The Every Woman’s Birkin: Be Inspired

Every Woman's Birkin

Taking inspiration from the Birkin is one of those things people shouldn’t scoff at. It is accepted and everyone does it. The bag is, after all, the definition of “classic” – a thing of simplicity, elegance, and long-lasting style that is memorable and a very good example of its kind.”

Tina may feel like she’s cheating on her Birkins when falling for the Saint Laurent Sac du Jour, but that got me thinking – the Birkin is not for everyone (cost constraints aside). It is the holy grail of this particular style, but inspired bags that came after should not be reduced and nullified whatsoever. If that were the case, every musician influenced by the Beatles should not have gotten a record deal – major artists like David Bowie, Blur, Oasis, Radiohead, Coldplay, U2, The Cure, REM…I could go on forever. So here are my top bags influenced by the Birkin, without need for apologies whatsoever.

Saint Laurent Sac du Jour Small Leather Tote:icon This controversial tote sports less hardware than its alleged inspiration, leaving you with a streamlined bag and a streamlined price tag. On NET-A-PORTER for $2,750.

Victoria Beckham The Harper Matte Textured-Leather Tote:icon VB is very open about her love of the Birkin (she has more than 100!), so it’s fair to say that she might have been influenced. The Harper is pretty different, though – it sports two front pockets and only one handle. On NET-A-PORTER for $2,295.

Valextra Large B-Shopping East-West Tote:icon Valextra’s version is boxy – a shape that I’m kind of loving right now. Exclusively at Barneys New York for $2,990.

Ralph Lauren Ricky 33 Calf Bag: While some say the Ricky was inspired by the Birkin, Ralph Lauren will tell you differently – it was inspired by his lovely wife Ricky! At Ralph Lauren for $3,500.

Moreau Diligence Handle Bag:icon While the Hermès it bag is certainly covetable, its design dictates that you can’t have a shoulder strap. French maison Moreau crafts their Diligence with a little more practicality. Exclusively at Barneys New York for $6,800.

Mulberry Bayswater Grained Leather Top Handle:icon This is probably Mulberry’s most iconic bag – proof that Birkin-esque bags are capable of making (and deserving) their own place in the fashion world. On Luisa via Roma for $2,067.

Salvatore Ferragamo Calfskin Shoulder Bag: When I spotted this Ferragamo last year, I immediately saw similarities. It’s a more functional bag, yet sadly, it’s no longer available.

Every Woman's Birkin


  1. Alisa Gabriel
    August 29, 2013 / 9:46 am

    Love these bags, although the Valextra looks to me more like a Kelly.

    Due to the Birkin’s ubiquitous overexposure with celebrities, I personally feel that it’s now almost reached a level, dare I say, of tackiness because it’s become such an obvious signifier of affluence. One might as well just wear a sign proclaiming one’s net worth. On the other hand, carrying a Ricky, Bayswater, etc. shows that you’re fashion-savvy without being a status victim. A different kind of “snobbery”, if you will!

    • Kelly Cook
      September 5, 2013 / 1:16 am

      EXACTLY!! You know the score. Not that we’re keeping any 😉

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