Fans of the iconic Hermès Birkin bags are beating the long waiting list by scoring the bags at auctions. The much sought-after Birkins have been continuously breaking auction records.
Earlier today, a matte white Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Birkin 30 with a diamond-encrusted white-gold buckle and hardware was auctioned for HK$2.98 million at Christie’s, making it the most expensive handbag ever sold at auctions. The collector, who won the bid by phone, is not from Asia.
“The overall market for top [handbag] collectors has really matured,” says Matthew Rubinger, international head of handbags & accessories at Christie’s.
Among all the Birkin bags, the Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya is one of the most coveted. A similar style was auctioned for HK$2.94 million at Christie’s last year. It’s dubbed the Holy Grail for bag lovers.
The aptly named “Himalaya” Birkin reflects the bag’s delicate gradation of colour from smoky grey to pearly white – resembling the snow-capped Himalayas. Diamond Himalayas are also scarce – reportedly only one or two are made each year. Apart from the Birkins, Hermès also crafts a few Himalaya Kelly bags for top clients.
When asked why Himalaya Birkins continue to fetch record-breaking prices at auctions, Rubinger says that their “extreme rarity, iconic status and craftsmanship” are what drives prices up.