The iconic Hermès brand was first established by Thierry Hermès in 1837, although at the time he was a harness-maker. In 1880, Thierry’s son Charles-Émile Hermès relocated the workshop and began to create made-to-measure saddles, establishing themselves in the equestrian leather goods market.
By the 1920s, Charles-Émile had stepped down, and his son Émile-Maurice had taken over. It was during the ‘20s that Émile-Maurice began to add clothing and accessories to their product lines. Over the course of the next several decades saw the introduction of the Kelly bag (then called the Sac à dépêches), scarves, and women’s ready-to-wear collections. It was during this pivotal time that the Hermès fashion house came to be what we now know it as today.
Hermès continues to be one of the most covetable and high-status brands on the primary and secondary markets. The limited inventory of bags on the primary retail market, often has eager buyers searching for their bags on the resale market. According to our price database, Hermès is the fourth most popular designer on the growing secondary market, after Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci.
Today we are going to look at the 5 most popular Hermès bags currently on the secondary market:
The Hermès Birkin bag is the quintessential fashion accessory and probably one of the most well-known bags in the world. The iconic bag was first created in 1984 and the story goes that British actress, Jane Birkin by chance sat next to Hermès chief executive, Jean-Louis Dumas in the early ‘80s on an Air France flight from Paris to London. It was on this flight that Birkin’s bag happened to spill open. Dumas suggested that she needed a bag with pockets, which in turn sparked a conversation about her ideal bag. The rest is history!
Now Birkin bags are some of the most sought-after handbags on the luxury market! The it-bag of course comes in a variety of colors, materials, and even sizes with each taking between 15-20 hours to create. The crazy thing is that this bag has gained such popularity that joining the Hermès Birkin order list is in actuality more like adding it to a wish list. This scarcity on the primary market makes the Birkin one of the most popular bags to own on the secondary market. In an article from the New York Times, Luca Solca, a senior analyst for luxury goods at Bernstein, an investment and management company estimated at the time that there are now more than 1 million Birkins on the resale market.
Solca hypothesizes that the rise of resale “could potentially increase the product and brand ubiquity.” As of now, the demand for Birkins actually seems to be rising even with the increased supply on the secondary market. According to Trendful’s price database, the Hermès Birkin bag is the second most popular handbag model in our collection of over 35K handbags.
There is are big differences in the reselling price on the secondary market with Birkin bags since there are such variations in materials, colors, and sizes. If you take a Hermès Birkin brown Togo 30 bag with gold hardware in excellent condition the selling price on the secondary market would be around $12,945 (USD), while the same bag in fair condition would be around $8,705 (USD). Of course, Birkin bags in exotic materials like crocodile or alligator will sell for more money on the resale market. However, overall if you are looking for a bag to have as an investment, the Birkin bag continues to increase in value over time.
It was in the 1930s, that the son-in-law of Émile Hermès, designed a woman’s bag with straps. The bag he created was a trapezoid shape that consisted of two triangular gussets to the sides, a cutout flap, a handle at the top, and two side straps. At the time Dumas, designed this new modern bag for travel in the 1930s it was initially called Sac à dépêches.
It wasn’t until the 1950s when Grace Kelly began using the bag that it shot to international fame. The story goes that in 1956 she became princess of Monaco and was photographed using the handbag to shield her pregnant belly from the paparazzi, that photograph was then featured in Life magazine, and the bag as result rocketed to international stardom. People instantly began referring to the handbag as the Kelly bag, although Hermès wouldn’t go on to officially rename the bag until 1977.
As with the Birkin bag, the Kelly bag comes in a variety of colors, materials, and sizes ranging from 15 cm to 50 cm. It also takes a reported 18-25 hours for an artisan to handcraft each bag, which results in its high retail prices.
