The Hermès Birkin bag has been an elitist symbol ever since its conception in 1984. The bag is so famous, that Hermès had a fake waiting list (up until 2010), to ward off customers who were not loyal to the brand, but only after the bag. Michael Tonello, author of Bringing Home The Birkin elaborates in a phone interview with the Huffington Post:
“Once I had that pile ready to buy at the last moment I’d ask for a Birkin and they would usually produce one of the back room. In 2005 I bought 130 Birkins in a three-month period — and you tell me there is a waiting list?”
With a heafty price tag ranging from $9,000 to a whopping $150,000, the Birkin is a luxury that only A-list celebrities and Richie Rich can afford. So it comes as no surprise that the bag was widely counterfeited and sold all over the world.
One counterfeit ring in particular, which was recently broken up by French national police, produced 22 million in revenue from one branch alone, showing just how many people are itching to get their hands on even a replica of this classic leather tote.
“Eighty percent of objects sold on the Internet under the Hermès name are fakes” says Hermès CEO Patrick Thomas.
So with even the knock-offs costing around $500, what’s a financially-average girl to do? Well, unless you become as successful as Victoria Beckham (who reportedly owns 100+ Birkins), then it’s all about finding the right alternative.
One of my favorites is this 3.1 Phillip Lim Satchel (seen above), but at around $900 it is still a major splurge. However, I believe it is worth the investment because of its high quality and versatility.
But, if $900 is still out of your price range (it definitely is for me) then Michael Kors also makes a suitable alternative, and at around $400.
Still too expensive for you? There’s also a Cole Haan alternative for only $300 and it is available in a bold turquoise, which I love.
Okay, okay, $300 is still considered a splurge for the average person on a budget. So just for you guys here is a $100 alternative from Steve Madden.
Or you can just keep your eyes open and hope for the best. Don’t think this will work? My mom just found this bag at a flea market for $1.00. That’s right. ONE. Not one hundred.