This is an unconventional reveal, but the story I am about to share will span three monumental events this year. Serendipity.
- Spontaneous April trip to PARIS with my girlfriends
- September- The EPIC Hermès Madison Opening Party
- November Trip to NYC
The story starts at Hermès Faubourg in Paris on April 18th, and will end at 706 Madison on Nov 12th- with a whole lot of storytelling in between.
Chapter One: Paris
You may be thinking as you read this, what prompts the story to unfold now- nearly 7 months later? My reveals often get lost and delayed until something sparks an immediate need to document it. And for those that follow my bag journey, you know by now that I never use a handbag treasure until I officially narrate the story here to all of you.
So this limited-edition Hermès bag (ok ok it’s a Birkin!) that comes nestled in a special orange box lined in blue (IYKYK) was born and delivered to me in Paris. May as well tell you now because as you read this sentence, I can feel your fingers scrolling down the page to see the first glimpse of the bag, and then you’ll come back up to continue the story with me. Guilty?
Ok good, you’re back! My appointment at Faubourg was at 11 AM. I had one meeting in Paris I needed to wrap up to make it in time. Luckily, it went as planned. My sales associate was waiting just inside the main door for me with an inviting smile.
Remember I had just met her in December 2021 with Mr. PurseBop when that very special mini Kelly in Mauve Sylvestre made it home with me.
Following some warm exchanges, we immediately made our way up the staircase through to the shoe department. She ushered me into the hexagon-shaped viewing room, just at the back of the shoe department hidden behind the podium desk.
We chatted a bit about my wishlist and soon she was off to make my dreams come true. My wishlist was similar to December with my usuals: something ombré, something picnic, or a mini Kelly. Crossed off my list was the Nata/Craie. If you recall, in February just before I left for Egypt, a beautiful Sellier B with PHW joined the family.
My SA immediately shared with me what wasn’t going to be possible due to the shortages but assured me she had something ‘special’ in mind.
After a few short minutes, the door opened with someone else carrying my coffee and water. “Bonjour madame, comment ça va?” This much French I could pull off in style (grew up in Canada where French is the second language) I replied…
“Je vais bien madame, comment allez-vous aujourd’hui ?”
The Hermès coffee cup was the perfect match to my special order Kelly 25 in Rouge de Coeur, incidentally revealed just in time for the Parisian trip. See, I told you something “sparks” the urgency to reveal. In this case, the new Kelly was coming to Paris.
I took several photos, savored the coffee and above all- the moment. How lucky am I to be here, in Paris once again, just four months later. To boot, it was such a beautiful day. The weather was crisp and bright, a perfect springtime-in-Paris postcard kind of day.
“Voila, Monika,” she announced as she entered the room. “I am so happy this was still there as I think it will be perfect for you.”
We didn’t waste any time. She carried the box over to where I was sitting and right away she began to lift the lid. Immediately my eyes widened. OMG, the box interior was blue, and I knew more than anyone what that meant. For those not as immersed, or shall I say obsessed with every Hermès detail, I will elaborate. A deep blue-lined handbag box denotes that the piece is very special, rare and produced for a limited-time only. Any quota bag offering is a true treat (especially in today’s Hermès climate) but to be offered a blue box makes it even that much more special.
The dust bag strings were tugged at and she began to unveil the Birkin. First the handles which appeared in a gold-ish hue. Could it be Biscuit or Chai? Then when the face of the Birkin started to surface and I saw hints of the print, I immediately knew it was the In & Out version that had just been released. It was 25cm, the hardware was palladium, and my SA confirmed it was the color Biscuit and in Swift leather. Sheer perfection, so unique and different from all the others in my collection… yet it was neutral with a unique twist. The intention behind the design is to give an imaginary X-ray vision into the contents of the bag. Among the goodies are a rodeo charm in exotic skin, lipstick, a small dust bag, a pencil wrapped in braided leather, and a tiny coin purse… all Hermès of course. The same style was also available in a Kelly 25 version in Nata. Equally beautiful, but she had decided in light of my recent Nata B25, the color would be repetitive and with my seasonal climate made the decision to go with this Biscuit version. She was completely on point.
Excited and content with my new Birkin, we began to complete other items on my wishlist. The bouncing sneaker, Orans for Mr. PB and moi, many new shades of lipsticks and refills for my favorites, several clic clacs, scarves and wooden jewelry for gifts and then came the special order luggage project. I recently narrated that story for you.
Chapter 2: Madison Store Opening
What more can I say that I haven’t already about that epic night? Except maybe this. In the helter skelter of beautifully dressed and stylish people, destiny would carve our way out onto the street to a round table outside 706 Madison. Now remember, there was a festival of activity, color and music all around- not to mention nearly 1,500 guests moving about exuberantly. Yet somehow, amidst all the happy chaos, we found ourselves joining a table of a beautiful mother-daughter duo, completely unknown to us.
I am sure most of you were wondering why I am discussing this nearly two months later and in the middle of this Parisian Hermès reveal. What possible significance can this tangent represent? But if you bear with me, this is all going to weave together to make perfect sense.
By this time champagne was flowing, including in our veins. Despite it all, I clearly remember how the conversation started amongst the four of us- Candy Udell, Randi Udell, myself (PurseBop) and G (Boptalk). Mr. PurseBop went to find more fun cocktails for us to try.
There was a sort of magnetic connection, we were mutually drawn to each other. While I was admiring Candy’s Croc Kelly Cut and Randi’s Birkin 25, they were admiring my Lotus ring.
Just a few minutes into the conversation, we discovered that they are the owners of the very prestigious London Jewelers in Manhasset. Then I revealed my identity to them, the founder of PurseBop. Turns out Randi was an avid follower of the PurseBop community, and I of London Jewelers. Could anyone even plan this if they tried? I was sitting with the third and fourth generation of London Jewelers. Truthfully I don’t know how long the four of us sat talking as we were having a blast, talking about all things VCA and Hermès. There was a beautiful connection, admiration and respect. We promised that the next time I would be in New York City, we would come to visit London Jewelers.
Chapter 3: NYC November 12th
Here the story will come full circle.
Just before leaving for the airport for my 7 AM flight to NYC, I make a quick shift in the bag that will make the trip. I planned that my Butler Kelly 25 would be my companion for meetings. The night before she was neatly packed along with my ensemble for travel and the meetings to follow.
I have been itching to start using the new In and Out Birkin, but procrastination to sit and write the full story kept her hidden under the bed. I can’t quite explain where the compelling urge to make the last minute change came from but I am so glad it did. Because here we are, and what a grand day for her maiden voyage.
I was traveling light, my Louis Vuitton horizon suitcase, my brand spanking new Birkin 25 and my Gucci cape. As much as I wanted to bring the new Hermès luggage, the colors weren’t working with my look. No tote, just the B25. I was sure to carry along the dust bag as I knew I would need to protect the new baby through TSA. It’s the first time I really noticed that the drawstrings of the dust bag and the Hermès logo were also in blue and not the traditional brown. Sitting in my seat at 20,000 feet above the ground was when I really sat and took notice to admire how beautiful a color biscuit really is. It’s softer than Hermès gold, but not as creamy as the color Chai. The swift leather on this Birkin felt hearty and thick (everyone knows I’m a swift lover). The way the color biscuit translates on swift makes it absolutely delicious and no less than the Biscoff cookies that were offered in flight. In fact one could say it was a perfect match.
My fellow team member we refer to as Boptalk was meeting me in NYC and we headed to our first meeting. Shortly before landing, I thought I should keep my promise and decided to text Randi from London Jewelers and see if she was available for us to stop by after our meetings that day. I received a reply almost immediately excitedly, “yessssss, you must… and it’s also our Italian Event!”
I quickly replied back “this is perfect, can’t wait to see you.” It was set, we would head over right after our meeting.
Boptalk and I arrived at the Americana Manhasset London Jewelers with our carry-ons in tow. This place was magnificent. I knew that London Jewelers consisted of many boutiques, such as Rolex, Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, Audemars Piguet etc, but I had no idea just how vast and impressive it all was. The uber-stylish and chic Randi met us almost immediately. She took us to her office where we left our carry-ons. It felt as though no time had passed. We talked about everything starting with the Hermès event and the appointments that followed. We toured the entire expansive boutique and each of the branded boutiques within.
Right outside the boutique, there was a large outdoor tent for the Celebrate Italy event to honor the Italian jewelry designers at Americana Manhasset. This gorgeous 70 degree fall day made us feel like we were in Capri. Inside the lavish tent, we were treated to delicious Italian foods, hand-crafted barista drinks and a huge spread of Italian wines. BopTalk ate so much risotto and eggplant bruschetta that she made friends with the chef.
Buzzing with the Italian espressos and gelato, we met the Udell family, Scott, her brother, his wife and all their beautiful children. We even FaceTimed Candy, Randi’s mom, in Italy. We tried timepieces never before seen and even $2 million dollar diamond rings.
More realistically, I contemplated which Cartier Panthère ring I dreamed of next. It’s absolutely the statement ring that I need in my life.
Boptalk fell head over heels in love with the VCA white gold Guilloché, something we both thought we could pass on, but in person, it’s just something else. The shimmer and shine of the white gold was hypnotizing as if it was saying, “Buy me now or else!”
If you’re within reach of Manhasset, I highly urge you to visit London Jewelers during the Italian event. Whether you’re in the market to buy a new treasure or not, the eye candy and set up alone is worth the trip, not to mention those delicious bites.
London Jewelers Celebrates Italy runs from November 20, with special events on November 19 and 20, at Americana Manhasset, 2046 Northern Blvd., Manhasset, New York.
The new Birkin was quite a conversation piece and was photographed as nothing less than a celebrity. We walked over to Hermès Manhasset just before our car arrived to take us back to Manhattan. “So you want to go from one Hermès to another Hermès?” asked the driver, incredulously.
“YUP!” we replied in unison and then collapsed into giggles. Maybe we should give the Uber driver a copy of Hermès 101 for Hubbies. We were secretly hoping to still make it to 706 Madison before close to surprise my SA.
Total success. We arrived at Hermès 706 Madison. Maybe because it was a Saturday, there was no traffic and we made it in good time. It was so good to see the store again. I felt pure joy as I breathed in the scent of Hermès fragrances.
It was my first time back after the opening and it looked so different, yet the same. The fourth floor however, was buzzing- pretty much like it looked opening night. I have never seen so many people busily squirming around in any Hermès showroom except for my December FSH visit. The champagne was flowing. The display cases were lined with different bags than what we saw at our VIP appointments at the end of September.
My eyes were scanning the massive fourth floor for my SA. Yesssssss! She was there in a group of her fellow associates. When she finally saw me, we ran into each other’s arms like a slo-mo movie. We were so joyful that other patrons turned to stare at us, as surely, someone must have just gotten the best quota bag in the world. Nope, it was just us and our love for Hermès.
Quickly, we found ourselves a cozy corner. There was just too much to share. She admired my In and Out Birkin and was thrilled I finally had pulled her out to use.
After a little bit, she asked to be excused. Boptalk and I walked the room admiring all the new bags in the cases while sipping champagne.
When my SA returned, she was carrying two orange boxes. She grinned, “Let’s head over to the green room. I would like to show you something.” She wouldn’t let me catch a glimpse of the label on the box.
The rest of the story to be continued…
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Updated: November 14th, 2022