun, and those stores will start to open in late 2016, he said.
By the end of 2017,  Dacra will have 120 stores open on its own property, and other property owners will have another 40. Ten new restaurants are also planned.
“This is a major step in what is still a long process of new opportunities and new offerings that are going to transform the Design District over time,” Robins said.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Selling $2 Million in Birkin Bags at First Ever Pop-Up Yacht

I see things like this and immediately wonder how many counterfeit bags are in that mix! To me it screams "buyer beware".


Birkin Is Selling $2 Million in Bags at First Ever Pop-Up Yacht Next Weekend

You can purchase every single one plus a VanDutch yacht for the lowly price of $4 million.
$2 million in Birkin Bags, one extremely luxurious VanDutch pleasure yacht. What does that spell? The world's first ever Birkin pop-up yacht, and it's cruising through South Florida next weekend for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
VanDutch, Beyoncé-approved yachting company, and Privé Porter, a site that sells about $30 million in rare, unused bags every year, have teamed up to launch the pop-up, which will run from November 4th through November 11th.
If you're in the market for a Birkin and don't feel like chilling on a waitlist for years on end, then this might be your chance to purchase one and maybe cruise along in a multi-million dollar VanDutch 55 yacht. Birkin bags in calf, alligator, and not-exactly-Jane-Birkin-approved crocodile skins will be displayed on the ship, and you can schedule an appointment with Privé Porter to browse around and take one home. Or, you buy every Birkin plus the yacht for a mere $4 million. Up to you.
"Out of 30 Birkin bags we're featuring aboard the VanDutch 55, the crown jewel is the braise shiny porosus 35cm crocodile with 18K white gold and diamond hardware, offered at $360,000," says Jeff Berk of Privé Porter. Their goal is to try and break the record set at a Christie's auction, for a Birkin that recently sold for $221,846.
Now as for the rest of us mere mortals, we can peruse all the bags au gratis at the boat show from 11am to 6pm at the VanDutch Center.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cool: Hermès Pop-Up Shop Opens at JFK Airport

Travelers can now pick up scarves, perfumes, and home goods from the classic French brand in Terminal 4.
Hermès is making holiday airline travel a little more luxe, even for those us of who don't have business class tickets. The beloved French heritage brand has set up a pop-up shop in the newly renovated retail lounge in JFK’s Terminal 4. For ticketed passengers looking for a last minute flight accessory like a classic scarf or souvenir scent, the limited-time store will last through the end of November. Capitalizing on the 18 million travelers that catch flights in the terminal each year, Hermès temporarily joins the more permanent retailers in the area, including Hugo Boss, Swarovski, Tumi, and Kiehl’s.
Modeled after the flagship Paris location, the shop is offering candles and cleansing gels in a variety of fragrances, as well as the brand’s classic perfumes, like Eau des Merveilles and Jour d`Hermès. This isn’t the first time Hermès has built innovative pop up shops. In the fall of 2013, the luxury brand built a month-long scarf-centric pop-up near New York’s Columbus Circle that was built to look like a classic Manhattan diner.
Hermès joins Chanel in its love for airports. Paris Fashion Week featured a Chanel Airlines terminal from the mind of Karl Lagerfeld. It's all the reason we need to step up our sartorial game when we head down a different kind of runway.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Louis Vuitton, Hermès Lead Secondhand Luxury Sales

(a bag from Hermès)

PARIS — Louis Vuitton and Hermès have taken the top spots in the secondhand personal luxury market.
According to a study conducted by Exane BNP Paribas and the secondhand online retailer Instant Luxe, Louis Vuitton has extended its volume lead in both handbags and small leather goods in the first half of 2015, while Hermès heads the list in terms of average price increases.
By volume, Chanel and Hermès, the second and third strongest sellers, together currently make up 40 percent of Louis Vuitton’s worth in handbag sales. The first Italian players in the ranking, Gucci and Prada, combined are worth only 11 percent of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s top brand.
In the small leather goods category, Louis Vuitton dominates with a five-time advantage over Hermès.
Hermès has seen the average price of its handbags increase 23.6 percent in the first half of 2015 versus the same year-ago period, followed by Chanel and Céline, “possibly a consequence of the Kelly’s recent revival, and continued strong demand from Chinese consumers,” the researchers write.
The price of Hermès’ small leather goods, meanwhile, jumped 55.4 percent.
Hermès is also the leader in the fashion watches department, selling three times more than Chanel, which came in second, while Cartier reigns in the specialist watch space — at the expense of Rolex — as well as in the specialist jewelry space, the study says.
In fashion jewelry, Hermès continues to place second, though the French luxury brand has almost closed the gap with Chanel in terms of volume, with both companies also trading at approximately the same average price level.
Exane BNP Paribas noted that the faster momentum in the secondhand market is good news short-term. “This suggests higher brand desirability and top-of-mind position. Longer-term, this is also a challenge: higher top-of-mind could come at the expense of perceived exclusivity. Yet, it is obviously better to be relevant to consumers and having to manage perceived exclusivity over time, than to be irrelevant in the first place,” the researchers observed.
At present, 80 percent of the secondhand market is still in the hands of physical retailers, they noted, though online players such as Instant Luxe are growing fast, currently accounting for one-fifth of the market.
As reported, last month Eurazeo took a minority stake in Vestiaire Collective, one of Europe’s largest sellers of pre-owned fashion and accessories, in an attempt to cash in on the growing sector.
The site, which serves as a first gateway into luxury for many buyers, posted 85 percent growth in sales volume in the first half of 2015, the private equity fund said.

