We see some of the biggest names in Hollywood with these bags. Some ladies dream of actually seeing one in the flesh. I have a picture of what I believe to be the best pocketbook created on the planet, folded neatly in a journal to remind me, “one day, you’re going to buy me.”
Jean-Louis Dumas of Paris and longtime Hermes chief, has died Saturday after suffering a long illness. Dumas was the great-great grandson of Thierry Hermes. Theirry founded the company in 1837. At one time it was a leader in leather goods. But just like a lot of fashion companies, if you are not one step ahead of the game, then you become yesterday’s news. This is when Dumas stepped in and shook a few things up. He began hiring new designers, extended the company’s lines and expanded internationally. But his biggest success was Jane Birkin.
Jane Birkin is an English actress who had an encounter with Dumas on a flight to London. Intrigued by a tattered bag she was wearing, Dumas began to ask her about it. Whatever she said must have been really good because he invited her to join him at Hermes to design a new bag. The Birkin bag is known for its voluminous size and characteristically cool clasp that most of us ladies drool over when we pick up one of those entertainment magazines and see the Birkin bag hanging off forearms of stars like Victoria Beckham, Kelly Osborne and Oprah. More importantly, it’s known for its price. Birkin bags START at $7500.
Jean-Louis Dumas is credited for resuscitating Hermes. In 1978 Hermès had revenue of about $50 million; by 1990, $460 million; last year, $2.5 billion and 300 stores worldwide. He was truly a fashion icon and the Birkin bag is a BEAST.