How do the craftsmen work--producing different bags or only working on one style?

  1. Neiman Marcus Gift Card Event Earn up to a $500 gift card with regular-price purchase with code NMSHOP - Click or tap to check it out!
    Dismiss Notice
  1. Ever since someone mentioned she was able to watch her Kelly being made, I have wondered about this: Do the craftsmen who make Birkins, only make Birkins? Are there "Kelly" craftsman? Do they start out making leather bracelets, for example, and move up to picotins or garden party bags? Do they graduate to working with the more expensive leathers and then on to the exotics? Mrs. Kasden, if you are a lurker here, you probably know the answer, so please pipe up!
  2. Where are all the experts? GF? Mrs.S? HG? DQ? etc?
  3. From what I gather, they all start off making the small leather goods and graduate up to the harder items like the Kelly and Birkin. Also, I believe only the more senior craftsman can handle exotics for bags. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
  4. You know, I always thought that too (about the more senior craftsmen being the only ones to touch the exotics), but recently I was looking carefully at photos of a croc birkin and the photos made me wonder.
    I know that this particular bag is authentic as it was being sold by The Big Seller. It's a beautiful, stunning skin in a fabulous color but when you looked really, really carefully at the photos there were definitely a few flaws that led me to believe that possibly an inexperienced craftsman had made it? It was actually quite sad. The bag slouched a bit to one side when viewed head on, and some of the stitching was ever so slightly crooked, especially on the top front.
  5. Well now I am no expert,:smile:, but this is exactly what I have been told as well. That they apprentice for awhile and then move on to making the small goods to the larger l.goods. From there they are able to work on SOs, exotics and perhaps custom orders. And did you know, and I am sure you do, that there is this one lovely woman (maybe more now) who spends her day making the "tissue pillows" which are found on the interior of our orange boxes....??...I love that and apparently it is quite interesting to watch her form the pillows, they are rather like origami.

  6. Great question. I have wondered this also.
    I had assumed senior craftsmen only for exotics, but like Cynthia, saw a croc bag made this year that did raise an eyebrow.
    I have thought that a bag like the Constance or Dalvy would not be made by a beginner, but maybe I am wrong.
    Box looks like it would be tricky to work with.
    Also white stitching is very unforgiving, so I wonder about a newer craftsperson doing this.
    Those celtic crosses are few and far between.
  7. I had no idea about the tissue pillow lady! Wow. That's actually fairly poetic if you think about it.

    I should have clarified, I have always been told the same thing about the craftsmen and of course never had a reason to think otherwise. I just mentioned the croc bag because it seemed so strange to me to see such a beautiful skin worked in such a way as to look...well, amateurish. Maybe one of the older craftsmen is getting nearsighted or has arthritis or something?? :sad: Honestly if it had been ANY other seller, I would have sworn it was not authentic because I have never known Hermes to sell bags that aren't perfect in every way.
  8. I know, makes me love those pillows so much!

    I agree that there can occasionally be some stitching that looks a bit off, esp. w/ contrast white stitching or on a difficult skin and you just have to imagine that it was a tough piece to work with but also that it passed inspection. It does show that these pieces are truly handmade and the imperfections represent that....occasionally in the store my SA and I have seen a piece which was wrong and it has been taken off the floor -- the instance that comes to mind is with a very uneven zipper. She agreed it wasn't fit to sell. So it happens.
  9. why do I find this so fascinating? I can't help it but I do! I especially perk up when I see reputable resellers posting celtic cross bags.
  10. This must be a senior craftsman, cuz he's working on an exotic piece :tup:


    This gentleman seems to be working on just one particular style.
    I wonder if he's sewing a Kelly or a Himalaya.
  11. i have come to love that the bags are not perfect. so wabi sabi. makes them unique. unless it's a huge mistake which i'm sure h quality control should catch. i hear they destroy lots of bags which don't pass their standards and to many companies would seem very wasteful. my first kelly had a crooked handle, and i was a bit upset, but after talking to the master craftsperson and several SAs, we all came to the conclusion that it's a handmade bag. now i see other kellies, and i see that each handle is unique. some are righties, some lefties, some even lean forwards/backwards.

    i too love those pillows that my bags can rest on.
  12. This thread makes me want to move to France and become a craftsman (craftsperson?).
  13. MrsM: Thanks for the tidbit about the pillow lady! I had no idea.
    Rachelle: I love the pictures! I keep looking at them to see as amny details as I can. Fascinating!
  14. kicks, that is a wonderful sticky!!