By - WWD

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Vintage View: Hermes scarves are the epitome of understated elegance

Kya deLongchamps takes a wander through the silken, society of the Hermès scarf.

Balade en Berline. Design taken from an 18th century Berlin carriage at the Musee National de la Voiture et du Tourisme, in Compiegne. €335 (36cm square to 90cm square).
Minuit au Faubourg. Designed by Dimitri Rybaltchenko. €335 (36cm square to 90cm square).

In the 1950s, the classical and equestrian iconography on a Hermès of Paris scarf spoke of an impossibly glamorous life.In winter one was pelted in impeccable couture in Paris, London or New York.
In summer, drinking gem-coloured cocktails with an elite tribe in the Cote d’Azur — the Hermès rolled, could keep the sun off the décolletage.
It was a brand you could hang onto, when all around you life was changing.

If the country seat was given up in death duties, the Baron von Tweeden-Pants dropped you for a starlet or you simply lost your looks — a Hermès scarf knotted elegantly under a gentrified chin (even in tatters) said something. You belonged — you were quality and knew what quality was.
Hunting, shooting, fishing, sparking elbows with royalty — and confidently staring down the under-classes — it was at one time all implied in a 36x36-inch square of exquisite silk jacquard.
Today, every Hermès scarf is still handmade and screen printed. It’s a luxurious, artisan product seamlessly connected with the world of high fashion and celebrity. It’s not too expensive darling — you simply cannot afford one!
Exclusivity, privilege — this is what real luxury is really all about. Since 1880 the headquarters of Hermès has been at 24, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris.

The Hermès family got their start in 1837 in harness making under Thierry Hermès, an immigrant of French/German descent.
Its superb leather work garnered top commissions including the supply of saddles, tack and accessories to Napoleon III and the Russian czars. Hermès is known to have made a golf jacket for Edward, the Prince of Wales with a specialised zip that wowed the trade.
Under Thierry’s grandsons Adolphe and Émile-Maurice, the company entered the unchartered waters of retail.
By the 1930s that essential connection with aristocracy had imprinted its name on the collective desires of society, and Hermes had digressed into watches with movements from Geneva, bags, country clothing, ladies wear for country pursuits, ties and carrés (scarves).

The very first Hermès scarf appeared in 1937 and featured a group of ladies playing a parlour game, ‘Jeu des Omnibus et Dames blanches’, designed in-house by Robert Dumas a member of the Hermès dynasty.
The recognition of the branding was crucial from an early stage — the Duc carriage drawn by a hackney horse and the wrapping — that flat, orange box used for the scarves.
The idea for scarves may have come from the equestrian roots of the company, as the material was, and still is, used for searingly bright jockey’s silks and was also used for its thermal properties to line riding jackets of every kind. Silk is not only 100% natural, but for its light weight, texture, warmth and cachet, is unmatched by any synthetic fibre.

The scarf adds a perfect dash of personable colour to any outfit, and has the added practicality of protecting the hair — atrophied in the mid-century with hours of work and a pint of lacquer.
When Queen Elizabeth was drawn in profile for a postage stamp released in 1950, she is seen in silhouette wearing a Hermès scarf, and she always used one as an implied riding helmet — the naughty rebel.
In 1956, the impossibly tasteful movie star Grace Kelly, was photographed carrying a Hermès Sac à dépêches, rebranded shortly thereafter, the Kelly Bag.
When Kelly broke her arm the same year, she rigged up a Hermes as a sling. When Sharon Stone tied up her victims in Basic Instinct, she was tasteful enough to at least use Hermès scarves.
Hermès scarves are made in France, and the company’s resolve to home produce and to stick with this expensive, rarefied textile was said to have endangered its very survival by the 1970s.
The hemming by nuns, and the use of pear blocks may have been superseded by more modern techniques, but the attention to detail, including hand-rolled edges and the intricate repetition of pattern, remains the same.

