The Hermes label is supposed to represent timeless quality and classy sleekness. Before Victoria Beckham started toting them – Kellys, Birkins, 30’s, 40’s, HACS, leather, alligator – and therefore thrusting the brand into the global advertising world (and every woman’s wish list), the bag was reserved for the more understated wealth:

Athina Onassis in 1958, seen here in what seems to be a silhouette of an Hermes Kelly:

I like how the lady – the daughter of the wealthiest Greek shipping owner (at that time) Livanos and the wife of (in the span of two and a half decades) a) Aristotle Onassis, b) Marquess of Blandford and c) Stavros Niarchos (the last one, being her sister’s widower and suspected murderer) – plays it up with a full-length fur coat.

Now I am not saying that Tina was some angel, quietly residing at the Mediterranean. She was not the most attentive mother and she had messy divorces and drug dependencies. But people like her seem to have this collective sheen of relative dignity – that they were not pawns of the press, as modern-day Paris, Lindsay seem to be.

Another classic Hermes shot – with Grace Kelly:

Now, we have Britney and Paris rocking those lovely Hermes bags, which I think ruin the market for me:

Britney just looks so sad and Lindsay perhaps not half as bad but her reputation as unreliable and irresponsible just wrecks the image.

Hermes thinks they are being selective by upping the prices of their bags (price ranges from $5,000 TO $100,000 US). I have seen a short documentary on how those bags are made – the rare crocodile skin, the hand-stitching, how only five or so bags are made in a week – and it could justify the price tag (while driving environmentalists mad with how consumerism has wreaked havoc on nature). Someone in the same documentary also mentioned how the bag itself is a work of art. I can still handle that.

But when trashy celebs tote those bags, the value depreciates. For me, anyway. Now, China is not exactly helping by imitating Hermes (and practically every other luxury label). I took this from

You might saw, it’s still not of the same quality, blah, blah. Of course. But I know I’ll still feel bad, paying top dollar and then going around those cool night markets to see a bag like mine – only it’s 1/36th of the cost!

I feel that only a decade ago, the world was not as flashy or as materialistic and label-conscious. Now suddenly, there’s the need to tote these bags as if they can define you. I’d rather one bought these bags and actually worked them for a career, like Christine Lagarde, Minister of Economic Affairs, Industry, and Employment of France.

In this case, Madame Lagarde actually uses the bag for work; her Hermes looks well-worn because of the papers stuffed into it, not thrown around some starlet’s room.Obviously, Lagarde opted for this bag as Hermes is known to be rather sturdy.

Chic expensive pieces look trashy when sported in glitz and in bad behavior but when used for convenience , then the appeal to me is greater.