We have all heard the rumors, they have been spreading for some years now; it’s apparently almost impossible to buy a Birkin on the spot in any Hermes store in the world unless you are a celebrity.
So Book F27 decided to investigate the rumored lengthy waiting lists, the must-have purchase history and the most favorable locations in the world to walk out with a Birkin from Hermes.
We went undercover and tried our luck at the two Hermes stores in Dubai: The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates and we got almost the same immediate reply: “There are none in the store and the waiting list was closed two years ago due to high demand.”
So we went home confused and intrigued and decided to do our research and we found out that according to Hermes ‘Each store director worldwide is responsible for buying for their own store’ and ‘they place seasonal orders twice a year, which is generally received six to 12 months later.’
However, dig deeper and you will find out that Birkins are indeed rare, every artisan who works for the company is trained for four years and each bag is done by only one artisan thus making the process dependent on the number of trained artisan the company employs.
This does not mean that you have to give up on your dream and automatically assume that your only realistic option is to use a trusted reselling service, we are here to guide you.
We have compiled some tips for you to start applying if you really want your first purchase to be from the store:
Build a purchase history with high commission items like fine jewelry, home products, and leather goods. Start buying leather keyrings, scarves, perfumes, Oran slippers… and try to always go back to the same sales associate.
Build a personal connection with that sales associate. You know what they say: You get more bees with honey” so be nice, make small talk like wanting to match your Hermes slipper color to a bag in the future, lead the conversation but don’t be pushy
Look the part but don’t overdo it. Dress elegantly rather than fashionably and preferably carry a Hermes bag like the Herbag.
As a rule; never ever ask for a Birkin right away. Shop and look around and show interest and knowledge. Do you want it in Epsom leather or Togo leather, maybe exotic skins? A size 32 or 35 or 42? Be precise about the color and the hardware, after all, if it’s that hard to find might as well get what you really want.
Get your name on that list it (you will usually wait from 6 months to a year) and prioritize customization: play with the stitch color and pick the inside of your bag.
Location, location, location. It is well known that the flagship store in Paris has the most stock except in August, so do your due diligence and stand in line and book an appointment with a leather specialist and if they turn you down ask them if you come back in the afternoon to see if they have what you are looking for. Some also say that Las Vegas is the place to score a Birkin as all luxury stores do not judge on appearance given the city’s more relaxed ethos.
Ask your husband or Boyfriend as most men in suits asking for a gift for their significant others almost always walk out with the requested item.
If you really need a Birkin and don’t’ want to go through the lengthy process, you can definitely ask a concierge service for help or visit second hand trusted resellers and there are plenty in Dubai.
Try Bagatelle Boutique in Mercato, The Closet in Sunset Mall and Garde Robe in Umm Suqeim for the opportunity to own a handbag that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. We recommend that you do your research as there are many fakes in the market and pay attention to the condition and go for” Pristine, Excellent or Very Good” conditions, choose strong colors like a bright green or pink as it stands out and makes the bag more unique and of course know your leather; Togo leather will protect your bag from scratches but exotic skins like crocodile will need more maintenance.
Last but not least buy what your heart truly desires even if it means that you have to save up a little bit more. Whether it be a Birkin, a Kelly or a Constance, these bags are an investment and are considered to be better than gold so treat them well and remember that they are worth waiting for.
Text by GD