The silk itself is the best mulberry grown on the Hermès farm in Brazil, and it takes 250-300 cocoons to make a single 36in square.
Original concepts, from a commission to a renowned artist, are engraved on a plate for the screen printing.
Only 20 designs make it through the rigorous 18-month cycle of production each year at the company’s plant at Lyon, established by Robert Dumas-Hermès in the 30s.
The company even has an in-house museum referencing suitable topics for its annual themes (set since 1987 as an ingenious ploy to spur collectors on).
Astronomy, antiques, weapons, fireworks, flora and fauna, the recipes are whimsical, exotic, sometimes surreal and rendered in stunning colour combinations. Each scarf can demand as many as 45 individual silk-screens in its production.
Digital printing and the superb skills of craftsmen in the Far East have led inevitably to wide spread forgery of this high-end product.
There are numerous tip sheets online to educate the new collector in what to look for, from the lie of the jacquard (Hermès are never simply 100% silk) to the wording of the labels.
Hermes also has an app to show you how to knot your scarf in multiple ways and its website is a feminine fairyland.

For identification, try this tenderly maintained online catalogue of the latest collections:  (La Maison des Carrés). Carrés from €270, Silk Twilly from €135.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Secret to Hermès’ Success

For two decades, Hermès has managed to make its luxury goods both impossibly exclusive and widely available, driving strong profits and growth.

PARIS, France — For consumers and investors alike, Hermès is the quintessential luxury brand, seen as having the most exclusive and desirable goods on the market. But real exclusivity is not much of a business model — Leonardo da Vinci paintings are exclusive, but trading in his artwork offers little scope for growth or profit. And yet, among the major luxury goods companies I monitor, including LVMH and Kering, Hermès has reported the highest return on invested capital and the best operating profit after tax in 13 of the past 15 years. Sure, Hermès sells exquisitely made products, but so do many other companies. So what makes Hermès unique?
The convenient explanation is capacity constraints. Hermès frustrates demand and makes it difficult for people to buy its most coveted products. But here, too, Hermès is not alone, even if it does push things to the extreme. In today’s personal luxury goods sector, blending craftsmanship and customisation and with modern industry and technology has created the paradox of selling exclusivity by the million. And Hermès is the world champion in the art of leading people to believe its products are exclusive and unique. Indeed, Hermès has managed to appear exclusive and to maintain that appearance for years, all whilst selling a trainload of products every day with high margins.
The fact that people consider the Birkin handbag to be exclusive is an astonishing feat. I calculate there must be more than a million Birkin bags in circulation. Very few handbag brands can claim such significant volume on any of their models and even fewer can claim to have a luxury product with the exclusive reputation of the Birkin.
Better still is Hermès’ skill at creating a halo of exclusivity around each product it sells, no matter how trivial: ties for €150, scarves for €350, perfume for €85, fashion bracelets for €450. Consumers can buy any of these products and leave the Hermès store feeling like a million dollars. To achieve this, Hermès has implemented one of the most effective stratagems for reconciling high sales volumes with a reputation for exclusivity: category segregation. This involves confining iconic, core category products to high-end price ranges only, while focusing other product categories with lower price points on aspirational consumers.
Other companies have tried this approach, but none come close to Hermès’ level of success. Cartier segregates its product categories when it comes to advertising, featuring only exclusive pieces of jewellery in its campaigns. Similarly, several large soft luxury brands are attempting to segregate leather handbags, but the jury is still out on whether they will stick to this strategy, given the fierce attack by accessible luxury players such as Michael Kors.
The recent launch of Apple Watch Hermès is the nth example of the luxury brand’s extraordinary ability to appear both impossibly exclusive and widely available. For Apple, the partnership rescues the “cool factor” of the Apple Watch, which was drawing perilously close to appearing geeky despite the company’s attempts to build coolness around its luxury-level gold model. For Hermès, it attracts attention back to a category with which the brand has been struggling and offers an easier entry point for aspirational consumers. It sells a little piece of the brand — a Hermès leather band — at a very significant premium and, I assume, a considerable margin.
That said, the future for the luxury market’s master of seduction looks decidedly less assured. Over the past twenty years, Hermès has achieved both high organic growth and very significant margin expansion. Going forward, neither of the two is likely to continue, as the company seems to be set on a course of mid to high single-digit organic growth and is probably close to peak margins.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Man who stole HK$400,000 Hermes handbag hunted by Hong Kong police

A Brand Off store (left) and a CCTV image of the suspect. Photos: SCMP Pictures

Police have launched a manhunt for a man who fled with a luxury handbag worth about HK$400,000 from a store in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Police said a man asked for a HK$398,000 Hermes Birkin crocodile-skin handbag at an outlet of the luxury second-hand chain Brand Off on Peking Road at about 9pm on Wednesday.
Staff gave chase after the man took the bag, but he escaped in a taxi.
Police launched a fruitless search for the suspect, who is said to be slim, aged 20 to 30 and a Cantonese speaker without an accent.
A Yau Tsim police district investigation team is probing the case.
A nearby outlet in the Holiday Inn Golden Mile lost 30 handbags worth HK$1.8 million in June when a four-member gang broke into the store, smashed the closet with a hammer and grabbed the bags.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Jane Birkin drops request to have her name removed from Hermès handbag

Actress and singer Jane Birkin is now satisfied with how luxury group Hermes treats crocodiles and has dropped her request to have her name removed from its iconic handbags, the French company said on Friday.
Hermes said it had identified an "isolated irregularity" in the slaughter process at a crocodile farm in Texas and had warned the farm it would cease any relations should it continue to neglect its recommended procedures.
"Jane Birkin has advised us that she is satisfied by the measures taken by Hermes," Hermes said in a statement. Birkin could not immediately be reached for comment.
Birkin said in July she had asked Hermes to rename its Birkin Croco bag until the firm adopted what she said were practices that meet international standards for the production of the bag.
Actress and singer Jane Birkin is now satisfied with how luxury group Hermes treats crocodiles and has dropped her request to have her name removed from its iconic handbags, the French company said on Friday.
Hermes said it had identified an "isolated irregularity" in the slaughter process at a crocodile farm in Texas and had warned the farm it would cease any relations should it continue to neglect its recommended procedures.
"Jane Birkin has advised us that she is satisfied by the measures taken by Hermes," Hermes said in a statement. Birkin could not immediately be reached for comment.
Birkin said in July she had asked Hermes to rename its Birkin Croco bag until the firm adopted what she said were practices that meet international standards for the production of the bag.
Jane Birkin with the Hermes bag named in her honour

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Hermes Apple watch is here just like you wanted

The Hermès Apple watch has arrived - an item you never knew you wanted, but now lust for more than Michael Fassbender.
The Hermes Apple watch is here just like you wanted
PA Photos
It was only a matter of time before the fashion industry got in on the Apple watch action, but Hermès' involvement is slightly more surprising, as a fashion house steeped in tradition, history and discreet elegance.
"Apple and Hermès make very different products, but they reflect the deep appreciation of quality design," said Apple's chief design officer Jonathan Ive. "Both companies are motivated by a sincere pursuit of excellence and the desire to create something that is not compromised. Apple Watch Hermès is a true testament to that belief."
So, for those who have $1250 (£800) to spend, what can we expect? Each watch will come engraved with the label's signature; the watch straps will be made in Paris with Hermès' Barenia leather; and the typeface can be altered to the brand's famous orange shade.
The collection will be available from October 5. Here's six stars who we think will be clamouring for one ASAP:
  • Kim and Kanye West
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • David Beckham
  • Scott Disick
  • Cristiano Ronaldo

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Beware of Authentication Sites

Many sites, such as this one (shown below), often give out misleading if not totally incorrect information. Also question who owns such sites and what their ulterior motive might be.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hermes Alligators / Crocodiles PETA Petition

So this petition popped up on my radar today. Umm what about Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Nancy Gonzalez, Prada, ets (the list is long) their crocodiles/alligators live in condos and die of natural causes?

A single Hermès Kelly bag made from baby alligator skin costs $43,000. But the price these alligators and crocodiles pay is far greater. Their short lives are spent packed in fetid pools and dank, dark sheds without sunshine, fresh air, clean water, or basic medical care.This misery ends with their inhumane and unthinkably painful slaughter, after which only their bellies are used for these luxury goods.
Join me in asking Hermès help put a stop to the unethical farming of alligators and crocodiles, and discontinue use of these skins in their products.
At just one year old, baby alligators are shot with a captive-bolt gun and crudely hacked into while still conscious and fully able to feel pain. All for a “luxurious” watch band that rarely even lasts a year. PETA has documented this horrifying abuse and slaughter at farms in Zimbabwe and Texas, which contract exclusively with Hermès. You can watch their gruesome video here.
Alligators and crocodiles are highly intelligent and social animals. They work together to capture their prey. They have even been recorded using tools to hunt. They are devoted mothers, who stand guard over their eggs for months and stay with their babies for years. In the wild, their life expectancy is longer than humans’. But the fashion industry kills them in cold blood when they are no more than three years old.
Hermès has a die-hard and devoted following. They could do so much for animal welfare by ending their contracts with these cruel farms and announcing they will no longer use alligator and crocodile skins.
I am calling on animal lovers everywhere to help stop this carnage posing as “luxury.”Please join me in asking Hermès to take the higher ground, and discontinue its support of cruel alligator and crocodile farming.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Birkin bag: from status symbol to badge of shame

