Lasting power?

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  1. I know that we're always talking about Birkins and Kellys as lasting bags -- and they are timeless, no doubt.

    But I wonder. How old is old, with a handbag, even if it's a beautiful quality handbag, like a Birkin or a Kelly? Everything does age, even if it's a Birkin or a Kelly. Everything does eventually need to be replaced or refurbished.

    Do you think a, say, 20 year old Birkin or Kelly would show its age and require reburbishment by Hermes? How old is old, is I guess what I'm asking. Is it worth it to buy older or vintage bags?
  2. Also, I guess, I'm wondering how much reburbishment is possible, beyond a certain point. It's a reality of life that leathers age.
  3. Leather ages, but it doesn't necessarily crumble. I have a crocodile clutch that my grandfather made for my grandmother in the 1930s, and although it's a bit stiff, it's still usable. I think it's important to store bags in the proper humidty (not too damp, not too dry - probably around 50% humidity) and to keep them clean.
  4. Hi Melisande, IMO some Hermes leathers age better than others. For example box calf. It ages very well and a box calf bag actually looks better as the bag is used more & more. Box calf bags will acquire a lovely patina after years of use. From what I know, this leather can also be refurbished by Hermes by polishing. But I don't think it's necessary to do this often. Most of the time I clean and take care of my Hermes bags with products that I know will work.

    Of course, how the owner takes care of the bag also plays a part. I think it's worth it to buy older or vintage bags if they are in good condition & have been well taken care of :smile:

    I have a Kelly that is almost 12 years old & it still looks very good. Here's a pic. It's a 28cm Rouge H Kelly in box calf leather.
  5. Wow. That bag is gorgeous Gigi. What do you use to clean it?
  6. Thanks Coconut :smile: I use the Mustela baby cream.

    I found out about this from an Hermes expert. She said it's the tried and tested cream for smooth Hermes bags. Interestingly, it was recommended by the Hermes store that she goes to! :lol:
  7. I totally agree. I can never understand why some women don't take care of their bags. :huh:

    Hermes has also told me a tip..."Use your bags! Don't keep them in the closet!" :lol:

    Humidity kills the most beautiful bags.
  8. I think dryness kills them even more quickly - and that's something we need to be aware of in winter climates.
  9. Thanks! :smile: I guess taking care of bags also depends on the climate. In where I live, we never have winter! :sad: It's hot & humid most of the time.
  10. Gigi - You're bag is beautifully maintained.

    Actually, when I was at the store last week, the SA also said that if I want, I can bring the bag back to Hermes every 2-3 years for maintenance. I don't know how that works and if someone else has done it.

    I also agree that we have to use the bags because they develop "character" as they age. Also, for me personally, since these bags are so darn expensive, I expect myself to take care of them so that I can pass them on later ... when I have children.
  11. I know the ideal humidity for storing wine is 65% and around 60F (16-17C?), and for storing guitars and fine wood it's around 50% humidity. I'd imagine leather would be a lot like guitars, don't you think? I keep humidity gauges in many of my rooms to keep track.
  12. Thank you all. Your comments, and your sharing of experience, is extremely helpful.

    I'm thinking that I'm probably currently living in a horrible climate for bag storage. It's very cold in winter, and terribly humid in summer. I guess you'd have to make up for this with some kind of air conditioning/humidifying system in the house.

    I liked the comment about using bags, not letting them sit in closets.

    And the baby cream... that is excellent information!
  13. I also really appreciate your opinions on vintage and older bags, and deterioration.

    Thanks so much!
  14. Every bag will age. But a great quality one will age beautifully. Vintage bags are always gorgeous especially those that age for many years.
  15. I sold a Kelly, which incidently I deeply regret, that my mother bought in 1980 and it was still in perfect condition, dark blue box it was. I have a gold Courchevel Kelly that I bought 15 years ago and it's perfect aswell.

    Actually I'm glad the subject of cleaning products has come up 'cause I was going to start a new thread about it. Gigi, is this Mustela OK also for other leathers, like Courchevel, Clemence ecc...? I have tried various leather products in the past, but nothing
    has ever really satisfied me:biggrin: