Hermes Special Bag Orders

acrowcounted

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O.G.
Feb 10, 2007
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20,516
Since this thread is now huge and the internal links to frequently asked questions no longer work, here is a brief FAQ for newcomers to the Hermes Special Order process.

What are the current choices for "a la carte" Special Order bags?
Current selection definitions (bag types, sizes, combos) Sept 4, 2021
Current color charts Page 1182 Post 17,729 Sept 13, 2021

What is an Hermes Special Order?
Each year Hermes gives select clients the opportunity to customize a classic bag in a made-to-order a la carte process. This thread is only for bag A La Carte orders (please use the separate threads for watch SOs and shoe SOs). "A la carte", "SO" (special order), and "HSS" (horse shoe stamp) are used interchangeably on this forum.

When is the Special Order season?
Currently, there is one SO season each year, opening around the end of August and closing in June. (FSH seems to be the exception with year round SO offerings.) New SO menus are typically leaked in August and remain constant until the following August. Individual stores have complete discretion on when, within this window, they offer SO appointments to their clients.

Which specs can I customize?
Hermes defines which specs can be customized and these specs can change each SO season. Generally these specs include: leather type, leather color, and hardware color. At your SO appointment, your SA will present you will the limited menu of choices including bag types and sizes (Birkin 25, Kelly 28, etc), pre-set combination designs (line, verso, multico, etc), leather choices, leather colors, hardwares, and a map for which options can be selected for which bag type and size. Not all leathers and hardwares are allowed for all bag types and sizes.

Can I make physical changes to a bag definition during SO?
Sometimes clients would like to change a physical aspect of a bag, like increase the handle drop or add a pocket or a strap. Unfortunately, Hermes does not allow any type of alteration to the bag definition during SO. For extensive changes like these, a client would need to pursue a “Horizon order” which can be read about here.

How long will my SO take?
There is no way to predict how long a SO will take from placing the order to receipt of the finished product. Most orders seems to take six months to a year, however it isn’t uncommon for bags to arrive earlier or much later than that estimate.

Can my SA give me status my existing SO?
Unfortunately, the info that can be seen by SAs at the local store is very limited. They can generally see if the order is still outstanding (ie hasn’t been cancelled) but do not get status updates beyond that. Some stores will update clients when they get notice that a bag has been shipped from Paris but other stores wait until the bag is physically in store before alerting the client.

Do I need to place a deposit for SO?
In most regions of the world, a deposit is not required for SOs. However, some Asian and Middle Eastern locations do seem to request at least a partial deposit. Deposits may also be required in other regions if the SO selections are very personalized (ie if you have your personal initials hot stamped onto the bag) such that selling the bag to a different client, if the original client declines the bag, would be difficult.

Do I receive confirmation of my SO after placing my order?
In most regions of the world, the client gives their specifications to their SA and that is the last they hear about it until the bag arrives. FSH seems to be an exception to this and sends the client a confirmation email within a few weeks of placing the order.

Is there a premium for a SO bag?
No, there is no premium price for SO bags. Their price is the same as any other standard stock bag of the same specifications at the time of delivery.

Is my SO a quota bag?
SO bags are generally counted toward a client’s two-bags-per-year limit at the time that the bag is received and paid for. If a client has already maxed out their quota bag allocation for the year, some stores will allow an exception to purchase your SO as a third bag for the year while other stores will require the customer to wait until a new calendar year before receiving the bag. These policies are subject to be changed per store at their convenience so it is always wise to check with your specific SA.

Where can I get ideas for my SO bag?
This thread shows unique combination bags. Please consider posting your bag there once it arrives!

Where can I see historical SO menus?
2022 on post 17,729 page 1182 Sept 13, 2021
2021 on post 15,439 page 1030 Aug 16, 2020
2020 on post 13,222 page 882 Aug 8, 2019
2019 on post 10,472 page 699 Sept 10, 2018
2018 on post 7,687 page 513 Sept 15, 2017
2017 on post 4,749 page 317 Sept 26, 2016
 
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Luny_94

Member
Jun 4, 2019
111
334
Hello,
A question for those of you who have ever received the opportunity to make a SO bag.
Did your store give you the freedom to make the bag you wanted, or was it just for a specific model? In my case they have offered it to me twice, but only for one model, and it seems strange to me.
I can confirm that this can happen: both me and my mum got to place a SO in June and we could only choose between a Birkin retourne, a Kelly sellier or retourne and a mini Kelly. No other options were available ATM…
 
