WATCH How an Hermes Kelly Bag Is Made
It Takes Four Hours Just to Make the Handle
A three-year waiting list and tens of thousands of dollars for a purse undoubtedly seems crazy to a lot of people, but there are fashionistas who totally understand why Hermes' classic Kelly and Birkin bags are just that in demand.
In a new video at New York magazine's fashion blog The Cut, an Hermes artist named Pierre Grosperrin illustrates how a Kelly bag is made, and explains some of the reasons so few of them are produced each year.
For instance, Grosperrin had to go to school for two years and do an internship with Hermes before he was allowed to make his first bag. In fact, it was a year, he says, before he crafted his first Kelly, the iconic bag that was named after Hollywood star-turned-royalty Grace Kelly.
Grosperrin, who has been an Hermes employee for 14 years, also says the handle alone on a Kelly bag takes four hours to make, and includes five pieces of leather. It took him several months to be able to craft his first one perfectly.
Grosperrin says a Kelly bag takes an average of 18-20 hours to make (which doesn't include preparing a cutting the leather), and his first one took him more than 40 hours to make.
Check out The Cut interview with Grosperrin for a quick take on making a Kelly bag, and for a more in-depth look at Hermes and its leather artisans, check out the engrossing 2011 documentary Hearts and Crafts, which you can watch free at the film's website.