Insider fashion tip: A classic bag is always a good investment. Quality craftsmanship and elegant designs never go out of style—plus you won’t outgrow your bag the way you might a pair of shoes or clothing. So if you’re going to splurge, do so on a purse that will be a power-player in your wardrobe for seasons to come. Better yet, buy a Birkin. (That is, if you can get your hands on one.)
Over thirty years have passed since Hermès first created Jane Birkin’s namesake bag, and the signature style has remained a permanent icon ever since. Immune to economic slumps and fashion’s ever-changing trends, the Birkin has proven its staying power unlike any other bag. (Especially in today’s world where it seems like every It girl has an It bag and designers are quick to name new styles after whoever is hot at the moment as a way to capitalize on their fleeting fame.) Every color, shape and size of the Birkin is an instant sell-out, wildly coveted by celebrities, style insiders and the general accessory-obsessed alike who are more than willing to add their name to a months if not years-long waiting list in hopes of acquiring the bag of their dreams.
Despite its unwavering popularity, most who care to own a Birkin are aware that it’s not an off-the-shelf sort of purchase. Seen everywhere, known by everyone, yet nowhere to be found—the Birkin is a professional when it comes to playing hard to get. So how can you come to own the most exclusive bag in the world?
As Michelle Goad, CEO of luxury personal shopping app P.S. Dept., revealed to Bloomberg, “The key to getting [a Birkin] is to find someone who has a relationship with one of their associates, [which means they’ve] bought one in the past… You have to have a purchase history at the store to just get started, then they meet with you, assess how serious you are about spending, and then you go on their list.”
And then, you wait. Each bag takes a total of 18 to 20 hours to make by a single craftsperson, plus deliveries to stores are sporadic and sparse at best, so prepare to be patient. But if the past three decades are any indication, the Birkin isn’t going away anytime soon, and the satisfaction when you finally own the most exclusive bag in the world is sure to be worth the wait.