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acrowcounted

Uh oh...
O.G.
Feb 10, 2007
6,942
20,516
Hi all, would like to know for those who had done SO at FSH before, how long does it take roughly? will they notify you by email when its ready? also, do you need to pick up the bag immediately or? thank you!
There is no telling how long it will take. It doesn’t get any special treatment compared to any other SO placed around the world. Yes, they email you when it arrives and the email gives an expectation for how long you have to collect it. Typically you can contact them and they are reasonable with allowing more time (months) but like all things H, answers change dependent on your relationship with the brand so some people have been given fairly strict non negotiable short windows (a week for example). Always best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
 

Tartin Tale

Member
Feb 11, 2014
94
219
Hello, I would like to ask you guys opinion. Between a kelly 20 in nata with trench in chevre leather, or a kelly 20 in craie with the interior in lime or gris pale in epsom leather, which one would you go for? Also what do you think about contrast stitching in craie in gris perle colour?
I’d say do the craie with lime interior it’s an extremely usable bag specially in Epsom. Not sure the gris perle stitching on craie will stand out much tbh.
Haven’t seen trench in chèvre available for exterior maybe you’re looking at the new colour chart, in which case please do share it here!
 
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Dec 28, 2007
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Hi all, would like to know for those who had done SO at FSH before, how long does it take roughly? will they notify you by email when its ready? also, do you need to pick up the bag immediately or? thank you!
I will only give you my personal experience placing SOs at FSH as my other orders placed in different countries have varied a lot.
I would say on the whole, average 6 - 9 months, with fastest at 10 weeks and longest almost 2 years. Exotics do seem to take longer.
You will receive an email with notification that it is ready for collection with details on price, payment options and standard collection interval. Do respond and get any clarification you might need, on whether you can collect it personally or otherwise.
For collection of an A la Carte, you do not need to apply for a leather appointment online. You can arrange to see your SA if possible or go directly with the email to the leather desk where the next free SA will be asked to meet you and show you the bag. At the moment shipping SOs is unlikely but you can check with Cuir. I would personally prefer to see/ inspect the bag in person and not risk it going missing anyway, besides a visit to FSH is always a pleasure for me. Best wishes!
 

attrapereve

Member
Aug 26, 2012
162
313
I will only give you my personal experience placing SOs at FSH as my other orders placed in different countries have varied a lot.
I would say on the whole, average 6 - 9 months, with fastest at 10 weeks and longest almost 2 years. Exotics do seem to take longer.
You will receive an email with notification that it is ready for collection with details on price, payment options and standard collection interval. Do respond and get any clarification you might need, on whether you can collect it personally or otherwise.
For collection of an A la Carte, you do not need to apply for a leather appointment online. You can arrange to see your SA if possible or go directly with the email to the leather desk where the next free SA will be asked to meet you and show you the bag. At the moment shipping SOs is unlikely but you can check with Cuir. I would personally prefer to see/ inspect the bag in person and not risk it going missing anyway, besides a visit to FSH is always a pleasure for me. Best wishes!


that's so detailed! thank you!! and wow 10 weeks to 2 years oh man hahah. Im really excited as this is my first SO. well, i guess i can only wait for the follow up email and hoping that it wont take too long :smile:
 
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Dec 28, 2007
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that's so detailed! thank you!! and wow 10 weeks to 2 years oh man hahah. Im really excited as this is my first SO. well, i guess i can only wait for the follow up email and hoping that it wont take too long :smile:
Well everyone starts with their first. My first was long, long ago and Hermes is all about patience but believe me it's worth waiting for. Congrats in advance!
 

jd5237

Member
Jul 12, 2016
39
86
So my SO that ended up not being an SO is finally home after 787 days :smile:

If you may all recall, I placed an SO for a Bleu Nuit HAC 40 with BPHW in the FSH store which was ready for pickup June 2020; because of the pandemic, they were willing to ship it to me in Canada. Initially, I did not know it was missing the HSS and it was only until asking for additional photos of the bag open, I noticed it was not present.