The ne plus ultra of luxury fashion status symbols is the target of a take-down by its celebrity namesake.
The crocodile Hermès Birkin bag, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, has spawned waiting lists of lore and is carried like a trophy by celebs from Oprah to Lady Gaga, is at the center of a controversy that has the power to affect the future of luxury fashion.
In case you missed it, British model/singer Jane Birkin is demanding that the bag be renamed, after she learned about the cruelty to crocodiles used to make the bags.
"Having been alerted to the cruel practices endured by crocodiles during their slaughter for the production of Hermès bags carrying my name....I have asked Hermès Group to rename the Birkin until better practices responding to international norms can be implemented for the production of this bag," Birkin said in a statement published at
Her response came after she viewed the animal rights organization’s stomach-turning expose “Belly of the Beast,” which looks at the farming and slaughter of reptiles in undercover videos from Texas and Zimbabwe farms, including a scene where a crocodile is sawed open alive. The skins are not only used for bags, but also shoes and watch bands.
Hermès has denied that the farms in the video are theirs, and issued a statement saying, “Hermes respects and shares her emotions and was also shocked by the images recently broadcast.” The bag was created by former Hermès executive Jean-Louis Dumas ‎in 1984.
But that hasn't quieted the outrage, which PETA has been stoking for several weeks by organizing protests around luxury shopping districts, promoting thehashtag #killedforhermes on social media and teaming up with the group Freedom of Animals to create a mockcroc, vegan "Virkin” bag, selling for $400, with 20% of sales of the style to be donated to PETA. (PETA gifted the bag to at least one celeb and Birkin collector, Victoria Beckham, in hopes of getting her to turn on the brand, according to the Daily Mail in London.)
ocial media’s court of public opinion ‎has mostly applauded Birkin's high-profile diss, with some Twitter users calling her a "fashion hero."
The controversy is interesting for a few reasons. Animal rights protesters used to be a mainstay at fashion weeks in New York and Europe, storming the runways with predictable regularity at high-profile shows by Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and others. But in recent years, they have been largely silent as PETA shifted its message online to social media. This controversy is a victory for the group, which has half a million Twitter followers, and further proof of how celebrity shaming can be a tactic to promote outrage and activism.
It could also signal a tipping point in the trend of ethical consumerism, and how it will define the future of luxury. So far, the discussion has centered around sustainability, with images of the Rana Plaza factory disaster in Bangladesh, and the recent film “The True Cost” increasing shoppers’ awareness of the human and environmental toll of consumption.  The Hermes Birkin controversy is expanding the discussion to include fashion’s toll on the animal kingdom in the most high-profile way, by targeting the very symbol of luxury, the vaunted Hermes brand.
Whether all of this influences the Hermes bottom line is another story.
Forty-five percent of the French luxury goods firm’s sales come from leather goods, including crocodile, ostrich and calf, and the Birkin is the brand’s most famous design. Waiting lists for the bags, which are made by hand, are legendary, with shoppers waiting months to pay six figures for the coveted carry-alls. Several books have been published about the phenomenon, including “Bringing Home The Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World’s Most Coveted Handbag,” in 2009.
In recent years, though, the ostentatious style has been so overexposed in paparazzi photos and on reality TV that it’s almost become outre. Last year, many pop culture observers gagged when Kanye West gave Kim Kardashian an Hermes Birkin bag for her 34th birthday that had been hand painted by their 1-year-old daughter, North. And in 2010, Lady Gaga made headlines for defacing her white Birkin with a Sharpie.
Meanwhile, Hermes has been downplaying flash in favor of a more stealth-wealth look. And when Hermes’ newly appointed design director Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski (who came from The Row) showed her first collection for the brand at Paris Fashion Week in March, there wasn’t a Birkin to be seen on the runway. Instead, the collection was quiet and minimal, right down to the new, structured Octogone handbag.
Will this be the beginning of a true movement away from trophy bags in exotic skins or a momentary social media blip? Will the Birkin bag go from status symbol to badge of shame? Only time will tell.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Hermes Vancouver store robbed, truck driven through window

Around 4 a.m. on Saturday morning, the Hermes Vancouver store on Alberni Street in downtown was broken into as a truck was driven into the storefront window.
The individual (unknown how many people were involved) then broke the store’s security camera and stole merchandise, according to repair workers.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Bill Clinton Gets in Some Retail Therapy at Hermès in Paris

Former President Bill Clinton Shops at Hermes in Paris
Bill Clinton

When in Paris, even former President Bill Clinton can apparently spare a little time for shopping – at Hermès.

A five-car convoy carrying the former president and a security detachment arrived out front of the luxury brand's landmark boutique on Monday at noon.

"There were about a dozen security men – American and French – with him and they went inside," an observer tells PEOPLE.

Hermès on Faubourg St Honoré is a shopper's mecca known for scarves, leather goods and luxury items. A spokesperson for the shop tells PEOPLE, it "never discloses details about its clientele."

Clinton, 68, spent more than an hour on the shop's third floor section, where windows were closed after his arrival. The observer speculated: "He's up there, probably buying the store."

He reportedly left with several shopping bags though they're hard to spot in the video below. We can't help but wonder what he purchased and whether Clinton was shopping for himself or his wife and U.S. presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton. The luxury store sells ties for about $225; a leather belt can set you back nearly $1,000.

