Difference between PO and SO


Aug 30, 2007
Twice a year, all the Hermes boutique SM's go to Paris to place their orders. They are told at that time which colors/leathers will be available. If they have promised a customer a PO, they will place it at that time. Basically, they are ordering something they most likely would have already ordered for their boutique, but it will be offered to a particular client when it arrives. PO's are limited to what is available that season.

A SO, is a true custom order. There may be some limitations (fewer ones for VVVIP customers) but this is when contrast trim/lining etc are available. Boutiques are limited in the number of SO's they may make in a year, so they are typically only offered to good customers of long-standing (not always true these days). One is later notified if the SO has been accepted by Paris - they may think what you want is not appropriate for their bag and may refuse it or suggest changes. I believe these are NOT done at the same time as the PO's are made (that is in Feb/July if I remember correctly).

A PO usually arrives within 6-9 months; SO's can take multiple years, depending on the leather/skin/trim involved.

One does not make any payment at the time of either order, and must pay whatever the price is when it arrives. With a SO in an exotic, this can be a substantial amount more than the price when it was ordered.

I think ostrich is available in a 35 but I'm sure others will know for sure.


Apr 19, 2007
It is in my view just as hard to get a birkin in the UK as it is to be offered a SO, its all about timing, the SA, justify - if you fancy getting a curry birkin which is no longer available - depending on timing, the SA etc, it is possible to be able to order one. It is easier to do a SO in Paris. But it is totally possible in the UK - by which I mean London. I have no experience of this in Manchester or Scotland.

Mme CLMdeF

Jul 26, 2009
Thank you so much for your reply, Sammyjoe! ;)

^^ Aaliya, I have seen so many ostrich Birkins in 35. I don't think it is rare (or at least it hasn't been that rare), but having said that, it might be more difficult to get a skin suitable for a 35 nowadays....