First Birkin, but I need advice (do I ever...)

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  1. Hi, everyone. I've been reading and reading and reading all of the unbelievably detailed and informative posts in the Hermes forum (you people should get together and publish an encyclopedia). And you would think that with all of the information that's available here I would be able to figure this out on my own. But I can't. So if you can help me organize my thoughts, I could use some advice. I'd like a birkin, and I'm sure of the color: etoupe. I'm sure of the size: 35. I'm pretty sure that togo isn't my leather, and I'm ruling out the expensive exotics. Etoupe is, I know, available in swift, but I haven't seen it listed as one of the colors available in box. So while I know that box is my kind of leather, I think it is ruled out for this purchase. I think that leaves swift. Is that right? But feedback on swift birkins - and there are a lot of posts - are divided on the slouch factor. Some have written that swift is so supple that the bag will have a sort of batwing look. Others, though, describe it as firmer than togo. I finally read through the "Stars and their Hermes" posts - all one hundred million of them - trying to get a grip on this batwing effect, and I am more lost than ever. Some togo Birkins look perfectly rectangular, some look slouchy. Some swift Birkins look, here I am. I'd get it in box if I could, but since I can't, I'm thinking of swift, and in spite of all the thousands of words already posted about this, I'm unable to figure out how to buy the birkin in etoupe without getting a bag that will lose the rectangular look. (I know some people like that look, but this is going to be a first AND last Birkin in my case, and I would rather have the rectangular look.) Is the slouch the leather? Is it what you carry in the bag? How you adjust the straps? Whether you use a liner? The sign you were born under? Help!
  2. At 35cm, Swift will slouch. It tends to hold its shape better at 30cm. The slouch comes from the leather. Have you considered chevre in this color, it's beautiful.
  3. i agree with hermesgroupie, if you don't want batwings/slouching, why not consider chevre? From your post, i sense that you prefer smooth, non-grainy leathers (box, swift, and your dislike for togo?), so perhaps if you're looking at chevre, you might prefer chevre mysore over chevre de coromandel i.e. CDC (the spine is quite prominent on this leather)... However i still feel that the "grain" on these leathers are quite prominent, if you do a search one of the lovely ladies on this forum (tricia) has an etoupe HAC in CDC, let me find the thread for you so you can see what this leather in etoupe looks like:

    Hope that helps!!! and good luck with your birkin, as u can see the next bag on my wishlist is an etoupe birkin, so... i think you've really made the right choice with this colour :lol:
  4. I'm wondering if Etoupe box is available as a SO??
  5. Hermesgroupie and Nightshade, thanks. Chevre - but without the spine - is the fined-grained mid-sheen leather used in most linings? I'm taking a new, intense interest in the inside of the Plume as I type...That's a lovely leather, and if I can find this in etoupe I think it's the solution. NS, thanks for the link to the HAC. It is beautiful, but as you thought, the spine is probably not right for me. Let me know when you find your etoupe! I really love this color.
  6. Sometimes it does come down to a dilemma between color and leather. Your first issue, slouch: I think that the "increase" in the slouch is a function of how much you use it. The more you use it the slouchier it gets. Since you mentioned you plan only to buy one, I assume it will get used all the time. However, slouch is not always such a bad thing. My first birkin was chocolate togo and strangely enough, it came out of the box slouching a lot. The slouch only increased over time. (It doesnt "bat wing" - it falls forward). While it took me some time to get my mind around this, I came to realize it was fun, actually kind of comforting, to have a slouchy birkin bag. In the years that followed, I bought two more in other colors, one clemence and one togo, and neither one of them slouch. They both sit up straight and have the same "profile". My SA still cant figure out why the first birkin bag was so slouchy.
    As to your second issue, the color. Rather than compromise and get your favored color in your less favored leather, you might want to consider getting a color in a leather where you like them both. Reason being - etoupe is a fairly new color. In the 7+ years I have been buying Hermes, I notice that they bring out a new color, market test it in a couple of leathers, see how it does, and then either expand it into other leathers or drop it entirely. Etoupe is a color that the SAs were all "ho-hum" about, but it seems to have made a bigger hit with the clientele than with the sales staff. A reasonable inference would be that, depending on the commercial success of this color, Hermes could concievably come out with it in box. If you would be OK with that and not regret having gotten it in swift, then go ahead and request it in swift. Just something to consider. When I have a dilemma like this, I always ask myself - If I were to find something tomorrow that was exactly x and y, how would I feel about this item - would I still like it and be happy with it? If I cant answer the question "Yes", then I pass.

