August 31, 2016
By Candace Longfellow
BIRKINS FOR MEN: THE WORLD’S MOST COVETED BAG GOES UNISEX
The old saying goes, “behind every great man is a great woman,” but for 2016, a more appropriate phrase might be, “behind every stylish woman is a man trying to steal her look.” From #malepolish to man buns to lace blouses, fashion-forward men everywhere are sporting borrowed-from-the-girls looks like never before, and now, they’re taking on bags.
Women have long understood the importance of a good handbag. The thought of schlepping a wallet, cosmetic bag, cell phone, reading material and all the other everyday necessities without a trusty carrying case is overwhelming in and of itself. And now that cargo shorts are (finally) officially on the decline, men are suddenly faced with a dearth of pockets in which to carry their own daily essentials. The solution? The man bag.
In 2014, market-research firm the NPD Group found that while women’s handbag sales decreased by 5%, sales of men’s bag increased by 11%. But unlike women, men aren’t interested in curating a collection of different styles for different occasions. Instead, they’re on the hunt for the one. For men, a bag needs to be versatile: sleek enough to wear to work, sturdy enough for everyday use and big enough to store all of their stuff, from laptops to gym clothes. Luckily, there’s one bag that checks every box: the Hermès Birkin.
For years, male style icons like Pharrell Williams, Marc Jacobs and Kanye West have been spotted carrying the holy grail of handbags, and more luxury shoppers are beginning to follow suit. This year, The RealReal’s Birkin sales soared by 40%, all thanks to our male customers seeking out the bag in under-the-radar neutrals and larger sizes like the 40, the travel-ready 50 and the taller HAC, or Haut à Courroies.
In the hunt for the ideal bag, savvy males are catching on to something the smartest female shoppers have known for years. “Men now consider consignment when buying new items, realizing the ROI they can get when consigning these items down the line,” says Chief Merchant Rati Sahi Levesque. According to a recent study, the average annual return rate on a Birkin is 14.2%, compared to gold at -1.5%, making the iconic bag perhaps the best investment money can buy. As Hong Kong-based investor and Birkin collector Emily Chan told the New York Times, “Birkins are like currency: you can cash out any time.”
Ready to make the investment? Shop our authentic collection of Hermès Birkin bags here.