Initially, they were willing to stamp the bag with the 2021 lucky charms where the HSS would have gone. However, they stopped replying to my emails for an extended period (months). Out of the blue, a department manager followed up and said that they are now able to restamp the back with the HSS and of course, I was elated. Following some back and forth emails and confirming I would like to have it stamped, I was once again left without a response for an extended period with the other colleagues unable to reply to my queries. It was then mentioned that they could not stamp the bag the bag with the HSS anymore and not even the lucky charms as mentioned before; they said that somehow, although being an a la carte order, the bag was not produced as an a la carte bag which resulted in not having an HSS. They also said that they "found" this bag for me in order to have it ready to be delivered quicker. They also said they are no longer able to offer remote purchasing for other items in order to maximize stock in person and that this bag would be the only item they are able to let me purchase remotely and ship to me.

Fast forward to purchasing the bag, I was finally provided an online payment link with a 5 hr expiration period only to have my bank flag the transaction as fraud and lock my card; it certainly didn't help making the transaction at 4am my time. Initially, I thought I entered some information incorrectly so I resubmitted the payment two more times only to find out the link locks out after three attempts before calling the bank. I emailed Hermes and explained to them in order to have the link reactivated and luckily, they responded within half an hour (for the first time). The bank agent then assured me that my card is ready to go only to have it be declined and blocked once again. A second agent said it should be fine once again and they don't understand why the previous one didn't go through. I asked them why this transaction is suspicious and they said they automatically block transactions with this merchant (no they don't). They told me to try it again on the phone live with them only for it to not work only to have the link deactivated once again. This happened another time and thank god it finally went through on the 8th attempt.

After paying, there was correspondence for the couple days immediate and communication would once again cease. No updates, no tracking number, no waybills sent. I only found out yesterday that they sent the parcel out last week from a call to my number linked to my FedEx account stating that they need me to complete the POA document for customs clearance; I wasn't even expecting a parcel from FedEx and then I saw it was a larger item from Paris and I knew what it was.

Also to note, the freight forwarder they use is the same as the one used by a high end global auction house. While they do specialize in freight and logistics for high valued items, jewelry, art, etc, my experience with them hasn't been the best to say the least. Earlier this year, I purchased some paintings and watches from said auction house and this freight forwarding company did not indicate who would be clearing customs for the items - myself, the courier, or a third party broker both times; as such, FedEx wasn't able to accept and process the POA documents completed from me and the items were stuck in limbo for over three weeks, for items shipped with FedEx First Overnight.

This time, while they indicated correctly to FedEx and as such, they were able to process the docs right away, the box wasn't packed as well as how they're normally delivered to the stores with foam corners inside protecting the orange box inside and suspending it away from the shipping box; they just placed the orange box inside the shipping box and crumpled some paper inside. The box arrived damaged of course but it's okay. Also, the bag arrived with about a third of the protective stickers on the hardware missing even though I was assured previously they would ensure the stickers would be reapplied and not be peeling since it was peeling on the spindle from the photos. The front pontet that was missing the sticker is noticeably scuffed, similar to how a brushed watch looks after couple years of wearing; the feet are noticeably scuffed.

So after 787 days and 120 emails later with many hiccups along the way, the bag is finally home with me.

IMG_8493 (3).jpg

IMG_8492 (3).jpg

IMG_8488 (3).jpg
 

Iffi

Member
Aug 22, 2012
787
907
So my SO that ended up not being an SO is finally home after 787 days :smile:

If you may all recall, I placed an SO for a Bleu Nuit HAC 40 with BPHW in the FSH store which was ready for pickup June 2020; because of the pandemic, they were willing to ship it to me in Canada. Initially, I did not know it was missing the HSS and it was only until asking for additional photos of the bag open, I noticed it was not present.

Initially, they were willing to stamp the bag with the 2021 lucky charms where the HSS would have gone. However, they stopped replying to my emails for an extended period (months). Out of the blue, a department manager followed up and said that they are now able to restamp the back with the HSS and of course, I was elated. Following some back and forth emails and confirming I would like to have it stamped, I was once again left without a response for an extended period with the other colleagues unable to reply to my queries. It was then mentioned that they could not stamp the bag the bag with the HSS anymore and not even the lucky charms as mentioned before; they said that somehow, although being an a la carte order, the bag was not produced as an a la carte bag which resulted in not having an HSS. They also said that they "found" this bag for me in order to have it ready to be delivered quicker. They also said they are no longer able to offer remote purchasing for other items in order to maximize stock in person and that this bag would be the only item they are able to let me purchase remotely and ship to me.