It certainly seems like the former president would be able to afford the luxe shopping trip – as the New York Times reported June 17, the Clintons' net worth is somewhere between $11.3 million and $52.7 million, according to public disclosure statements filed earlier this year, among other assets and earnings under the Former Presidents Act of 1958.

Messages left with the Clinton Foundation have not yet been returned.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Author claims infamous Birkin bag ‘waiting list’ doesn’t exist

Author claims infamous Birkin bag ‘waiting list’ doesn’t exist

In “Primates of Park Avenue,” Dr. Wednesday Martin writes about a supposed epic “waiting list” that upscale ladies clamor to get on to procure Birkin bags from fashion house Hermès.
But “Bringing Home the Birkin” author Michael ­Tonello has said the “list” no long­er exists — if it ever did.
“They no longer use the term ‘waiting list,’ ” he said. Instead, “They encourage people to ‘establish a relationship’ with a salesperson who will help them try to get a Birkin.”
Tonello was at consignment shop 2nd Time Around on Wednesday, and certified that all its Birkins were legit as he signed copies of his book, which chronicles his life as a specialist traveling the world to nab Hermès bags for clients.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Clean Out Your Closets - There's LOTS of $$$ in Luxury Resale!

A Re-branded 2nd Time Around to Expand

Kristin Burrows

Second Time Around, which operates 40 stores across the U.S., wants to capture a bigger piece of the $14 billion to $16 billion resale market.
The retailer, whose tag line is “Resale Goes Upscale,” plans to more than double its store count by 2017. It’s also re-branding itself as 2nd Time Around and launching e-commerce in the third or fourth quarter of this year.
Kristin Burrows, president and chief executive officer, envisions six to eight new stores in Manhattan, which has 10 existing units. “We haven’t touched Brooklyn yet,” she said. And with stores clustered along the Eastern Seaboard, Chicago and Miami are priorities, along with heading West.
Top stores in the chain do $1.5 million to $1.8 million in annual sales, Burrows said. The stores average 1,250 to 1,500 square feet in size.
A new 2nd Time Around logo is visible on stores’ exterior and interior signage and the Web site has been redesigned with bigger images and a modern, less cluttered layout. “The logo and creative identity were inconsistent and looked very thrifty,” Burrows said. “We wanted to create something that was fresh.”
Top-selling brands include Theory, Helmut Lang, J. Crew Black Label, Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander Wang, T Alexander Wang, Missoni, M Missoni, Vince, Chanel, Burberry and Givenchy.
“It’s a very fragmented market,” Burrows said of resale. “It’s gone through different ebbs and flows.”
According to Burrows, 2nd Time Around competes with mom-and-pop consignment shops and new online players such as The Real Real and Vaunt.
“We have an opportunity to own the contemporary market on up through designer,” she said. “We have the largest base of brick-and-mortar stores and we use them as an asset.”
The two groups of constituents, shoppers and consignors, make the business unique. Burrows wants to make consigning easier, so 2nd Time Around will offer a pick-up service. The company provides online accounts for consignors to track their sales in real time.
Items are put on the sales floor within 48 hours and sell within three weeks on average, she said. Each store has two racks at the front designated “Style Editor Picks,” where looks are merchandised by outfit.
The company has “call-to-purchase” options on its social channels. “We do 10 percent to 12 percent of our sales on social media, especially Instagram,” Burrows said. When e-commerce launches, it will be mobile first and desktop second. “We’ll be adding a CRM database.”
Sales associates are trained to “style like Intermix,” Burrows said. “It’s all about wardrobing.
“We want women to leave feeling beautiful and smart,” Burrows said, noting that prices are generally one-third of retail. Consignors receive 40 percent of apparel sales and 70 percent of sales of trophy handbags such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès.
“We just got two Birkin bags in,” Burrows said, standing in the Chelsea store. “People are looking for unique pieces.”
The firm is introducing a formal loyalty program. About 80 percent of the retailer’s business is generated by 30 percent of its customers.



