The Birkin bag has become a symbol of celebrity culture and the trappings of fame and success – Kris Jenner has a dedicated wardrobe for her collection – complete with a neon sign that reads, “Need Money for Birkin” – and an entire episode of Sex and the City was dedicated to Samantha trying to skip the waitlist to get her hands on one. Before the Kardashian family started investing in the Hermès status symbols in bulk, Victoria Beckham was one of the first to put the bag squarely in the frame for the paparazzi.
If you look back at any pictures of Victoria from the Noughties, whether she’s in-transit in airport terminals or pouting in football terraces, chances are she has an Hermès Birkin hooked over her elbow. She was first seen with this bag in 2004, when she invested in a tan version. Just five years later The Guardian estimated that Beckham owned as many as 100.
They were the foundation of her WAG wardrobe and she had an array of colorways to ensure her bag always blended perfectly with her look. In 2007, for example, she wore a bright pink Birkin to match her Roland Mouret Galaxy dress to an LA Galaxy event, and at the World Cup in 2006 she selected a white version to complete her patriotic outfit, wearing it with a red England tank top and white micro shorts. She might have left the bleached blonde “pob” (Posh Spice bob) and her Moving to America catchphrase “major” behind her, but this week she proved it’s not the end of the Beckham Birkin era.
These days Victoria Beckham almost exclusively wears pieces by her own brand, as she knows just how effective photographs of her can be at shifting products. But she’s on her summer holidays, and so has taken a break from promoting the Victoria Beckham Chain pouch, which is normally surgically attached to her hand. For lunch at Lo Scoglio restaurant on the coast in Nerano, Italy last week, Beckham wore a mini tan leather Hermès bag with a sweeping beige shirt dress and a raffia boater.