It’s a bargain… for a Birkin

At 2.30am GMT on Friday 20th April, luxury handbag resale firm Rebag will auction a rare Hermès White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin for $70,000 (or approx. £49,000).

And – bear with us here – it’s a total steal.

The Himalayan Birkins are the rarest of all the highly-coveted Hermes bags and, back when they launched in 2008, David Beckham purchased one of the first three Himalayans ever created for Victoria for a cool $100,000.

Birkin bags, of which VB’s rumoured to have a collection worth over £1.5 million, are some of the only handbags that sell for more on the secondary market than their original retail price.

So the fact this one is being auctioned for less than a typical starting price is fairly unique.

In the past, auction prices for a Himalayan Birkin have really soared.

In 2014, one sold at auction in LA for $185,000 and in 2016 a ten-year-old diamond-encrusted version sold in a Hong Kong auction for $300,168. In November 2017, Christie’s sold a Himalaya Birkin with 18k white gold and diamond hardware for a world record price of $383,522 in a Hong Kong auction.

In the private reseller market, prices can range from above $100,000 and climb to $150,000 with ease.

So what makes it so special?

“The Himalaya Birkin is considered the Holy Grail of Birkin,” explains Rachel Koffsky, handbag and accessories specialist at Christies. “Many collectors will not consider their collection complete without one.”

They’re made from super rare albino Nico crocodile hide which is then painstakingly dyed to create a gradation effect intended to evoke the smoky grey and pearl white of the snow-capped Himalayan mountains (hence the name).

“It’s impossible to say how many were released in total,” says Koffsky, but one thing everyone seems to agree on is that an opportunity to purchase a Himalayan is a pretty rare occurrence.

The Himalayan Birkin will be placed for sale on the Rebag website tomorrow morning, April 20th, at 2.30am (9.30pm EST), to coincide with the celebration of the opening of Rebag’s second Manhattan store, the first of which opened in November.

Rebag founder and CEO Charles Gorra (a former Goldman Sachs financial analyst) launched Rebag in 2012 to target the burgeoning second-hand luxury handbag market. His business, which has already raised $28 million in funding since launch, sits alongside the likes of Vestiaire Collective and The Real Real as one of the many luxury resale platforms to have spawned in recent years.

While the store launch may be taking place over the pond, the handbag sale is very much online. And Rebag Marketing Manager Rachella Balagtas assures there’ll be “no bids, no exclusive inquiries and all clients including those based outside of the US will be able to purchase upfront.”

Admittedly dropping £50k on a handbag might seem a little excessive, but given the bags rarity – and potential resale value – the astronomical price begins to sound more logical.

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