August 29 2014

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5 posts tagged "Birkin"

The Birkin Whisperer Ignites a Lawsuit Against Christie’s


US-FRANCE-FASHION-LUXURY-BAGS-AUCTIONIt’s a battle of the Birkins for Heritage Auctions and Christie’s International. Matthew Rubinger, formerly the resident Hermès handbag expert at Heritage, recently departed the company to join Christie’s, and took Heritage’s “trade secrets” along with him. The New York Times reports that no one knows rare Birkins like Rubinger, 26, who began buying and reselling purses back in high school. Heritage claims in the lawsuit that it invested in his identity, branded him as a star, and introduced him to sources in Hong Kong and Japan. It goes without saying that they were less than pleased when Rubinger traded teams, and they have since filed a lawsuit against Christie’s, Rubinger, and two high-level associates who also left, for breach of contract and stealing trade secrets. Rubinger and his associates’ departure from the auction house left Heritage with essentially no luxury accessories team.

While Heritage has always specialized in high-end accessories, Christie’s, a house generally more concerned with Picasso and Matisse than Hermès and Chanel, has recently made a push into the luxury fashion market. Heritage is seeking $60 million in damages and lost profits, a number that reflects the significant earnings Heritage raked in from Hermès handbag sales. Last December, Heritage sold a one-of-a-kind porosus crocodile and black Togo leather Kelly bag for $125,000, and in late 2011, a red crocodile Birkin bag with 18-karat white-gold and diamond hardware went for a record $203,000. Without those sizable profits, it’s unclear how Heritage will continue with its current plans to expand the business.

Photo: Stan Honda / Getty Images

A Diamond-Covered Birkin For A Cool Million? Sorry—It’s Already Sold Out


Last night, in addition to revealing their Madison Avenue boutique’s Alice in Wonderland-inspired holiday windows, Hermès gave their new Haute Bijouterie collection its U.S. debut—haute being an understatement of sorts. The house’s jewelry maestro, Pierre Hardy, created a rose-gold and brown-diamond buckle cuff and diamond and gold collier de chien bangles, but the most traffic-stopping were mini, objet d’art versions of Hermès bags. Kelly, Birkin, and Nausicaa styles have all been shrunken and reimagined in precious metals and stones. And a new bag created by Hardy, the Chaîne d’Ancre, made from diamond-encrusted white gold links, is arguably the luxe-est of them all. Only three units of each style were produced, and despite the million-dollar-plus price tag, the Kelly and Birkin are already sold out. For rubberneckers, they’re on view at the New York flagship through December 8.

Photo: Courtesy of Hermès

On Our Radar: The Hermès Berline Mini


There’s a segment of Hermès worshippers who will never get farther than the Birkin and the Kelly, but the label’s less hidebound fans will soon have another obsession to add to the list. The new Berline Mini comes in six colors of padded leather, and is meant to be worn—gasp!—cross-body. At my Hermès appointment today, I couldn’t get enough. Neither can the brand, apparently. Rumor has it the Berline will be the star of the label’s Spring ’13 campaign. It’ll be available in stores next year.

Photo: Michele Silvestro

Craft Show: Hermès Fêtes Its Festival Des Métiers


If you’ve ever wondered how a Birkin bag is made, now is your chance to find out. For a short time, Hermès is bringing its Festival des Métiers to New York, opening today at 583 Park Avenue through September 9 before moving on to San Francisco and Houston. The title translates to “Festival of Crafts” and is just that—a celebration of the Hermès tradition of luxury craftsmanship, where fans of the brand can meet with the very artisans who create its coveted leather goods, jewelry, scarves, watches, and clothing. The festival kicked off last year in Seattle and circulated through key Hermès markets all over the world.
“We started this operation as a way to show our markets some of the crafts used by Hermès,” Guillaume de Seynes, executive vice president of Hermès International, told at yesterday’s editor preview. “The U.S. is a natural destination for us because Hermès is extremely notorious in this market. Especially in New York, we have a lot of loyal customers who have been shopping for a long time and will be very thrilled to discover all of this know-how.”

The festival features multiple stations and product demonstrations. The silk station, for example, showcases how a Hermès scarf is made. The entire process takes about two years, from the design to the creation of the piece, using silk from the French town of Lyon and over 75,000 colors created by the artisans. “In our kitchen in Lyon, we have our own recipes and make the colors there,” said Hermès silk maker Kamel Hamadou. “The technique we use is traditional; it’s called ‘à la Lyonnaise,’ typical of Lyon. Since 1937, Hermès silk is made in Lyon and printed in Lyon.” Over in high jewelry, gem setter Maud Laville was using a dental tool to add 999 pavé diamonds to a magnificent Collier de Chien bracelet (pictured, above). The piece should be completed by the time the tour reaches Houston and will sell for over $400,000.

Click here to view our coverage of last night’s Hermès dinner celebrating the Festival des Métiers.

Photo: Neil Rasmus / / Courtesy of Hermes

More Ink For Gaga, Real Talk From Carolina, And More…


In her continuing quest for shock and awe, Lady Gaga has defaced an Hermès Birkin in black Sharpie. Look on her works, ye mighty, and despair. [Racked]

Marchesa is exploring brand extensions, beginning with…dinnerware. It’s probably the closest you’re going to get to dinner with Georgina Chapman without being a Weinstein. [Fashionista]

Perhaps the most sensible statement in fashion we’ve heard all day: “It’s not my aspiration to appear on a reality show. That’s the last thing I need in my life.” —accidental Tinsley Mortimer reality show co-star Carolina Herrera. [Page Six]

An English auction house is bringing some of the late Princess Diana’s gowns to the block, including the low-cut black number that earned her the nickname Daring Di. [Vogue U.K.]

And the race is on to see who can bring the highest-profile guests at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. Glamour‘s got an early lead with Jason Wu and Jessica Alba. [WWD]

Photo: Jun Sato / WireImage