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1st Hermès Vintage Collector's Fair. Game On!

Label whore, I am not.

However, I do appreciate subtle chicness, good design and quality craftsmanship. And that is why I am looking forward to the upcoming 1st Hermès Luxury Vintage Collectors Fair. The event will be held October 23rd through the 25th at the Hotel du Louvre in Paris.

The fair will have a bevy of vintage Hermès pieces collected from curators from around the world. For sale! Yes, you heard me, for sale! Rare items and limited series will be on view. Additionally, you can bring your own vintage Hermès pieces to be appraised. Not to be a fucking snob, but I happen to own a vintage Kelly bag that is purported to have been owned by the wife of the original owner of the George V Hotel in Paris. I have had the bag for almost 15 years. My plan was always to pass it down to Gracie but I’m thinking now that I should probably sell it to pay for my ALS medicine (that doesn’t work) and my caregivers. Such is life. Who cares? (Well, Gracie might.)


Also on hand at the collectors fair will be Geneviève Fontan and Paul-Henri Studler signing their new book, Carrés d’art II: Dictionnaire Illustré et Cote des Foulards Hermès. Genevieve Fontan will also be signing, Guide et Codes des Sacs Hermès.


And the moment that I am most looking forward to is the “Hermès Collectors Museum” displaying the private collection of the uber rich.

Everything you have ever wanted to know about Hermès scarves is on a blog called Mai Tai's Picture Book.
Let me just state for the record that I would never ever carry a Birkin bag. If you would like to know why, please read my previous posting titled, “Reasons Why I Don't Want a Birkin Bag.” Click HERE. If a Real Housewife of anywhere has a Birkin bag, I don’t want it.… Except Yolanda, because she is lovely, and had a Birkin bag before anyone tacky had one. Just saying.

So if you happen to be in Paris towards the end of October, this is definitely a must see exhibit.

Another excellent source for vintage Hermès pieces is a tiny little shop tucked into the 6th arrondissement of Paris called Catherine B. Catherine B is the foremost expert and connoisseur of everything Hermès (and Chanel, for that matter) and her shop in St.Germain is chockablock full of vintage bags. Catherine B also happens to have in her private collection the very first Birkin bag ever made. Mon Dieu.

Catherine B. and Ines de la Fressange at Catherine B's Shop. 
So if you don’t need (or want) to put your children through college, pop over to Paris and start shopping. I will definitely be going to the collectors fair and will give a full report.
*The October antique sale is this week! I have been busy getting everything photographed, described, priced and ready for the sale. Stay tuned for my next blog for all the details, a sneak peek of my favorite items and the date. You can also follow me on Instagram HERE for updates and more sneak peeks!


  1. I have had a birkin for 15 years. My husband got it for me in Montreal while at a bachelor party. I hope that doesn't mean something bad. I will have to ask him about that later.
    I really like it but probably have used it 4-5 times. I feel very pretentious when carrying it. You know the "look at me, I have a firkin" because there is no way to carry it and not notice it. They are very big. But that being said I would never get rid of it because it was a gift.
    I would love to attend the sale not to buy but to look at all the old unique bags.
    Next time in Paris I will be stopping at Catherines, it looks lovely.

  2. Trés chic!
    Although not a "chic" girl myself, I learned all about it, many years ago reading articles at french "Marie Claire" when Ines de la Fressange was at the top. She, for me, is the top model of all time!
    Next time in Paris I will for sure look at the window of Catherine B. (won't dare to enter)
    The nearest I was of a true Hermés Kelly bag was at the Grace Kelly exhibit at Hotel de Ville. Lovely!
    A reader from Portugal
    Paula N Lima

    1. Paula, I lived there for years and never got the nerve up to go inside Catherine B! It just was the Holy Grail of Chic.

      Ellie, maybe I need to hock something (what? what do I even have to hock?) and hitchhike up to Paris to meet you for this sale...

  3. Ugh.. .Birkin..they can keep em..but of course anything Yolanda has is worth having, adore her....Hermes for me..well in my dreams..sigh...yes pls report on the exhibition. ..Catherine B's is a must stop for sure next trip xo J

  4. I remember the first time I saw a birkin I thought it was ugly. I think I may have said it looked like a practical lesbian's attaché case. Then when I learned what an internationally lusted after status symbol it was, I warmed up to it--because I am vapid and what choice did I have? I do love the orange boxes though. The scarves have always been a bit of a mystery to me as to what exactly is the allure? (forgive me Faux Fuchsia). But I'm careful to judge as I have a closet full of orange (Le Creuset) boxes myself and certainly don't want any fingers pointing at me. My personal feelings aside, I'm sure the history of all this will be fascinating. I'm very excited to see the holiday-centric October sale!

