(Un)Popular Opinion: Bring the Birkin Strap Back!

With the recent surge of mini bags, cross body and shoulder strap bags, wouldn’t it be great to also be able to carry a classic like your Birkin 25 or 30 hands free? After all, the smaller sizes have the perfect measurements to sit comfortably at your side when crossbodied, or drop to the right length when used with a shoulder strap. So why, then, do we still carry our Birkins exclusively as top handle bags?

The Birkin strap is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it was an idea toyed with by Hermes back in the early 90s. The luxury house released a limited range of Birkins with shoulder straps, but discontinued the addition as quickly as it was added. But at the cusp of a new decade, and well into a new millennium, is there a case for the Birkin strap to be brought back?

Image Courtesy: Heritage Auctions

As many a luxury lover have come to know, both Hermes staples, the Kelly and Birkin, were originally designed as top handle bags. The Kelly, moreover, was solidified as a true icon of class, sophistication and elegance by the Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly. With the Kelly bag introduced decades before the Birkin, one can argue that the “princess bag” set the standard for Hermes, and the bags it produced thereafter. When the time finally came for the Birkin bag to be launched, perhaps the world renowned artisans at the cusp of the heritage house wanted to maintain the ideal of a luxury staple and symbol of refinement in the Birkin that was established by its predecessor.

However, the world is now a much different place than it was back in the 80s and 90s, with a surge of younger consumers taking over the luxury market. From solidifying the prowess of classic styles to establishing new trends, luxe brands have taken notice of this group and are beginning to cater their lines to suit the practical needs and stylistic desires of shoppers everywhere. Both Chanel and Dior have showcased a plethora of crossbody and mini bags recently that are already gaining popularity online, might the Birkin be next?…

Image Courtesy: Chanel, NYLON (Maria Bobila, Claire Rose)

On the other hand, Hermes’ verdict on this just might have already been passed down in “blink and you miss it” fashion. Earlier this year, the house’s spring/summer 2021 line was discussed here on Boptalk, and much to everyone’s delight (or dismay depending on your stance on a Birkin strap), Vogue Singapore Editor-in-Chief Norman Tan was pictured modelling the first of its kind Hermes Birkin harness. Before anyone had a chance to see it on the runway, though, our sources tell us that the style was entirely cancelled by Hermes and not going into production at all. Could this be indication once and for all that the Birkin will never have a strap?

Hermès harness

Image Courtesy: Singapore Vogue, Editor-in-Chief Norman Tan

What do you think? Should the Birkin come with a strap like the Kelly? Would you consider wearing your Birkin as a crossbody bag or with a drop-down shoulder strap? Share your thoughts below!

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Published: July 10th, 2021
Updated: July 10th, 2021

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1 Responses to “(Un)Popular Opinion: Bring the Birkin Strap Back!”

  • Well if it’s a strap looking like a cross between a shih tzu harness and a BDSM accoutrement, then my vote is ‘no’.