Greatly desired, it was originally inspired by Jane Birkin. Like the Hermès Kelly, it takes approximately 18 hours to hand craft. The highest quality leather, hardware, and stitching is transformed into a beautiful Birkin bag by one highly trained craftsman.
In 1983, Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas was seated next to Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London. She had just placed her straw traveling bag in the overhead compartment for her seat, but the contents fell to the deck, leaving her to scramble to replace them. Birkin explained to Dumas that it had been difficult to find a leather weekend bag she liked.
In 1984, he created a black supple leather bag for her, based on a 1982 design. She used the bag initially, but changed her mind because she was carrying too many things in it: “What’s the use of having a second one?” she said laughingly. “You only need one and that busts your arm; they’re bloody heavy. I’m going to have to have an operation for tendonitis in the shoulder."