Why Are Hermes Bags So Expensive?

Why Are Hermès Bags So Expensive? The REAL Reason

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Why Are Hermès Bags So Expensive?

With high price points, limited availability, and client exclusivity, how does it all add up? Why are Hermès bags so expensive? As a luxury fashion house, Hermès is renowned for championing craftsmanship above everything else. In addition to this, Hermès is truly an expert in exclusivity and only produces limited quantities of each product every year. Not only are Hermès products in extremely limited supply, but are incredibly sought after, especially when it comes to Hermes bags. However, only a handful of selected clients are lucky enough to be able to purchase directly from the brand.

Hermes Store Inside Doha
Hermès Store

The most significant reason why Hermès is so expensive is that the majority, if not all of their products are exclusively handmade. What makes Hermès bags so expensive? Hermès craftsmanship excels above all other luxury fashion houses. All Hermès artisans are highly skilled and consistently trained by the best in the business. Therefore, it takes one individual artisan to construct one bag from start to finish. Every handbag is therefore expertly hand-crafted in their dedicated ateliers to the highest quality finish.

So, why are Hermès bags so expensive? Hermès is truly an expert in exclusivity. Simply put, the high demand for these exquisite Hermès handbags and limited supply can only mean one thing; high price points that continue to rise year after year. 

A Dedicated Artisan 

Hermès has always prided itself on having dedicated ateliers in France. It is here that their teams of highly skilled artisans construct handbags of the highest quality, using the most luxurious materials. Are Hermès bags handmade? Each and every Hermès handbag is painstakingly hand-stitched by a dedicated artisan. 

Hermes Lindy Green
Hermès Lindy Bag

As Hermès has some of the best craftspeople in the business, it simply takes one artisan to create one bag. The brand is well known for its belief in ‘one craftsman, one bag’, and therefore each artisan is responsible for the creation of one bag, from start to finish. This includes the whole process of construction, including selecting the materials, cutting, hand-sewing, and final finishing. This process is known to take anywhere between 24 and 40 hours depending on the complexity of the bag design. 

Due to the nature of handmade products, sometimes you can find very subtle variations in Hermès handbags. It is not uncommon to find slight variations in the stitching throughout the bag. This is not something to be concerned about! These slight imperfections emphasize the fact that these bags are hand-crafted and make every Hermès piece truly unique. 

Premiums Leathers and Materials

Although quality comes with a cost at Hermès, no expense is spared when it comes to the leathers and materials used to construct each bag. Only the very best leathers are selected to make a bag. Each and every individual hide and skin is assessed and carefully matched by the artisans to create the very best final product. 

Hermes Leather Luxury Bag
Hermès Premium Leather

Hermès is known for using a vast range of premium leathers for their handbags ranging from classic heritage leathers to exotics. See our Ultimate Guide to Hermès Leathers (coming soon) for an insight into the vast range of leathers available at Hermès. The most commonly used leathers are Clemence, Epsom, and Togo; you will often find the majority of Kelly and Birkin bags produced in these materials.

What exotic leathers does Hermès use? Hermès prides itself on its exquisite range of exotic bags. Currently, handbags are still produced in lizard, crocodile, and ostrich leathers. The heritage leathers at Hermès are among some of the most coveted by collectors of the brand. These full-grain leathers are most well known for naturally developing a beautiful patina over time. The most sought-after heritage leathers are Box calfskin, Barenia, and Tadelakt.

Hermes bags are made by very talented ateliers in a few countries around the world. Find out where Hermes bags are made here.

Rare Metals and Gemstones

Hermes Kelly 28 Leather
Hermès Kelly 28 Bag

Hermès is known for creating some of the rarest and most luxurious handbags of all time. The majority of classic Hermès handbags come with either palladium-plated or shiny gold-plated hardware. The gold plating tends to be 18k gold on most bags, however, Hermès occasionally uses 24k plating on selected rare pieces and special orders. Perhaps one of the most popular choices currently is the rose gold hardware. 

When it comes to special order options, Hermès offers alternative metals; brushed hardware in both gold-plated and palladium-plated, Permabrass, and the engraved palladium Guilloché. Occasionally Hermès releases some incredibly exceptional pieces which are exclusively offered only to VIP clients. These exceptional handbags tend to be crafted in exotic skins such as crocodile and lizard, and are adorned with precious jewels. 

Hermes Birkin 35 Blue Gold hardware
Hermès Birkin 35 Bag

The most iconic handbags such as the Birkin, Kelly, and Constance have all been reimagined with precious materials and pavé-set diamond hardware. As these show-stopping bags are only constructed by the most highly skilled artisans with the most precious materials, they are strictly for VIP clients and dedicated collectors of the brand. You will tend to find these handbags for sale at luxury auction houses around the world such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, and it is no surprise that they achieve record-breaking prices.  

Hermès Bag Quality & Durability

Hermès bags may be known for their incredibly high price points, but does the quality match? Simply put, yes! All Hermès products exude quality, expert craftsmanship, and have been made to last a lifetime. 

Hermes Evelyn Bag Beige
Hermès Evelyn Bag

What are the most durable leathers at Hermès? The most durable leather finishes are Togo and Epsom. Both of these options are stamped-grain leather, and therefore are incredibly scratch resistant, and therefore show minimal signs of wear. The quality of Hermès is demonstrated in the vast number of amazing condition vintage and pre-loved bags available on the resale market. Vintage Kelly bags in Box calfskin leather are a true testament to the exquisite workmanship of Hermès. Heritage leathers such as the Box calfskin develop a beautiful patina over time, and this adds to their charm.