    1. Oh my God Stephen Andrew, I love you. I am more of a Chanel Handbag girl myself, but I did have an Hermes dressage saddle, and still have the H belts, and of course, I'm with the Faux Fuchia, I love the scarves. I think Stephen, you may have just been tying them wrong...I will come find you, we'll have martinis, and we'll work on that, n'est-ce pas?

    2. Comtesse Lola, I love you too. Because while I agree that a well-styled Hermes foulard can be really smart on a man (a low ascot roll, something like that), I had a serious giggle imagining our beloved SA sporting his at his local Kroger's...

    3. Well Heather, then it's settled. You, me, Ellie and SA, martinis and scarves. And then, for the finale, we will wander/wobble into Kroger's. It's always important to give the natives something to talk about. xo


    5. I will make all of you help me berate the manager about the damn bell pepper display. Ellie, I'm going to say it's so distressing to you that it caused ALS. You may try artful ties of Hermes scarves on me, but I'll warn you my neck is the size of a mature oak and I have the patience of a four year old. The martinis will help though. I once drunk cried because I was having a bad hair day and un-touchy and controlling me allowed three girls to do my hair.

    6. This is the truth! 19 years ago I was in a French antique store (where I bought my bathtub circa 1860) And I saw this red big purse. I knew I needed to have it. It was the right color; it was the right size.....I loved the texture of the leather. My desire had nothing at all to do with "status"; and that is the truth. Never have I ever wanted anything for status in my 68 years on the earth!

      So I ordered it. It took years. I have already commented on Ellie's first post about why she would never want one.....I
      use it every day..price per wearing the cheapest thing I have ever owned! have wonderful taste.....I just can tell you. I didn't think it was beautiful.....I thought it was practical and least 2 times a year it goes to visit Hermes for a "tune up"; and it comes back as a new bag!!!

      I could have bought many bags in those years.....however; I still love it every time I wear it!

      ps don't get the big one....I was 50 when I bought it; now it is really heavy when I put everything in I have to have a smaller bag to run in and out of places! Mon Dieu!!!!

    7. ps. I am not a lesbian; I am a decorator and it is not an attache case; I have never thrown away one box...(I am so old I have a stack of orange boxes in my dressing room....(blog coming into mind); and I saw the Hermes factory and saw the scarves being made with the silk screening over and over and over.....multiple layers. If you saw that; Stephen....I think you would completely change your mind. Those scarves are works of art. And many generations have worked there doing the same exquisite job! They are then hand hemmed by people who have also been there for generations. It is truly an art that is extended thanks to the popularity of the scarves.
      These are artists.....the people who make the bags, repair the bags, make the leather goods.......and who design and print the scarves on the finest silk.

      Anyone who thinks this is "
      just status" is just plain ignorant! Sorry!!!

  5. I shall be a fly in your hat for this SALE..............enjoy!

  6. Not only do I love reading your posts on any subject, dear Ellie, I also love reading your readers' comments...a very entertaining bunch.

  7. Ellie, I would be so thrilled to see this vintage collection of Hermes. I'm sure it will be fascinating!

    The Arts by Karena

  8. Make sure to look at the funny book "Bringing Home the Birkin", by Michael Tonello, published in about 2007. It's about his "job" in acting as a middle-man for women desperate - and rich - enough have a Birkin...or five.

  9. I love mai tai picture book blog!! I first learned about her on your blog in the comments section when readers were naming their favorite blogs. She is so knowledgeable and nice and her collections for sale are amazing. I just received my first order of scarf rings necklace and linen scarf organizer. She truly is the ultimate Hermes expert. Her blog is one stop shopping if you want to learn about Hermes and her style is simple and classic.

    1. What??? Please be precise! I can't wait!

  10. It is noticed that the Collector Fair Hermes will take place on just 100m2 . In comparison, the Official Vintage Fair will be held this weekend at the Carreau du Temple with 150 exhibitors on 2000m2 and thousands of multi-brand quality pieces and an entry to 6 euros. "