The Special Order process at Hermes has long been the experience of dreams for Birkin and Kelly collectors everywhere. The opportunity to place a custom order for a bag in your favorite colors has historically only been offered to long-standing VIP customers, though recently this has shifted with reports coming in of Hermes boutiques offering Special Orders to newer clients more and more often. While the ability to special order an exotic Birkin or Kelly is still reserved for top-spenders, more and more leather lovers are having to ask themselves the hard questions: Which size? What leather? Which colors? What hardware? Which combo? What stitching? Dedicated collectors, though, have long had access to HSS bags through the secondary market. Though only comprising around 10% of all leather Birkins and Kellys at auction, over 500 HSS bags have crossed the block at major auction houses in the last decade. The coloring of these bags can vary from subdued Verso HSS which feature a solid color exterior and a contrasting interior, to wild tri-color examples covering the entire color spectrum. Categorizing these myriad combinations can be subjective, but here we’ve organized the group by the overall color scheme, or the dominant color in cases of high contrast. Looking only at leather HSS Birkins and Kellys between 25 and 35cm, we can group these into five categories and see clear trends toward neutral HSS bags developing since 2019. Today brown and yellow and black, white and gray Horseshoe Stamps average the highest. Cool tone bags in blues and greens come in second, with pink and purple examples averaging just a bit less. Red and Orange HSS Birkins and Kellys have clearly been decreasing in value faster than the rest, though that's not to say a spectacular example in these colors couldn’t do well at auction, as a 30cm Rouge Pivoine and Gris Mouette Epsom HSS Birkin 30 with Gold hardware from 2016 brought over $44,500 in a 2019 auction.
In 2017 Hermes discontinued the option for tri-color special order bags. Since then the value of these HSS bags has fluctuated with auction averages dropping to an all-time low in 2019. Since then, the prices for these bags, which make up about 20% of all HSS bags at auction, have rebounded, nearing that of bi-color special orders this year. It is predicted that more harmonious tri-color HSS bags will continue to grow in value in the coming years. Tri-color HSS 25cm Birkins and Kellys are exceedingly rare on the secondary market, as the popularity of 25cm bags did not eclipse that of larger bags much long before tri-colors were discontinued.