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How to Sustainably Update Your Birkin Bag

Birkin Bag

Vintage Hermès Birkin 35 in brown epson leather first produced in 1999. Intricately embroidered by Jay Ahr, it’s artwork is inspired by colorful Indian kerchiefs, Ahr’s tongue-in-cheek twist on the Hermès Twilly. US $38,500. Courtesy Curated by MF

Today’s fashion industry reset message came courtesy of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the British Fashion Council (BFC). It urged brands, designers, and retailers to slow down and limit the incessant flow of merchandise generated, resulting in wasted inventory. Following years of chasing the latest trends, consumers remain hungry for the new. Many are trying to create a fresh culture of fashion, however, one that favors purchasing product that is intended to last a lifetime. Certainly, there are maisons that boast the luxury craftsmanship and know-how to create pieces of the like. Notably, Louis Vuitton and Hermès. A young woman gifted an Hermès Birkin bag, passed down from her mother, or even grandmother, might treasure it with even greater enthusiasm than if it were new.

Jay Ahr

A vintage Hermès Constance 24 in black box calf leather with gold plated metal hardware. features an embroidered interpretation of the snake depicted in the Raktayamari Thangka, one of the world’s great textile treasures. One of the major landmarks of early Ming dynasty textile arts, the eight snakes represent the subjugation of various obstacles and the accomplishment of skillful activities. US$28,600. Courtesy Curated by MF

If you are seeking to update your collection of Hermès and Louis Vuitton bags, consider having an artist take a brush or needle and thread to them. In 2013, Kanye West commissioned American contemporary artist George Condo to paint a Birkin bag for Kim Kardashian for Christmas. Today, designer Jonathan Riss is trying his hand at embroidering the iconic bag to spectacular effect. The designer behind the brand, Jay Ahr, was hand-picked by his contemporary Marie France Van Damme to spotlight on her new platform supporting small business and craftspeople Curated by MF. Ahr is renowned for recreating vivid cultural themes using innovative embroidery techniques transforming each vintage piece into a contemporary object of art. Along with the Birkin, he has breathed new life into vintage Louis Vuitton and Hermès Kelly and Constance handbags with unique hand-embroidery.

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