Fast forward to purchasing the bag, I was finally provided an online payment link with a 5 hr expiration period only to have my bank flag the transaction as fraud and lock my card; it certainly didn't help making the transaction at 4am my time. Initially, I thought I entered some information incorrectly so I resubmitted the payment two more times only to find out the link locks out after three attempts before calling the bank. I emailed Hermes and explained to them in order to have the link reactivated and luckily, they responded within half an hour (for the first time). The bank agent then assured me that my card is ready to go only to have it be declined and blocked once again. A second agent said it should be fine once again and they don't understand why the previous one didn't go through. I asked them why this transaction is suspicious and they said they automatically block transactions with this merchant (no they don't). They told me to try it again on the phone live with them only for it to not work only to have the link deactivated once again. This happened another time and thank god it finally went through on the 8th attempt.

After paying, there was correspondence for the couple days immediate and communication would once again cease. No updates, no tracking number, no waybills sent. I only found out yesterday that they sent the parcel out last week from a call to my number linked to my FedEx account stating that they need me to complete the POA document for customs clearance; I wasn't even expecting a parcel from FedEx and then I saw it was a larger item from Paris and I knew what it was.

Also to note, the freight forwarder they use is the same as the one used by a high end global auction house. While they do specialize in freight and logistics for high valued items, jewelry, art, etc, my experience with them hasn't been the best to say the least. Earlier this year, I purchased some paintings and watches from said auction house and this freight forwarding company did not indicate who would be clearing customs for the items - myself, the courier, or a third party broker both times; as such, FedEx wasn't able to accept and process the POA documents completed from me and the items were stuck in limbo for over three weeks, for items shipped with FedEx First Overnight.

This time, while they indicated correctly to FedEx and as such, they were able to process the docs right away, the box wasn't packed as well as how they're normally delivered to the stores with foam corners inside protecting the orange box inside and suspending it away from the shipping box; they just placed the orange box inside the shipping box and crumpled some paper inside. The box arrived damaged of course but it's okay. Also, the bag arrived with about a third of the protective stickers on the hardware missing even though I was assured previously they would ensure the stickers would be reapplied and not be peeling since it was peeling on the spindle from the photos. The front pontet that was missing the sticker is noticeably scuffed, similar to how a brushed watch looks after couple years of wearing; the feet are noticeably scuffed.

So after 787 days and 120 emails later with many hiccups along the way, the bag is finally home with me.

View attachment 5586880

View attachment 5586881

View attachment 5586882
This is a wonderful bag in a wonderful color.

And the missing horseshoe thing happened to me in FSH too. It also said that I bag was found for me and so I got it faster. (6 months) But this one didn't have a horseshoe either. Unfortunately!!
 

jd5237

Member
Jul 12, 2016
39
86
This is a wonderful bag in a wonderful color.

And the missing horseshoe thing happened to me in FSH too. It also said that I bag was found for me and so I got it faster. (6 months) But this one didn't have a horseshoe either. Unfortunately!!

Other than the mishaps throughout the past couple of years, it's definitely a beautiful bag and the recovery was unexpected and most definitely generous (I won't reveal it until it actually happens as I don't want to jinx it) albeit presented still in a seemingly stoic and unpersonable manner but it's not surprising and I'm sure there's no ill meaning

It's also interesting how they say they "found" a bag with the specifications I ordered since I have yet to see a non runway HAC in a general run leather in BPHW that's not an SO but who knows

I'm still waiting for them to reply regarding the hardware as it's a little bit disappointing to have scuffed and scratched hardware on a new(ish) bag

I also think these luxury companies should really use this particular freight forwarding logistics company given the numerous poor experiences I've had, each with a different category of item. I'm sure they have plenty of experience handling such items but overall, both packing and logistics on their end have been beyond unsatisfactory. I don't understand why these companies can't just ship the items directly on their own and require a freight forwarder. I won't name the company directly but it shares the same name of a certain high end vehicle brand.

I guess one positive to this ordeal is that with the drop in the euro, I essentially got a 20% discount on the item. I also find it quite entertaining how almost every time they emailed me, they would say "we can only hold onto the bag for 15 days after which we will place the bag for sale to the general public" only to end delaying the purchase to 787 days.

but I do love the large HAC hardware in a brushed finish; the way it diffuses light is beautiful
 
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