How to (maybe) get a Birkin in Paris

I was presented with my first 35cm Hermes Orange Chevre de Coromandel Birkin ( has a really good introduction to Hermes leather and colors!  Such a helpful site!!) as a high school graduation present from my parents.  Little did I know about the extravagance and rarity of this bag for an 18 year old but the soft leather and bright color got me falling in love with it immediately.  Over the years, I was presented with more Birkins and Kellys from family members for birthday and more graduations and I slowly developed a collection.  Still I was unaware of how spoiled I was and how difficult these bags were to find since my parents and god parents were VIPs at Hermes.
During my honeymoon in Paris, my husband and I decided to stop by the HQ of Birkins, the Hermes store at 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore to browse.  We were VERY dressed down (t-shirt, jeans, backpack, sneakers) and did not expect to buy anything since anything worth having would be easier to get through the VIP parents.  I was surprised to see a line  near the side door and asked the security guard what it was for.  He answered that it was for bags, and added that it was surprisingly short today.

With that, I jumped in line with the rest, feeling very under dressed and still doubtful I would get a Birkin or a Kelly. Nonetheless, I was only in Paris for one more day and was determined to find out.  Customers started leaving empty handed and some of the ladies in the store bought some other items and we were getting more discouraged.  When we got to the front of the line, a very nice sales associate greeted us and asked what we were looking for, and a series of questions began:

SA: What can I help you with?
Me: Do you have any Birkins or Kellys? (shamelessly…)
SA: I’m not sure, I will have to check for you.  Can you tell me specific colors, sizes, leather, and hardware you are looking for?  
Me: (pretty sure I’m not going to get anything) ummmm.  I have a few already so I guess colors I don’t have yet.  Red or gold or lighter blue or purple?  I guess 30cm or 35cm and leather doesn’t really matter.  I prefer gold hardware though.
SA: (taking a lot of notes)  can you tell me which colors you already have
Me: orange, electric blue, black, gray…
SA: Okay, I will be right back
*after 10 minutes, SA returns*
SA: Can you please come with me?
*brings us to an empty area and opened up the bright orange box with the beautiful Cupacine Clemence Birkin!*

I was so shocked I couldn’t feel my legs anymore.  She showed me the bag and I was like, thank you, we will take it! (I would be surprised if someone turned it down…).  We went straight to the checkout counter and they even had a 2 hour delivery service to our hotel!

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They even had a 2 hour delivery service to our hotel!!!
Here are a few tips and things we got lucky with:
  • The receive stock around 11am-1pm.  Go around that time for a higher chance of getting a bag.
  • Being an owner of other Birkins and Kellys is a plus, they like that you are a loyal customer and know the value of these bags
  • Being well informed of their variety of colors, leathers, types of hardware is important.  They want to avoid selling the bags to resellers so this is one way they test your Hermes knowledge!
  • Knowing what you want is important too, they won’t show you what they have in stock but if they have something similar to your description, they will show it to you
From my understanding, Paris is definitely the easier place to get these bags.  I’ve asked in New York, San Francisco, LA, Taipei, Singapore, Hong Kong and unless you are a VIP, they give you the “we have a waitlist” response.
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Solo pic of the new bag!