Hermès birkin bag made from crocodile skin and diamonds bought for £230,000, breaking world record

An Hermès bag has set the world record for most expensive handbag – selling for a grand total of £230,000 ($300,000).

The extremely rare Hermès Diamond Himalaya Birkin 25 is made of the skin of the Niloticus crocodile found in Africa and is covered in 18k white gold and diamond hardware.

The Birkin is a 2016 model from the French luxury fashion house, and was the top of the lot sale when it was auctioned by London-based Christie’s in an online sale on Wednesday.


It is the first ever Hermès Diamond Himalaya Birkin offered in an online sale and set a new price record for any handbag sold in the USA, and the highest price ever achieved for a handbag in an online auction.

The buyer remains anonymous but was one of a number of bidders from 29 countries around the world – 34 per cent of whom were first-time bidders.

Other items on sale included a a rare matte white Hermès Himalaya Birkin 30, which sold for $150,000 (£114,000), a Hermès Mini Picnic Kelly 20 II that sold for $56,250 (£42,000) and a limited-edition Hermès Bleu Marine Faubourg Birkin 20, which sold for $200,000 (£153,000).

Additionally, Christie’s says “strong prices were achieved for artist collaborations, Chanel runway accessories, and Louis Vuitton Virgil Abloh designed limited edition pieces”.

In total the online auction made $2,266,750 (£1.73m) – the highest total for an online handbags sale at Christie’s. Christie’s had auction sales in 2019 that totalled £4.5 billion.

Earlier this month singer Cardi B and her husband Offset faced criticism for buying their two-year-old daughter, Kulture, an $8,000 Hermès Birkin bag.

Shortly after sharing the video showing the toddler unwrapping the purse, the Bodak Yellow rapper defended the child’s gift in an Instagram video.

Kylie Jenner has also been criticised for buying daughter Stormi a full set of Prada baguette bags and a Louis Vuitton bag – she is two years old.

The Hermès Birkin bag is one of the company’s most recognisable designs, first introduced in the mid-1980s and named after English actor and singer Jane Birkin.

In February 2019 Selfridges banned the sale of exotic animal skins such as alligator, crocodile and python. It banned the sale of fur in 2005.

Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood, Diane von Furstenberg and Chanel also do not use exotic skins – alongside high street brands such as Topshop, H&M and Adidas.

The fur and skin of endangered animals or fish, or goods made from them, such as jewellery, shoes, bags and belts are banned for trade import into the UK unless you have a valid permit.

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