When we think of the ultimate luxury handbags, of course Hermès springs to mind. In particular, its iconic Birkin and Kelly bags rank at the top of the handbag pyramid. But, as we know, not all Birkins and Kellys are created equal… Some fabrications just soar to the top… like Matte Porosus Crocodile.
But if you’re looking for the most exclusive and expensive among the Hermès offerings… then turn your attention to the Himalaya Birkin and Kelly.
Considered the ultimate holy grail of handbags, Himalaya Birkins and Kellys are simply show-stopping. Seeing one in person often induces a gasp and a stare, in part because they are so rarely seen. These are the bags most often cited as alternative “luxury investments.” It’s no wonder Himalaya Birkins and Kellys are sought by collectors worldwide.
So, let’s delve into the world of Hermès Himalaya bags and discover what makes them so special.
Hermès Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile
Unsurprisingly, the quality of the Himalaya bags starts with the material itself – the Nilitocus crocodile. But first, we need to clarify the basis for the Himalaya description.
Contrary to popular belief, this crocodile is not from the Himalaya mountain range in Asia. In fact, Himalaya refers only to the dyed skin’s resemblance to the often snow-peaked mountains. Achieving that delicate gradation of color is part of the Hermès magic.
Through Hermès’ meticulous process it transforms these crocodile skins such that bright pearly white gradually fades into a warm-toned smokey gray color. All of this begins with careful and critical selection of the perfect light-skin Niloticus crocodile hide.
And the painstaking process doesn’t stop there. Only after extensive preservation and hide preparation can the dyeing process begin.
Ultimately, the dyeing process is what truly brings this magnificent work of art to life. In order to achieve the gradient tone, individual artisans use extraordinary care blending the colors to a seamless finish. And among Hermès specially trained creators, only the most experienced work with Himalaya.
Hermès Himalaya Pricing
Well, it’s probably no surprise that the world’s rarest bag is also the most expensive. Valued by luxury lovers and collectors, the Himalaya Birkin or Kelly is pointed to as an example of best handbag “investment” as an asset class. But what do these beauties actually cost… if you can get your hands on one?
Currently, it is reported that an Hermès Himalaya Birkin 25, retails between $52,000 and $65,000 at the boutique. Prices will vary by country, with local taxes applied. However, other variations of the Himalaya Birkin and Kelly (discussed below) vary in price considerably.
Who Carries a Himalaya Birkin or Kelly?
Given the rarity of the Himalaya Bs and Ks, they are very rarely witnessed in the wild. That is, you’re unlikely to spot one on the streets of your favorite cities. Count yourself lucky if you do.
Many would argue that the Himalaya Birkin and Kelly are museum-grade pieces. Perhaps even meant for display only. Yet collectors around the world remain drawn to these exotic pieces, perhaps for investment value.
Among the limited group of owners, some are brave enough to wear them. That includes the handful of celebrities lucky enough to have – and show off – this snow-colored dream. Count JLo and Victoria Beckham among the proud holders of Himalaya bags. And don’t forget the Kardashian klan.
Avid collectors of Hermès, the Kardashian-Jenner household, have their fair share of rare and exotic pieces. Among the family, there seem to be several Himalaya bags. It’s not uncommon to see Kris and Kylie Jenner wearing the most highly coveted Kelly. Kim Kardashian, however, has remained loyal to her love for the Himalaya Birkin.
When A Himalaya Isn't Enough There's a Diamond Version
Just when you thought the Hermès Himalaya Birkin (or Kelly, for that matter) was the top of the charts, think again. There’s something even more jaw-dropping out there… Meet the Hermès Diamond Himalaya Kelly.
What makes the Hermès Diamond Himalaya Kelly so special? The answer is in the name, Diamonds! Boasting 18K white gold hardware, completely encrusted with 229 diamonds, totaling 9.56 Carats.
Rarely available for sale in Hermès boutiques, ones best access to obtain one of these might be the secondary market. Periodically these treasures are offered at auction houses and high-end resellers across the world. And when available, this model notoriously sells for record-breaking prices.
Notably, a Hermès 28cm Matte White Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Kelly Bag with 18K White Gold and Diamond Hardware sold for a jaw-dropping HK$4,000,000 (approximately $513,000).
If you thought it was hard to purchase an ‘entry-level’ Hermès Kelly in the boutique, the Diamond Himalayan Kelly is even more elusive. Often found for sale in auction houses across the world, the bag notoriously sells for record-breaking prices. Notably, a Hermès 28cm Matte White Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Kelly Bag with 18K White Gold and Diamond Hardware sold for a jaw-dropping HK$4,000,000 (approximately $513,000). By comparison the estimated retail price in 2022 was $240,000 for the same bag.
If you are dreaming of owning your very own Diamond Himalaya Kelly, here’s your chance.
Currently, you can find the stunning Hermès Kelly 35cm Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile with 18K White Gold and Diamond Hardware available at Heritage Auctions. With a starting bid of $230,000, it is certainly one to watch – explore the auction here.
Read also: You Don’t Have to be a Hermès VIP to Get an Exotic Birkin or Kelly Bag at Heritage Auctions
There’s a rare opportunity to preview this Himalaya and the many other treasures up for auction on May 4th at an exclusive reception being held at Heritage Auctions in NYC on May 2nd from 6 -8 pm. If you’re in the area, we welcome you to stop by. All you need to do is send an email to [email protected]
445 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Do you dream of adding a Hermès Himalaya piece to your collection? And, if so, would you dare to use it? Let us know your thoughts on this show-stopping beauty.
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