Monday, June 15, 2015

The rise and rise of Pixie Rose Curtis, 3, the Princess of Instagram

CLAD in a red Dolce & Gabbana dress, with her trademark bows in her hair, Pixie swings her mini-Birkin in the air and shrieks with laughter. She gives the strap of the $12,000 Hermès bag a hearty nibble then wails in frustration when her little fingers can’t open the clasp to reach the chocolates inside.
Draped in more designer items than most adults would wear in their lifetime, it’s all in a day’s work for kid-trepreneur Pixie Curtis, who, apart from screaming in terror at the sight of a sausage dog, doesn’t seem fazed by the team of stylists, photographers and assistants around her at the Sunday Style photoshoot.
Which is all the more remarkable, as she’s only three years old.
But then, everything about Pixie’s life is remarkable – she’s just not aware of it yet.
Thanks to the assiduous skills of her mum, Sydney publicist Roxy Jacenko, Pixie has become one of the most famous – and wealthiest – little girls in social media.
In the alternative universe of Instagram, Pixie is a very big deal indeed.
She’s racked up 107,400 followers and, represented by Jacenko’s management arm, Ministry of Talent, charges clients $500-plus per product placement on her feed.
She’s up there with some of the world’s biggest child stars – such as 15-month-old Millie-Belle Diamond from Sydney, who boasts 133,000 followers; LA’s Mini Style Hacker, Ryker Wixom, five, with 259,000 fans; and five-year-old American Gavin Duh, 173,000 fans.
But they can all only aspire to reach the dizzy heights of five-year-old South Korean-born Breanna Youn, who delights 1.3 million followers with her daily fashion updates.
But where Pixie leaves her rivals in the dust is with her business, Pixies Bows – a range of hair bows and accessories with a multimillion-dollar turnover.
“I look at this whole thing from afar and think, ‘This is not normal,’” concedes Jacenko, 35.
“The Instagram following is not normal, Pixies Bows is not normal.
“I didn’t think you could do so well out of a hair-bow business, but if you see an opportunity, if you’re savvy you maximise it.
“People were asking where she got her hair bows,” she recalls.
“I thought, ‘Bugger telling people where to get them, I’m going to make them.’”

The rise and rise of Pixie Rose Curtis
Pixie Rose Curtis is already a seasoned traveller and has a huge Instagram following.
She began manufacturing them in China and now they’re stocked all over the globe and have been worn by celebrity offspring including Suri Cruise, Haven Warren (Jessica Alba’s daughter), and Sarah Jessica Parker’s twin daughters, Marion and Tabitha.
All profits go into Pixie’s savings, and although her mum is coy about figures, sources suggest Pixie has enough that she’d never need to work.
Pixie’s jet-set life is the stuff of fantasy – and what earned her an enormous following to begin with.
Just before this cover shoot, she’d been on a five-star trip to Dubai to launch her bows in the UAE, staying at the luxe Atlantis, The Palm hotel.
Before that, she’d been to the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.
She’s pictured having a pedi at The Langham Sydney, parking her mini Merc next to Mummy’s Bentley and holding her Birkin outside Cecconi’s on a trip to LA.
The latter sent her global fans into a frenzy.
“She’s not on the internet doing the wrong thing; she’s on the internet being a kid. She’s doing things in a very fortunate capacity, but they’re not detrimental. It’s my job as her mother to protect her.”
Jacenko says it all began after a photo of Pixie on a family holiday in Italy.
“It really took off when we travelled to Europe and I gave her a plastic wine glass as she sat by the pool,” she says.
The holiday snaps – which included Pixie boarding a private jet, riding a helicopter and playing with Louis Vuitton luggage – led to BuzzFeed calling her “the Princess of Instagram”.
Overnight, her Instagram profile – which Jacenko says she started like any mum, “as a bit of fun”– went to 60,000 followers in two days.
It’s now almost double the size of Jacenko’s own.
And while it may not have been started commercially, Jacenko, as owner of Sweaty Betty PR, was quick to see the potential.
“People were sending her gifts. I don’t really have time to write thank-you notes, so the quickest way was to post a picture on Instagram,” she says.
“Then people offered to send her garments or toys and pay to post them, and you know what? It never really crossed my mind if it was right or wrong.”