Hermès is so confident in its production, that they offer a spa and repair service for their products, including handbags. Therefore when needed, Hermès will happily freshen up or repair your much-loved bag. 

Hermès Exclusivity

The brand is renowned for long waitlists, unattainable handbags, and high resale values; Hermès is an expert in exclusivity. But what makes Hermès so exclusive? A perfect combination of craftsmanship, materials, design, and limited availability make Hermès one of the most exclusive luxury brands in the world. 

Due to limited production, and high resale prices, it is no surprise that Hermès bags are some of the best investments available on the luxury market. It has even been reported that Hermès handbags may be a better investment than gold or stocks! We discuss Are Hermès Bags Good Investments? (coming soon) in our dedicated blog post here. 

What is the most expensive Hermès bag?

It is no secret that Hermès has some of the most expensive handbags available on the luxury market. So how much are Hermès bags? The pricing of Hermès bags varies significantly depending on style, size, and materials. However the most popular bag, the Birkin 25 in Togo leather, currently retails for approximately €7,400. See our dedicated blog post on How Much Are Hermès Bags? (coming soon) for details on the pricing of Hermès bags. 

Hermes Birkin 25 To Go
Hermes Birkin 25 To Go

But what is the most expensive Hermès bag? Every handbag lover will have seen the Hermès Birkin in snowy-white Nile crocodile skin with eye-catching diamond-encrusted hardware. The infamous Himalayan Crocodile Birkin bag is now valued at a staggering $432,000 on the resale market. The Himalayan Birkin features 18k white gold hardware which is studded with white diamonds. Only a limited number of Himalayan Birkin bags were made and were only offered to VIP clients of the brand. The luxurious combination of materials makes it one of the most highly desired and rare handbags ever to be produced in the world. 

Are you still curious about Hermès pricing strategy? Every Hermès bag is priced according to its materials and complexity of construction, and therefore precious leathers cost considerably more. Find our Hermès Complete Bag List 2023 With Prices (coming soon) for current and detailed pricing information.

Why are Hermès Birkin bags so expensive?

Hermes Birkin 35 Black leather palladium hardware
Hermès Birkin 35 Bag

The Hermès Birkin bag is one of the most expensive handbags in the world. As one of the most highly sought-after quota bags available, you must have an established relationship with your local Hermès boutique and sales associate in order to be in a position to even be offered the chance to purchase a Birkin. 

We discuss all things, Hermès Birkin, in our Complete Guide To The Hermès Birkin Bag (coming soon)

Why is the Birkin so expensive? As the Hermès Birkin is handcrafted by one skilled artisan, this can take up to 40 hours depending on the complexity and materials of the bag. The materials and labour themselves are high costs for the brand, and this is obviously reflected in the final price tag of the Birkin. Therefore it isn’t surprising that Hermès is said to only produce approximately 12,000 Birkin bags every year. Consequently, supply is obviously incredibly limited, but you can always be assured that the craftsmanship is second to none! 

Although we have discussed some of the most expensive handbags, have you ever wondered what the cheapest bag available at Hermès is? We explore the Cheapest Hermès Bags (coming soon) and their current prices here. 

Why are Hermès Kelly Bags so expensive?

Hermes Kelly black
Hermès Kelly Bag

One of the most elegant and timeless handbags available in the world has to be the Hermès Kelly. The Kelly bag which was formerly known as the Sac à Dépêches was first released in 1935. The bag was driven to the forefront of fashion by icon and late Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly. Officially renamed in 1977, the Hermès Kelly quickly became one of the most highly sought-after accessories in the world. Since then, the Hermès Kelly remains in the spotlight; its feminine silhouette and functional style have caught the eye of handbag collectors and fashionistas across the world. 

So why is the Hermès Kelly so expensive? Similar to the Hermès Birkin, the Kelly has a price tag to reflect its craftsmanship and status. When it comes to the Kelly, this bag can take a single craftsman up to 20 hours to complete a single piece. The addition of the beautifully elegant top handle on the Hermès Kelly, makes this a slightly more complex design to the Birkin. It is reported that the top handle itself can take an artisan up to 3 hours to complete. Artisans are also expected to train for a whole year prior to ever constructing a Hermès bag. See our Complete Guide To The Hermès Kelly Bag (coming soon).

The popularity of the Hermès Kelly is at an all-time high, and getting your hands on one of these handbags directly from the boutique can seem like an impossible task. Demand for both the Kelly and Birkin simply exceeds the supply Hermès can produce!

Are Hermès the most expensive bags?

Hermes Kelly Fuschia
Hermès Kelly Bag

When it comes to luxury handbags, price points can vary drastically, depending on materials, construction, and design complexity. Which designer bags are the most expensive? On average, Hermès produces some of the most expensive handbags available in the world. 

Which Hermès bag is the most expensive? Although Hermès has a vast collection of handbags available at different price points, the Birkin and Kelly are two of the most expensive luxury bags available. The price of Hermès bags encapsulates their materials, craftsmanship and exclusivity. Although other designers strive to create handbags of similar quality, Hermès still remains leaps ahead of other luxury brands. 

Feeling inspired to buy a Hermès bag? Although Hermès handbags are known for being sold at a premium on the pre-loved market, it is always worth exploring your options. If you are open to an older style or vintage piece you can make some great savings on the pre-loved market. We would recommend that you only shop for Hermès at reputable sites such as:

We strongly recommend that when you purchase any pre-loved designer piece, you should always get it authenticated by a reputable authentication service for peace of mind and protection. You can find authentication services here.

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