Exotic bags are obviously the most exclusive bags in the world of Hermès. No question. But not everyone’s ready to dive headfirst into the exotic pool. Perhaps price is at stake, or even just commitment to an exotic bag. (There’s quite a difference between, say, Togo and croc—and don’t forget about upkeep!)
For those who want a hint of exotic leather without the full commitment—or those who just want to change it up a little and play with leather textures—the Touch Birkin (or “Birkin Touch,” depending on whom you ask) couldn’t be a more perfect bag. Let PurseBop take you through the ins and outs of this rare, desirable Birkin. Then, you’re in for a treat with @dailyloves‘ stunning Touch reveal.
Touch Birkin: The Basics
What’s the deal with the Touch Birkin? Well, a few years ago Hermès started crafting bags with just a “touch” of exotic leather. And it’s not just Birkins—Touch Kellys, Touch Picotins, and even Touch Baton de Craies have been spotted! These bags are considered “Limited Edition” for Hermès purposes and are quite rare. The Touch Birkin, naturally, is the most iconic of them all.
In most cases, the Touch Birkin has “touches” of exotic leather—either crocodile or alligator—on the flap, sangles, handles, and clochette. The rest of the Birkin remains either Togo leather or Novillo leather. Togo is usually paired with shiny croc/alligator, while Novillo tends to go along with matte croc/alligator, but this is not a hard-and-fast rule as you can occasionally find the opposite combinations. Additionally, Hermès only releases Touch Birkins in a small selection of colors.
Touch Birkin Prices
While the exact prices on Touch Birkins differ depending on specific type of exotic, size, etc., it’s worth noting that they are significantly more expensive than Birkins made only of normal leathers. (Think in the range of $10,000 more than standard Togo.) Last year, a Touch B20 was reported at $18,600. For standard Birkin prices, read: Hermès Birkin Prices 2019: USA vs. Europe.
Outside of Hermès boutiques—aka on the secondary market—prices skyrocket. Here, Touch Birkins are sold in the price range of exotics more generally. (Sure, they consist of less exotic leather, which is slightly frustrating with respect to price, but they’re also rarer than most exotics.) Currently, a Crocodile/Togo Touch B25 is available for $33,500 at Fashionphile.
And they fetch high prices at auction. In June of this year, for example, a Touch Birkin 25 in Niloticus Crocodile and Novillo went for £27,500 (about $35,000) at Christie’s in London. Last December, Christie’s in New York auctioned off an Alligator Touch Birkin 25 for $30,000.
Considering a Touch?
If you’re considering a Touch Birkin, there are a few things to keep in mind. One is that most of the exotic leather is on the flap. While this may seem obvious, it can be easy to overlook; if you tend to wear your Birkin as a tote with the flap tucked inside, your “touch” of exotic will not be that visible. Touch Birkins pop the most when they’re worn closed.
Also, the exotic leather comprises some of the most vulnerable parts of the bag. Exotics require more care and upkeep than standard leathers (especially shiny ones), and the exotic parts of the Touch are no exception to that. They’ll also receive the most skin contact.
If you’re a Twillies devotee, you may want to think twice about the Touch. Because if you tie a Twilly onto a Touch’s handles, you’ll be covering a significant chunk of the exotic portion. (You’ll also keep the most vulnerable parts of the bag safe, though this is at the expense of visibility.)
While this may seem forbidding, we don’t want to scare you off! We think Touch Birkins are absolute unicorns of Hermès bags—rare, stunning, and utterly lovely. We know how desirable they are, but we also want to make sure you know exactly what kind of piece you’d be investing in. Are you interested…? Let’s take an even closer look.
A “Touch” of Something…Special: A Reveal by @dailyloves
At some point in our Hermès journey, it is common to try our hand at a little something extra, a touch of something…special. Often, that means a hard-to-come-by leather or dipping our toes in the exotic-skins pool.
When I was ready to jump in, I immediately talked to my SA! Initially we opted for ostrich (I was not ready to dive into the croc pond just yet), but every time a piece came in, it just wasn’t right for me. Wrong bag, wrong size, wrong color. I sure had my magical Hermès fairy working hard!
Months passed and I patiently waited for what I thought would be my first and special exotic piece: a Kelly 25, in gris agate ostrich, with palladium hardware. We had it all planed! But we know what often happens with plans in our magical orange land (wink wink)…
When my special exotic piece was nowhere to be found, I continued brainstorming for other options with other fashionistas and my magical Hermès fairy.
What about croc? Was I ready for a croc bag? No no no…no way. I am not ready for a full Hermès croc bag…not yet. But could there be something in between? Why yes!, yes there is!
Now that Hermes launched its line of Kelly and Birkin Touch, there was most certainly something that would fit the bill: an Hermès Birkin Touch! But what color? What size? We narrowed things down and put a few options on the list.
Then…one day, I got that unexpected “call” (it was actually a text but, you get the drift). A touch came in and had my name written all over! “Specs please!” I replied. It sounded perfect, so off to Hermes I went. Perfect she sure is. May I present to you, Ms. Touch in blue marine croc and noir novillo leather with palladium hardware.
What I love most about Ms. Touch is that blue marine looks different in different lights—sometimes it looks black and other times it has a beautiful hint of blue. I love a chameleon (love eyes). I also love that the leather for the rest of the bag is Novillo: a bull leather with a beautiful grain like Togo, but softer to the touch, that will keep its structure over time.
Hope your day has touch of something special as well (wink wink). xoxo @dailyloves
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Updated: October 12th, 2019