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Luxury Retailer Hermès Accused of Exclusively Distributing Birkin Bags to Top Spenders

Hermès Lawsuit Claims Luxury Retailer Reserves its Famed Birkin Bags Only for its Biggest Spenders

Located in Paris, France, Hermès is widely recognized as one of the most prestigious luxury retailers in the world. The brand is renowned for its craftsmanship and quality, particularly when it comes to their iconic Birkin bags. These highly sought-after handbags have become a symbol of wealth and status, with prices ranging from tens of thousands to even hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, a recent lawsuit has claimed that Hermès purposely reserves these exclusive bags for its biggest spenders, leaving ordinary customers empty-handed.

Allegations and Background

The lawsuit, filed in a Paris court by a disgruntled customer, alleges that Hermès practices discrimination by withholding Birkin bags from regular customers, only making them available to those who spend significant amounts at their stores. The plaintiff claims that despite being a loyal Hermès customer for years, they were consistently denied the opportunity to purchase a Birkin bag.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time Hermès has faced such allegations. In 2015, a former employee revealed that the luxury retailer indeed prioritizes its VIP clients when it comes to Birkin bag sales. The employee alleged that the regular clients were intentionally told that the bags were out of stock, while they were secretly reserved for wealthy and well-connected individuals.

The Enigma of the Birkin Bag

The iconic Birkin bag, named after English actress Jane Birkin, was introduced by Hermès in 1984. Since then, it has become synonymous with luxury and exclusivity. Crafted meticulously by skilled artisans, the bags are made from premium materials, such as crocodile or ostrich leather, and feature the signature lock and key closure.

The demand for Birkin bags far exceeds the supply, creating an enigma around their availability. Waiting lists are thousands of people long, and the chances of purchasing a Birkin bag directly from a Hermès store seem slim to none. This scarcity has elevated the bag’s desirability and has contributed to its elevated price tag.

The Alleged Discriminatory Practices

According to the lawsuit, Hermès has developed a system that favors their high-spending clients. Regular customers who wish to purchase a Birkin bag are often met with limited options, if any at all, while VIP clients reportedly enjoy a privileged shopping experience. The plaintiff claims that they witnessed individuals with no previous purchase history being offered Birkin bags, simply because they were accompanied by someone with a substantial buying record.

This alleged discrimination has led to frustration and disappointment among regular Hermès customers who aspire to own a Birkin bag but are consistently denied the opportunity, even after expressing their willingness to pay the substantial price. Many have voiced their concerns, arguing that true luxury should be accessible to those willing to make a significant investment, rather than only being reserved for an elite few.

The Response from Hermès

Hermès has vehemently denied the allegations, stating that their client allocation process is not discriminatory, but rather based on supply and demand. The luxury retailer claims that the scarcity of Birkin bags exists due to the precise craftsmanship required, as well as the availability of the rare materials used in their production. According to Hermès, every customer has an equal chance to purchase a Birkin bag, regardless of their spending power.

However, critics argue that the evidence presented in the lawsuit, combined with insider testimonies, suggests otherwise. It seems that the lawsuit has struck a nerve within the luxury industry, prompting a closer examination of the practices employed by high-end retailers.

The Implications for Retailers and Consumers

The lawsuit against Hermès brings to light the potential ethical concerns surrounding luxury retail practices. While exclusivity has long been associated with luxury brands, there is a growing demand for transparency and fairness. Customers expect equal treatment, regardless of their status or spending habits.

If these allegations prove to be true, it could significantly impact Hermès’ reputation and customer loyalty. The luxury retailer may be forced to reconsider its policies and make adjustments to ensure a more equitable distribution of their coveted Birkin bags.


The lawsuit against Hermès raises important questions about the accessibility and fairness within the luxury retail industry. While the brand maintains that their allocation process is based on supply and demand rather than discrimination, the mounting evidence and allegations suggest otherwise.

As consumers, it is vital to be aware of the practices employed by luxury retailers and demand a more ethical and inclusive approach. Ultimately, the outcome of this lawsuit will serve as a reminder to the industry that true luxury should be accessible to all who are willing to invest, regardless of their status or spending power.


Written By

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

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