10 Most Popular Hermès Handbags

Thousands of women across the globe have coveted one accessory for as long as they can remember – the glorious and famous Hermès handbag. Before, bags were just a useful accessory to store your belongings easily when you travelled from one place to another. However, times have changed and so has the demand for bags.

The simple answer is that for the last 35 years, high-end bags from luxury brands such as Hermès have now turned into a status symbol among the rich. Hermès women handbags and Hermès clutches are a solid investment. Isn’t that interesting?

Hermès is well-known for their skilled handling of leather and skins. The bags are made using variety of leathers such as Box Calf, Clemence, Epsom, and Togo.

Here are the 10 most popular Hermès leather and skins used for their designed handbags:

1. Alligator

popular Hermes bags
Hermes Rouge H Alligator Mini Palladium Hardware Constance Bag

Hermès uses alligator skin that is available in two forms – Matte and Lisse (shiny). This type of leather is not to be confused with crocodile skin. One of the main differences between alligator and crocodile skin is that alligator skin has a certain webbing pattern in the scales. These scales are less uniform in comparison to crocodile skin.

2. Box Calf

Box Calf is Hermès’ oldest leather and is also known as veau leather. This type of leather has a smooth and glossy finish. The structured hard leather helps hold shape easily but it also blisters if get wets, so you need to be cautious around water. Try to avoid making scratches on scratching the leather as it can take away from the beauty of the bag.

Pro Tip: You can take your Hermès totes to a Hermès boutique for servicing.

3. Clemence

Clemence leather is popularly used for Hermès women’s clutches or bags. This type of leather is made from calfskin, which has a soft and buttery texture with an even grain. This leather doesn’t show scratches easily because of the grain texture. Avoid overloading your Clemence Hermès bag with heavy items as it can make your bag slouchy and ruin the beautiful appearance of the bag.

4. Crocodile Niloticus and Porosus

popular Hermes bags
Hermes Fauve Porosus Crocodile Gold Hardware Birkin 30 Bag

One of the distinctive differences between Niloticus Crocodile Hermès bags and Porosus Crocodile Hermès bags is the marking that’s placed next to the embossed Hermès logo. A Niloticus bag has a “••” marking, whereas a Porosus bag has a “^” marking.

Niloticus Crocodile Hermès bags and Porosus Crocodile Hermès bags are available in both matte and shiny. The scale pattern is larger on a Niloticus bag in comparison to a Porosus bag. This will help you identify easily between the two.

5. Epsom

Replaced with Courchevel leather, Epsom Hermès bags are embossed in design. The idea of this leather bag was to press the grain into the leather for a laminated, rigid, and structured look. Since Epsom leather is tougher than most leathers, these Hermès bags tend to hold their shape better and show scratching lesser. Epsom Hermès bags are also lightweight.

6. Fjord

popular Hermes bags
Hermes Brown Brique Fjord Leather Garden Party MM Tote

Unlike Togo or Clemence, Fjord leather is comparatively more durable and scratch resistant. This leather bag also doesn’t spot easily, thus enhancing its durability. Fjord Hermès bags are designed with heavy leather and visible vertical veins, making them ideal travel bags.

7. Lizard

These leather bags get their shiny look because of the small lizard scales. Since Lizard is a relatively delicate material, the scales may dry out if not taken care of well. These Lizard Hermès bags need to be kept in appropriate temperature to prevent drying. One of the ways to recognize a Lizard Hermès bag is by the signs ( or =) placed on the bag.

8. Ostrich

popular Hermes bags
Hermes Cognac Ostrich Leather Gold Hardware Kelly Sellier 28 Bag

A distinctive feature of an Ostrich Hermès bag is its ability to darken upon contact with hands. However, the leather tends to lighten when exposed to natural or artificial light. This leather is even more unique as its durable and resistant to wear if properly taken care of.

9. Swift

A semi-soft and semi-matte grain leather, the Swift is also known as Gulliver. While it bears resemblance to Box Calf, this leather is not as stiff or shiny. The Swift Hermès bag appears to glisten under sunlight as it absorbs dye well. The only difference is that Swift leather tends to scratch easily in comparison to other leathers. The blemishes, however, can be removed if the bag is taken to a Hermès spa for treatment.

10. Togo

popular Hermes bags
Hermes Etain Togo Leather Palladium Hardware Birkin 35 Bag

What makes a Hermès bag a little more desirable? It’s ability to be almost scratch resistant and durable. The Togo Hermès bag is one of the most popular leathers as it doesn’t scratch easily in comparison to the other leather bags. This leather can also be refurbished to give the bag a new look. The Togo is slightly heavier in weight and holds shape well when compared to Clemence. It even has a finer grain than the Clemence. This grained calfskin bag is one of the most coveted Hermès bags.

Now that you know everything about various Hermès leathers, go forth and purchase the one that makes your heart hum with joy! You can be a proud owner of a Hermès bag with all the knowledge you have.

Swati Talwar

Global Content and India Office Head

Seasoned lover of the written word. Travel junkie and Hogwarts alumni. Currently composing notes for the upcoming fashion week. You can also call me Licorne Magique (don't ask me why!).

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