A member of the Hermès Horseshoe club is a unicorn in what is already a wildly exclusive bunch of handbag collectors: those who have been offered a Birkin, Kelly, or Constance. We’ve written extensively on snagging a Birkin and the like, proving your loyalty to the brand to finally get your hands on your first Hermès Holy Grail Bag. Getting a horseshoe, however, takes this to the next level.
As you may know, the unofficial Horseshoe club comprises the select group of Hermès aficionados who have been offered Special Orders. (Read: Hermes Special Orders: The Exclusive Horseshoe Club) These members’ dedication to the brand is unwavering, and the club is an immense privilege for fashionistas around the globe. With Special Orders—which are offered twice per year—the collector is no longer tied to the whims of the Hermès boutique and the specific Birkins, Kellys, and Constances they have in the back; the collector herself becomes the designer in part, creating a bespoke bag that matches exactly her handbag visions.
Since there is a lingering air of mystique surrounding the entire process, we thought we would share with you a few interesting tidbits you might not know about Hermès Special Orders. In turn, perhaps you might then share with us in the comments some facts you’ve discovered about them yourself through your own research and experience!
1. A Special Order bag does not cost more than a regular Hermès bag of the same leather
Indeed, there is no surcharge for the Special Order service itself. You only pay the regular price for the specific materials used—leather, hardware, etc. The final cost, then, all depends on your customizations.
2. There are some exciting colors and leathers available for special order this season!
While you might think the same colors and leathers are always available, this simply isn’t the case. Each semester—there are two a year—brings its own surprises and delights. Great anticipation always builds around colors in exclusive leathers which are only available for Special Order, such as chevre. While PurseBop can’t share with you everything that’s available this season, we can give you an idea of what’s in store for insiders!
This season, you’ll find chevre in the sizzling hot “rose pourpre” and “vert vertigo.” Furthermore, from time to time, there are new leathers added to the SO chart. Most recently, these have been Evercolor and—we anticipate soon—perhaps even Novillo.
In case you haven’t played along in our special simulation game, head over to Build-A-Birkin and check out the community favorite leathers, colors and combinations (read: Tis The Season For Hermès Special Orders).
3. The recognizable horseshoe stamp is only about 10 years old
Long before the SO process was relatively formalized, Hermès of course customized bags for its most prized clientele. Then, about ten years ago, the Horseshoe Club became more public and prominent when Hermès started marking each of the SO bags with a horseshoe stamp beside the “Hermès Paris” logo. Now, the tiny but prestigious mark is a sign of a bag’s exclusivity and its owners standing in the world of Hermès.
4. You can customize the length of your special order strap
At certain Hermès boutiques (though not all), Horseshoe club members have the ability to customize the length of the straps on their SO Kellys, and there are longer leather straps for those who want to comfortably wear the Kelly crossbody.
5. An offer to do a special order doesn't necessarily mean you can choose exotic leathers
While some beautiful SO bags certainly exist—just look at the one pictured below—just because you’re in the Horseshoe club doesn’t mean you can customize with the exotic leathers of your dreams. Most of those who receive special orders are limited to regular leather bags: think chevre, togo, swift, epsom, and clemence. You have to be an especially important VIP to be offered crocodile or ostrich.
These exotic Special Orders are reserved for those clients with a long purchase history and reliability in the fear that a client may not accept or purchase once the handbag has been made. In fact, we often hear that many stores will not offer them at all…
Review PurseBop’s special order series below to refresh your knowledge of the exclusive Hermès process:
Part One: Hermes Special Orders: The Reference Guide
Part Two: Special Order Testimonials
Part Three: PurseBop Gets The Call
Part Four: Couples That Special Order Together Stay Together
Part Five: Mr. PurseBop Measures Up
Part Six: PurseBop’s Special Order Birkin Reveal