Pixie wearing a Dolce & Gabbana dress, one of her own Pixie Bows and Armani Junior shoes.
Pixie wearing a Dolce & Gabbana dress, one of her own Pixie Bows and Armani Junior shoes.
Now Pixie has become a brand, touted as “the voice of her generation” according to Jacenko’s PR blurb.
Her bio lists “relationships” with Seed Heritage, Crocs, Best & Less and Pottery Barn.
Pixie clearly enjoys herself – she’s a funny, charming and sweet little girl who seems unaware that her lifestyle is anything out of the ordinary.
Despite the fact she came in a Burberry trench and Stella McCartney sandals, she’s holding Mum to the promise they’ll go and buy a 100 per cent polyester Elsa Frozen frock as a treat.
Jacenko says Pixie’s life is simply her life.
“She goes to preschool like every other kid, but when there’s free time, I try to expose her to as much as I can – whether it be travel or a fashion show,” she says.
“I suppose it’s not normal for a three-year-old, but if I’m doing it, she has to come with me.”
Doesn’t she worry she’s commercialised her daughter? No, she says definitively.
“As long as the child is having fun and is not in danger, it doesn’t cross my mind it’s wrong. When she’s not having fun, we’ll stop.”
“For now she is having fun, there are opportunities – she’s in a position where she’s making money. Is the child in danger? No. Is she having fun? Yes. Is she being given opportunities to be a well-rounded person? Yes.”
On cue, a not-having-fun-any more Pixie wails, “Mum, can we gooo?”
Jacenko seamlessly assures her they’re waiting for “the man to bring the car”, even though she drove herself.
“I live for the now, and as long as there are opportunities, it’s OK,” Jacenko adds.
“If, in a year or six months, she doesn’t want to do it, I’ll stop.
“But she’s not doing anything unusual – it’s not dissimilar to a child modelling.”
And yet it is unusual that a three-year-old has her own business, social-media profile and blog.
It is unusual that she carries a handbag that costs the same as a small car.
“No, it’s not really her bag. It’s mine,” Jacenko explains.
“Shame on me if I did buy her that bag. She doesn’t have extravagant things like that. I’m not an idiot.
“If she had $12,000, that should go in the bank to put towards a deposit when she’s old enough to buy property.”
And what does she say to critics who suggest she’s pre-determining her future? What if Pixie wanted to be a criminal lawyer, say, or Prime Minister?
“From a long-term perspective, I haven’t even really thought about it,” she says.
“For now she is having fun, there are opportunities – she’s in a position where she’s making money.
“Is the child in danger? No. Is she having fun? Yes. Is she being given opportunities to be a well-rounded person? Yes.
“She had to go to bed early last night because she had to come to a job today.
At the end of the job she can go and do something fun.
“I don’t care what other people think, I’ve been judged since I started my own business at 24. I’m used to criticism.”

Pixie wearing one of her own bow creations from Pixie Bows.
Pixie wearing one of her own bow creations from Pixie Bows.
Pixie is an Instagram star thanks to her mum.
Pixie is an Instagram star thanks to her mum.
Jacenko dismisses the concern that a childhood littered over the internet could affect that child’s future.
“I don’t see that any of the pictures would be to her detriment in the future. She’s not exposed in a Miley Cyrus way,” she says.
“She’s not on the internet doing the wrong thing; she’s on the internet being a kid.
“She’s doing things in a very fortunate capacity, but they’re not detrimental.
“It’s my job as her mother to protect her,” she continues.
“I have to make sure I do the right thing for my family, provide for my family, give my children the best possible upbringing I can and an understanding that you have to conduct yourself in an appropriate fashion in all walks of life.”
“Responsibility” is a word that reoccurs regularly in Jacenko’s vocabulary.
Jacenko is married to investment banker Oliver Curtis, son of mining magnate Nick Curtis, with whom she has Pixie and a son, Hunter, born last year.

One of the Instagram posts of Pixie.
One of the Instagram posts of Pixie.
Roxy and her daughter Pixie.
Roxy and her daughter Pixie.
Curtis is currently awaiting trial over conspiracy to commit insider trading, to which he’s pleaded not guilty.
Does she feel an added sense of responsibility because of her husband’s legal problems?
“I have a responsibility to the family irrespective of that court case,” she says.
“I think it’s because I watched my parents work so hard that I have this in-built in me.
“I have a responsibility, not only to Ollie but also the children.
“It’s an obsession of mine to make my mother proud. That’s more than anything.
“I want my mum to think I did my very best.”
Jacenko says her childhood has shaped her parenting style.
Although born into money, she was taught to work for what she wanted.
“My parents gave me a strong work ethic.
“Yes, I came from a very comfortable family, had private schooling and was given every opportunity.
“But from the age of 14 I worked every evening, and in my early twenties I worked a weekend job – because I wanted to create something for my future.
“I’d like to see Pixie do what I did and buy an apartment on her own, not to be someone who has their hand out.
“I have the ability to give her everything, but you know what? I don’t want to do that.
“I often hear, ‘Oh, her parents are very wealthy; they bought her her business,’” she says, adding, “I laugh and say, ‘Come be a fly on the wall in my business’ – I have more aggravation in my life than anyone would care to take note of.”
Some of that aggravation is with her family – she’s estranged from her fashion manufacturer father, Nick Jacenko, and doesn’t speak to her younger sister, Ruby, after she took out an AVO against her following a fight in a club in 2008.

Pixie graces the cover of Sunday Style magazine.
Pixie graces the cover of Sunday Style magazine.
But none of this can stop the whirlwind that is Roxy and Pixie Inc.
“I work seven days a week to have the life I have. But I have a responsibility to support my family and to give them the best upbringing, and that comes from work,” she says.
“I am obsessive over it.
“But I was brought up to know that nothing comes from nothing.”
So what’s next?
Hunter just celebrated his first birthday – the party featured on his sister’s Instagram feed, and he has his own profile, of course.
So can we expect Brand Hunter?
“I have no plans for that,” Jacenko says.
“If you try to manufacture something, it won’t work.”
But after a pause she adds, “Although, if something came up and it was suitable, well then, maybe.”
Originally published as There’s something about Pixie

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