How to start collecting Hermès

Owning a Hermès handbag is a dream for many. But how do you go about acquiring one?

Hermès Birkin handbags and accessories

The Hermès brand has come a long way since it was founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermès. Initially starting out as a leather harness workshop, in the Grands Boulevards quarter of Paris, the brand quickly gained recognition for the high quality and skill found in its leather work.

Hermès’ artisans are still celebrated for their attention to detail in each and every product they create. This fashion house has progressed far beyond making harnesses and brindles. Hermès is not only a luxury fashion brand but also a global household name. Offering a full range of fashion, leather goods, jewellery, watches, accessories, and more.

Buying a Hermès handbag

Hermès outfit from auction.

With such a wide range of products to choose from in Hermès boutiques, where do you start? There are many brilliant articles and videos online chronicling collectors embarking on journeys to find their desired Hermès pieces. For some, it is a labour of love that can take years.

The first hurdle you may encounter is that not all products are always available. Many people will have to build a relationship with a particular boutique in order to be given the opportunity to purchase the piece they want. This can take many years.

The next speed bump in many collectors’ quest is affordability. For their incredible products, Hermès quite rightly charge a premium. Understandably, this means that some people will have to wait a long time in order to be able to afford their Hermès items.

Buying a Hermès handbag at auction

Luckily for many luxury aficionados, the secondary market exists! Reselling companies and auction houses provide a way for people to access designer goods without having to navigate the world of Bond St boutiques. The option to purchase through auction has proved a key tool for the Hermès collector, allowing them to find the pieces they are looking for.

Since 2016, we have been holding our Designer Collection auction. It is an event focussing on pre-loved designer handbags and accessories which we hold in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Our next auction will take place on September 5th. It features a range of Hermès products to start your very own Hermès collection. 

Whether you’re fantasising about your first Birkin handbag, or perhaps you want to add a splash of colour to your outfit with a Hermès silk scarf, you’ll find everything you need in The Designer Collection.

Bidding at Fellows is simple. All you need to do is create an account with us (it’s free!). You will then need to ‘Register to bid’ for a specific auction. Once approved you can bid on a lot and check your bid status in the My Fellows section of your account.

The Designer Collection September 5th

The designer collection ends on Monday 5th September, mark this date to start your very own Hermès collection. 

Hermès Handbags

an Electric Blue Togo leather Hermès Birkin 35 handbag

The ultimate staple piece to add to any Hermès collection is the legendary Birkin bag. This is one of the biggest and most iconic collaboration ideas in fashion history. In 1983, an encounter between Jane Birkin and Jean-Louis Dumas aboard a flight from Paris to London led to the creation of this iconic handbag. The story goes Dumas sketched the initial Birkin design onto an airplane sick bag. The handbag became available to purchase the following year. Lot 279 is a 2014 Birkin 35 model in Electric blue Togo leather with palladium hardware. This luxurious shade of blue can complement a casual jean or vibrant contrasting coloured jacket. 

It has an estimate of £6,000 – £9,000.

2009 Chocolate brown Togo leather Hermès Kelly 35 handbag.

The Hermès Kelly’s history is a story of how an icon of the silver screen can transform a handbag’s identity. This was originally a reworked idea from the 1890s. Hermès realised the sac a dépêches in 1935. In 1956, the costume designer on How To Catch A Thief gave actress Grace Kelly a Hermès handbag. Kelly instantly fell in love with the handbag’s design and easy functionality and she wore it daily. The bag was later named after her – creating a legend in its own right. Lot 281 is a Kelly 35 model in chocolate brown Togo leather with gold-tone hardware. It is an easy colour combination that can go from day to night. 

It is estimated at £3,000 – £5,000.

Hermès Accessories

red D'après Van Der Meulen Hermès silk scarf.

Many collectors consider the Hermès silk scarf to be a must-have item to adorn their outfits. Often depicting subjects from equestrian sports, as well as scenes from French history and beyond.  Introduced in 1937, the first silk scarf was designed by Hugo Grygkar. Lot 293 is a design of his first produced in 1951. The silk scarf is perhaps the most versatile fashion accessory. It can add interest to a neutral outfit, provide warmth as well as be worn on the head. 

It has an estimate of £100 – £150.

Hermès horse bangle

We think that no look is complete without jewellery. Lot 297, a horse print enamel bangle, is perfect for linking accessories together. A nod to the equestrian heritage of the Hermès brand. This model is extra wide, allowing the pattern to stand out against garments.

Although this is entered to auction for just  £50 – £80, similar pieces retail for around £455.

Hermès Too Speed Key Ring

It’s not just outfits to which we can add a touch of designer flare. Everyday items such as house keys can be adorned with your very own Hermès key ring. They can be very versatile, adding interest to wearable items such as handbags and belts. Lot 302 a Hermès H Too Speed key ring can provide just that. It is a sleek silver-tone metal key ring which is designed as a slightly slanted capital H.

It is in the auction for an estimate of just £60 – £90, but it retails for £195.

Valuations

If you are looking to find out how much your Hermès handbag or accessories could be worth, why not speak to our specialists? Our valuations are free, with no obligation to sell with us. Our experts will provide you with an estimate, so you can find out what it could achieve at auction.

Fill in a form online, or you can book an appointment to visit our offices in Birmingham and London. We can also offer you a virtual valuation appointment.

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