    Last word of advice - please dont feel pressured or rush or fret over this - you will end up with a great bag that you will enjoy tremendously (even if its not exactly what you are visualizing). I wouldnt be surprised if you end up with two (I could actually make a case for every woman having four, but -- well lets get you to the first one first).
  7. Isus - Hi. I wonder, too. I also wonder if they might not introduce it in box somewhere down the line - there seems to be a lot of interest in the color. I'd love that. I'll ask, and I'll tell you what they tell me.
  8. Hello and welcome to the incredible journey that is Hermes Addiction. Never say never .............once you get one its really really hard to buy anything else. The quality is unsurpassed. A couple comments: All birkins batwing a bit. It really depends on how you carry it. if its carried with the flap tucked in with straps loosely in the guides, the whole bag "flattens" a but. The HAC's tend to do this less because of their height. Now leather does play a big part in this. I dare say most people who buy a birkin are not buying with the concern about batwinging--its part of the slouchy elegant, uber luxcasual look...........I think (IMHO) that the bigger concerns tend to be overall slouchiness (up and down) which is a real like or dislike. I really dislike clemence for this reason. Not only are the bags soft side to side but up and down so that you get the sag/saggy folds. Box leather does not do this. Swift will in a 35. I have two 30cms in swift and there is no sag just "batwing." Chevre, goatskin, fjord, croc, epsom, barenia (help if i missing any) really dont sag up and down. They have a rather stiff body to them. Evercalf, evergrain, clemence, togo..........are more soft ish overall. Now to complicate matters all leathers are different. Some swift has a discernible grain and others (like mine ) are perfectly smooth). Some togo looks like clemence and some clemence has really bumpy and coarse grains and some is very fine. Just like the skin of any animal creature its all different. You almost have to judge somewhat on a piece by piece basis. I was offered a 35 cm blue jean togo birkin once that had huge veins in it. I hated it and it turned it down and cried for a week but I hate the pronounced veining. MY 2 cents
  9. Fleur, I have to admit my own tastes are interfering with my being completely objective on this issue because, personally, I like etoupe in clemence. In the most recent Hermes magazine advertising, there is a picture on p 81 of a lindy bag in etoupe clemence. I know you mentioned you didnt care for togo, so clemence may be too close, but if you havent seen the picture, you should check it out. I have actually seen a couple of etoupe clemence birkins in the past couple months (you can always count on Fifth Avenue shoppers to have birkin bags in tow!) and they really looked great. The swift is beautiful too. Not sure if this is good or bad, but etoupe swift reminds me of a Bottega Veneta leather and color they did in the early 80s. The clemence etoupe feels more "Hermes" to me for some reason. On the box issue, I think its definately worth exploring, although its possible there will be no clear answer on this for a whlle.
  10. Hi, Jedimaster. Thanks for your post. Etoupe is definitely the color - I think I've sort of been waiting for it, if that makes sense. I'm a cool color person, and etoupe - for me - is that magic color that works with everything. If I could be sure that swift would slouch forward but not sideways, I'd love the softness of it. But after studying all the photos, I learned that the only birkin look I don't like is the flattened out sides, the batwings, that some but not all of the soft leather birkins get. I think I was hoping there was a way to carry it or adjust it so that the wings didn't develop. but the replies have indicated that's not the case. Would I be happy with etoupe chevre if by waiting a little longer I could have ordered etoupe box? I think so. I think I'd get etoupe box in...plume elan. I promised my husband I'd buy one birkin. I don't remember promising him I'd buy one bag.
    And now I have to do the slow don't-even-think-of-asking-for-a-birkin-until-they-know-you thing. Well, the bright side is, if it takes long enough, it probably will be available in box.
  11. Jedi, I was answering your first post, so I didn't see your second. I don't think I am opposed to clemence in etoupe as a leather, and it sounds ideal in the lindy, where you'd lose the point of the bag if the leather weren't supple. I didn't come to this slouch factor as an issue until really late in the game. (I've been reading these posts so closely that I feel I know you all.) It wasn't actually until I did the last part, which was looking at the Stars posts, that I thought, I want the bag to look rectangular. Carolyn Besette's black box on the sidewalk? As opposed to. um, Lindsay Lohan's orange with the stretchier shape. But etoupe in clemence in a bag where suppleness is needed, absolutely.
  12. How do you feel about vache liegee, fleur? It's not offered in etoupe (I don't believe), but I bet it will be in the near future, as this is a fairly new leather for bags (but it's been done in luggage for a long time) - etoupe would be stunning in VL - it would shine and would meet your "rigid like box" needs - and no batwings.
  13. Fleur de Lis:

    I have a bolide in chevre etoupe with palladium. I think its the prettiest bag I have ever owned.
  14. No problem Fleur de lis! CDC is the one with the pronounced spine, but chevre mysore doesn't have the spine if i'm not mistaken :smile:
    i absolutely love etoupe, so much so, that i'd grab any Birkin in this colour no matter what the leather (although i still like it in swift best!) :lol: but i think i'll probably only be able to get an etoupe birkin in another 10 years or so, i've been on a bag buying spree lately and i think its time for stop for a looong time :sweatdrop:

    Good luck with yours, i hope you find the perfect one!
  15. I think I lost the screen before I posted. I was in the midle of thanking Hermesaholic for her encouraging words about buying several...Katel, you are a mind reader: I was looking at Vache liegee - stretched in 8 directions, luminous, all the right things - but, like box, I couldn't find it in etoupe. I will ask. I'm going to call the one saleswoman I know, but she works out of a store with an Hermes department, and not a boutique, and I'm guessing that I need to get to know a boutique. I think I am going to try to do this the slow, hard way rather than the reseller way - famous last words, watch me fold in about two weeks, right? - and I think the advice you'd all give me is to go through a boutique. Yes?