How does a bag earn the title of “most expensive handbag in the world”? The answer can be found in the current reigning champion, the diamond-encrusted Hermès Himalaya Birkin bag with white gold detailing and 245 inlaid diamonds, purchased at Christie’s just this summer for over £200,000.
But aside from the luxurious intricacy of the hardware, the Himalaya crocodile leather is quite spectacular alone, and unquestionably the most sought-after finish of any handbag to date. Many collectors will frustratedly deem their Hermès Birkin collection incomplete in the absence of this obsessively desired item.
Hermès release so few Himalaya Birkin bags a year – not even necessarily as a strategy – but because they rely on the skin of the ultra-rare albino Niloticus crocodile to produce the bag. Indeed, each Birkin handbag needs three pristine crocodile hides to be made. Hermès farm their own crocodiles in expansive Texan deserts, kept on a special, fine-grained white sand to preserve the immaculate finish of their hides, and no one but the most highly trained experts are ever allowed to touch their skin.
This is especially true in the later stages of the bag’s development. The gentle colour gradation of the Himalaya from silvery beige to pure ivory involves a painstakingly complex and precise dying process to execute correctly. The effect? An impressionistic reimagining of the frosted Himalayan mountain range in Nepal. Coolly offset with silver-tone, typically palladium, hardware, for an item that’s simultaneously neutral and striking, and certainly an awe-inspiring view to take in.
The Hermès Birkin significantly increases in value year by year, and is often found in the middle of discussions by the media regarding the true legitimacy of investing in pieces like the Himalaya instead of stocks. On the occasions that Rewind has sourced one of the few Hermès Himalaya Nilo crocodile Birkin bags on the market, they’ve naturally left our trove just as quickly. Sign up to our bi-monthly newsletter and be the first to hear about our latest arrivals of pre-loved and highly rare products.