Friday, June 12, 2009

Sleeping with someone for a Birkin ....

Not a bad idea huh? At least bad sex only lasts 1 hours max, while to wait for your birkin to arrive takes 2 years of agony (and you have to consider the 10 K price tag too)... Okiez just kidding! The reason why i brought up the Birkin topic was because of this book:

I heard about the book a while ago and how the author of the book was banned from all Hermes stores around Europe. SO when I saw it in Borders the other day, I literally grabbed it and spent 5 hours finishing the whole book. While not holding much artistic value, i thought it was quite well written, and his journey as a Birkin bag reseller was just as fascinating as the author himself. To cut it short, the story was pretty much about a man who travelled the world and bought Birkin bags using his 'formula' to avoid the so called 'exclusive waiting list' masked up by Hermes. He then resold all of these bags to all the Birkin manias around the world and made a 5K-6K profit on every bag he resold. There were a number of details that I found extremely interesting:

a) Hermes claimed to produce only 100 Birkin bags a year, while the author himself bought 140 Birkins pretty much every year in his 5 year journey as a Birkin reseller.

b) I found his list of Hermes employee stereotypes to be quite accurate. I myself have encountered almost all of them (except for the Godfather type, since you only have them in Italy).

c) His method of avoiding the Birkin list can be summarised in one formular: flirting with the salesman + spending 2K-3K on Hermes merchandise = Birkin bag popping out from the back room despite the 'closed two year waiting list'.

d) Hermes refused to comment on the book at the start, then later said 'in order to get a Birkin bag we encourage customers to build strong relationships with their sale assistants' which brings us to the next point

e) the whole waiting list thing was all fake and in my opinion is one of the smartest ways to jack up the price of a leather handbag.

I personally do not have anything against hermes. I've shopped there myself and found their stuff to be extremely well made and practical. But this story has again exposed aspects of fashion that I find to be extremely sad:

1) most fashion houses use the 'exclusivity' mask in order to suck out every penny from their customers. It's funny when all these houses start saying 'only 100 of this bag were made' while their 'non-exclusive' bags were only produced to 120-150 in quantity anyway. So much for exclusivity eh?

2) most customers are silly enough to believe in all that 'noone else will have it' non sense and totally think those bags are the best in the world. Truth is Birkins aren't that practical. They're leather totes with flaps that are soo annoying to close that most owners would rather leave their bags open ( have you seen anyone carrying their Birkins with their flaps closed and actually used the locks attached?)

3) Even the rich buy their fashion to show off their wealth / statuses. I find it funny when rich people buy Birkins, think they're top shit and laugh at other people who buy vulgar monogram bags. I mean hello they TOO buy Birkin bags to get recognized, may be not to the public mass, but amongst other fashionistas. In other words, the whole non-monogrammed -'IT'-bag phenomenon is just another dillusional excuse the so called "i dont buy things with logos" fashionistas use to explain the fact they carry the exact same bag as another 1000 people. I guess even fashionistas/rich people feel the need to get recognized.

4) Most consumers are willing to pay much more money, not for quality, but for the brand. If Birkins weren't produced by Hermes, but by, let's say, Anya Hindmach, would you still fork out 10 K for just a really well made leather bag?

5) Not trying to advocate for African children here, but I still don't get people who want to buy 100 Birkin bags. I feel disgusted when I see people with their 'collections' of Birkin bags online, and others start 'applauding' or cheering them for that, with comments like 'you have such good taste' or 'your style is amazing'. No, your style is not amazing when you need 100 bags for 100 different occasions, it is only good when you have 4 bags that you can use on 100 occasions and still look different each time. As Carine said it 'after all, people dont remember how many bags you have, but they will remember if you are a well dressed person'.

I love fashion so much I cannot describe, but reading books like this makes you realize people that control the fashion world arent artists or fashion designers, they're economists after all.

I love you all!


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