The beautiful Hermés Birkin bag is gorgeous and timeless purse that’s a staple in every established fashion blogger’s closet. Unfortunately, the price tag is far too heavy for most average-income people to even stare at without going broke.
I know tons of fashion editors and trend forecasters consider this bag an “investment piece,” but let’s be real, guys. What average person could invest that much in a purse? Shouldn’t you be investing in something that gives you a better return on your investment? Say, a house?
$14,500 could be a down payment for a house. It could even be the price of a car. You should never make yourself a slave to fashion, especially when it comes to something as temporary as a purse. Fashion should be fun.
Despite the price tag, I can’t lie and say that I don’t adore the style and silhouette of the Birkin. I did my research and eventually came upon this gorgeous bag that was a perfect dupe. So when Jun asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I asked for it. He was more than happy to pay only $67.07 – even purses like Coach and Kate Spade are well into the $300-$400 mark, so this purse was a steal.
Now before everyone gets crazy, keep calm and read: A dupe is not a fake. I repeat, a dupe is not a fake. Dupes are items that are inspired by designers but have no logo or branding that claims it is an authentic original. That is a knockoff, or a fake.
While I won’t get to the meat and potatoes of the controversial dupe vs. fake discussion, I actually have a previous blog post that I wrote about designer dupes and how they positively affect the fashion market: click here to read.
Personal opinions aside, let’s get on with my review! Scroll down to read.
- Soft genuine leather
- Quality hardware
- Stiff structure that prevents sagging
- Immaculate stitching
I’m sure by now you’ve seen this style of purse replicated to death by thousands of fast-fashion retailers, but there’s a good reason why I purchased this particular one by Valenmisa on Aliexpress instead: the quality is significantly better.
Ladies, you know how you toss your purses around? Synthetic materials can’t withstand that sort of abuse after a while. This purse is made of genuine leather and quality stitching, making it extremely durable for multiple tosses into the passenger seat. Not that you should really be doing that anyway.
In terms of durability and wear, I think this purse will last for a while without any sag. Don’t let the default picture in the product link fool you – I’m not even sure why the merchant selected that image out of the other ones, but panels of this bag are quite durable and structured.
What was also included in the package was an air-filled plastic pillow and a dust bag, which I kept for shape retention and protection while in storage.
- Padlock broke too easily
- Tight packaging creased the leather
- Long shipping time
This was more or less an error on my end, but I kept fidgeting with the padlock because I didn’t know the purse came with a key – it was tucked into the little tassel on the front handle (duh). I assumed it was the sort of diary-style padlock where you could push down on the loop and it would spring back up, but I did it too forcefully and actually broke it. #hulksmash
The padlock is still functional but no longer has the spring-loaded action when you unlock it (the tiny spring flew out and is now MIA). But honestly, the numerous steps involved with closing and locking this purse is too much anyway so I’ve just kept it hanging on the tassel until my replacement comes in the mail.
Another thing I didn’t like about purchasing from overseas was the dreadfully long shipping time, but hey, that’s something where you get what you pay for.
I think more than anything what I wasn’t pleased about was probably the way the merchant packaged this bag. The packaging was just one of those plastic bag mailers you get from buying clothes online. Yeah. No box. Just a plastic mailer… they did the decency of wrapping it in sufficient bubble wrap, but they used packaging tape to make the mailer conform to the purse’s shape.
Forgive me for not being well-versed to explain this adequately, but for lack of a better word they just wrapped it up so tightly that you could see the silhouette of a purse. What a way to encourage package theft. And not careful packaging for delicate merchandise!
The purse made it to my home in one piece, but there was a 3-inch long crease on the front of the purse due to the tight packaging. I messaged the merchant and asked what I could do to re-shape it, but they didn’t speak very good English and claimed that creasing was normal due to it being leather. I’m sure it was because it was packed like a curvy lady flaunting her lady lumps to the world in a skin-tight dress.
Alas, I took to Google and found a method to use a hair dryer and massage the crease out. That worked, so it’s like it never happened.
Fail-safe, fake-safe: This purse has no logos or badging claiming to be a genuine authentic Hermés Birkin. I’m sure that you know that purchasing counterfeit goods coined as the real thing is illegal, due to trademarking and copyright infringement. If you ever see something with a logo or branding on it and it’s not real, stay away. You can get sued for that. This purse is safe.
You can order Valenmisa’s bag here. But before you do that…
A faster alternative
I’m sure that many of you are wary of making purchases overseas. Will it get lost in the mail? How long will it take? What if it’s not anything like the product image?
While I did a lot of heavy investigation into the customer reviews and images, the only gripe I had with my Valenmisa bag was the insufficient packaging and extended shipping time. My boyfriend bought this bag in early December as a Christmas present, and it didn’t arrive until December 30th.
If the price is right and you don’t mind waiting, then by all means, I recommend this bag. But I’ve found another alternative!
This beautiful dupe by Ainifeel can be found on Amazon for $119 or $125, depending on the size. The item is well-favored in the customer reviews as well, making it a seemingly safe purchase.
It’s almost twice the price of the $67 Aliexpress item I purchased, but it’s still a fraction of the $10,000 + original. However, with this price tag you’re not only getting a genuine leather bag, but also getting free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime (and free regular shipping if you aren’t a Prime member), and better customer service in the event that there is an issue with the order. Returns will also be much easier and free as well.
Also included with the Ainifeel purse is a twilly scarf perfect to protect the handles, something I did not get with my Aliexpress purse.
- Secure packaging (Amazon ships products in boxes)
- Free two-day shipping for Prime members (if you don’t have Prime, you can try it for 30 days here)
- Better customer service
- Free returns
It’s also worth mentioning that Ainifeel has a few variations to this purse, from sizing to colors and options for lizard or crocodile-embossed leather. Ainifeel also has another designer dupe for Hermé’s Kelly bag too.
Will you be getting a dupe for the Hermés Birkin? Let me know in the comments and subscribe to my newsletter below for more designer dupes!