The Hermès Birkin Encyclopedia

The talk around the Birkin never ends because it is one of Hermès’ most iconic and exclusive bags.  As you can probably tell, the Birkin is one of our favorite subjects here on PurseBop too and a community favorite. To commemorate our love even more, we are presenting you with an extensive Encyclopedia for all things Birkin-related!  Read through our encyclopedia for an overview, and take your education further by clicking on the many links to more detailed articles below.


Birkins: Barenia B30, Gris Mouette B30, Black Swift B25 @pursebop


@by_md models her exotic Birkin25. Read: A Beautiful Hermes Day

I. Birkin: A History

The Birkin is undeniably a bag with an immense legacy, which is why it is one of the most famous purses in the world. Created by a brand with roots in equestrian wear and leather craftsmanship, the Birkin is a direct product of artisan perfection and rich French history (Read: Hermès 101: Origins, Equestrians, and Artistocrats). In addition, the inspiration for the name ties directly to the mystique of celebrity and the power of a fashionable woman through the eponymous Jane Birkin (Read: Birkin: A True Legend).

Photo courtesy: REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Photo courtesy: REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Hermès advertisement, 1927. Photo courtesy:

Hermès advertisement, 1927. Photo courtesy:

II. Anatomy of a Birkin

anatmy birkin


Do you wear your Birkin sangles open or closed?

With a design that allows the Birkin to be an easy travel bag, there are several defining features:

  • Lock – For securing the contents of the bag
  • Touret – Where the lock hooks in the centers
  • Clouchette – Leather cover for keys
  • Tiret – Thin piece of leather that is attached to the clochette and is usually looped through the handles of a bag
  • Sangles – Thin straps that help fasten the bag once the flap is flipped over
  • Pontet – Brackets that hold the sangles in place
  • Plaque – Hardware that clasps over the touret and lays over each sangles
  • Four clou – the four feet at the bottom of the bag that help it stand up straight

On the inside of the bag is one open pocket and a zipped pocket. These features are designed for both convenience and a slightly more relaxed and sportier look than the Kelly, which is slightly more rigid in frame. For more details and an in-depth comparison to the Kelly read our feature Hermes Birkin vs Kelly 101.

III. Birkin Sizes




@stylishsheba shares her twin mini Birkin 25’s.

birkin sizes

PurseBop compares Birkin 35, Birkin30 and Birkin25

Birkin Sizes:

  • Birkin 25 (B25)
  • Birkin 30 (B30)
  • Birkin 35 (B35)
  • Birkin 40 (B40)

From the adorable yet rare “mini Birkin,” the B25, to the most popular B30 and B35 sizes, the face of the Birkin can change drastically based on its size. Birkin Minis are popular in Asia and among women with small stature and work extremely well for formal events (Read: From Mini to More: Hermès Birkin sizes). The Birkin sizes with the most visibility or popularity are the ones that women find to be the most versatile: the B30 and B35. It’s difficult to know what size best suits your frame until you see them with your own eyes, but check out our helpful size guide with models for a little bit of assistance! (Read: Hermes Birkin Size Comparison)

IV. Birkin Prices

If the hefty price of the Birkin seems intimidating, remember that articles have shown that a Birkin is one of the best and smartest investments you can make (Read: Gold, S&P 500, or Hermes Birkin?).

Current USD prices for the Birkin (in Togo leather) are listed below:


V. Birkin: The Ultimate Holy Grail Bag


@upcloseandstylish shares her Himalayan Birkin 30. Read: What’s Your Holy Grail Bag?

The epitome of luxury, a favorite among the biggest style icons in the world, and a rare and hard to acquire gem…the Birkin is the ultimate Holy Grail Bag. No other bag has continually inspired designers and artisans to craft the ultimate luxury purse. Recently, there have been two record-breaking auctions of the Birkin bag (Read: Birkin Breaks Records: Sells for 380,000 at Christie’s auction) demonstrating just how prized it is.

We expect the Birkin to continue to make a splash in the fashion world as it has in our own community. Please do take the time to educate yourself on all the ins-and-outs of the Birkin bag. Remember, to share any Birkin related questions on BopTalk and tag your B pics to #boptalk on Instagram!

Read related articles below:
The Hermes Kelly Encyclopedia
Hermes Encyclopedia Volume 2
Hermes Bag Size Encyclopedia
Hermes Bulletin Board #6
Hermes Is Your Best Buy in Paris

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@ec24m shares her Hermès collections in her exclusive interview. Read: Exclusive Interview With Hermès Collector Jamie Chua



Published: October 20th, 2017
Updated: November 1st, 2020

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