According to our Price Database, the Kelly bag is in the top 10 most popular bags on the secondary market. As with the Birkin bag, there is are big differences in reselling price on the secondary market with Kelly bags since there are such variations in materials, colors, and sizes. If you take a Hermès Kelly brown Clemence 28 bag with gold hardware in excellent condition the selling price on the resale market is around $14,370 (USD), while the same bag in fair condition would sell for around $9,660 (USD). It makes for a smart investment and you can rest assured that it is a bag that will continue to gain in value over time.
In 1978, Evelyne Bertrand, head of Hermès’ riding department, created her namesake bag as a carry-all for horse groomers’ tools. The bag was purposefully designed with perforated sides so that the groomers’ sponges or brushes could dry out on the go.
The Hermès Evelyne bag comes in four different sizes - TPM, PM, GM, & TGM (tres petit modele, petit modele, grand modele, and tres grand modele). The signature perforated H has 63 holes.
Within the Evelyne bag history, there have so far been 3 iterations of this model of handbag:
- Evelyne I: this was the first generation of the Evelyne bag and had no external pocket and didn’t have an adjustable strap.
- Evelyne II: the second iteration included an external pocket but did not have an adjustable strap.
- Evelyne III: includes an external pocket and an adjustable strap
According to our price data, the Evelyne III is the third most popular Hermès bag on the secondary market. Take a look at the secondary market price evolution graph below for the Evelyne III based on condition (from excellent to fair). This bag has an estimated yearly appreciation of $254 (12%). The graph overall shows how in general Evelyn III bags in excellent condition fetch a higher price on the secondary market. According to our data, an Evelyne III Clemence PM bag in excellent condition will sell on the resale market for around $3,185 (USD). For example, the same bag but in fair condition will sell for around $1,975 (USD).
The Evelyne III continues to be the popular Evelyne bag out of the three iterations and in general, the Evelyne III bags sell for more money on the secondary market. The simple silhouette, adjustable strap, and more affordable price point for Hermès make the Evelyne III a popular bag on the primary and secondary markets.
The next bag we will dive into is the Hermès Jypsiere bag, sometimes called the Birkin messenger was first introduced in the Fall/Winter 2008 collection under the direction of Jean-Paul Gautier. The Jypsiere bag looks to many like a more casual reinterpretation of the Birkin or Kelly bag but in a more messenger bag style. The bag with its wide adjustable strap can be worn crossbody or over the shoulder.
Of course like with many Hermès bags, the Jypsiere comes in different colors and sizes, ranging from 28 cm to 37 cm. The functional more casual look makes it a popular bag on the secondary market. Based on our price database the Jypsiere bag is the fourth most popular Hermès bag on the resale market. For example, if you take the Hermès Jypsiere Clemence 28 bag in excellent condition, it will sell on the resale market for around $5,625 (USD), while in fair condition it sells for around $3,615. (USD).
The Hermès Garden Party bag was first released in 1964 it is one of the more functional and affordable Hermès handbags on the market. To simply put it, the Garden Party bag is a tote similar to the Louis Vuitton Neverfull tote. The bag has one large compartment, zippered interior pocket, and a clou de selle snap closure. Some special edition Garden Party totes come with detachable straps or patterned interior linings.
The tote comes in two different styles - all leather and canvas with leather trim. The leather bags are typically in Negonda leather and the canvas totes usually come with cowhide leather trim. Both styles have canvas interior lining instead of Hermès’ typical leather lining.
As with other Hermès bags, the Garden Party tote comes in various sizes:
- Small (TPM/ 30 cm)
- Medium (PM/ 36 cm)
- Large (39 cm) - this is a less common bag size and usually only comes in the canvas style
The simple design and easy functionality of the Garden Party tote make this the fifth most popular Hermès bag on the secondary market. For example, the Hermès Garden Party leather 30 tote in excellent condition will sell on the secondary market for around $2690, while in fair condition the tote will sell for around $1940. This makes the Garden Party a great entry point bag for those wanting to start investing in Hermès bags, but don’t have the ability to purchase a Birkin or a Kelly bag.