Archive | Birkin Bag Blog

Does your bag need a pillow?

We have tried and tested a number of bag pillows, over our many years of selling bags. If you think that when we first sold Birkins, a size 35 Birkin was less than £5,000 ($8,000 or €6,000) at Hermes London, and it is now above £8,000 ($10,000). Bag pillows have only been around for a few years, and they are not useful for all bags.

Firstly, consider this: is a bag pillow really needed for your beautiful accessory? Would you really buy an interior liner for a wallet? The answer is probably not. A pillow is a good idea if the bag has a certain amount of interior space which is likely to collapse when not in use, and if the leather is soft. For a small highly structured bag, you don’t really need a pillow. However, if the leather is likely to fold, bend or relax, an interior bolster is a good idea. There are a number of bag pillows on the market. We have tried and tested a few, we have invested in a few, and we have created our own based on years of sampling and stuffing. As the company’s founder, I spent hours and hours with our design goddess Tara: discussing, drawing, designing and debating over months to get them right. These were the key considerations:

Structure and fit for purpose:  We wanted a bag pillow that will comfortably fit into a bag and hold it securely. It had to poke into the bottom corners, but still allow the bag to be closed with the pillow inside. On this myself and Tara Gelpey, our design guru, were in complete agreement. But on other considerations we differed and discussions were lengthy:

Safety: it must not hold any scent or moisture. I needed it to be biodegradable but Tara was adamant that care must be taken with natural materials as it must not absorb any scent or moisture.

Made by hand: I wanted them to be made by hand in the UK. Both to support UK industry and to allow local control. With her background in design and manufacturing, Tara was well aware that the UK’s manufacturing base is not strong, not flexible, not speedy, and expensive. I won this round, and we found a number of textile designers and manufacturers and started discussions with them.

Colour: I wanted jaunty colours that would ‘pop’ inside clients’ wardrobes. Colours that would make them happy to see their bags and to use the pillows. Tara opted for trendy, toned down shades that calm the spirit and blend into the background.

Material: My vote was for fun material that would shine and make people smile. Tara preferred material that could be washed with ease and was in no danger of transferring onto any handbags made of pale shades.

And so it went on!!

A year of design and samples later… we believe that we have produced the most fun, handmade, biodegradable and UK-made bag bolsters:

Natural cotton corduroy triangular pillows, with gentle piping to hold the shape, structured but not overly filled pillows in a range of colours. I think the only way you can tell how much we differed in our desires is by the colours.

To please me we produced:

Pink with grey piping. Girly, pretty, understated, pastel. Click here to purchase.

Pink with red piping – my fave. Fun, bold, joyful and confident. Every time you see it you will feel good. Available here.

Red with ivory piping. – Tara called it strawberries and cream. A Wimbledon tennis theme. Available here.

To please herself and the seriously fashionable amongst you, Tara designed:

Grey with ivory piping. Understated elegance. She knew I wouldn’t be able to find fault with this. Buy one here.

Teal with yellow piping. This is clearly the most on-trend option and way beyond my comprehension. Apparently it gives vibes of peace and calm … Again, what can I say? On trend, challenging for me, with bold colours that I can only admire.… Click here to buy.

If you are looking for your own design, or a particular size, we are happy to help. Please call us on 0845 224 8776 or email contact@lilacblue.com to talk to us.

Taking care of your Hermès bags

Are you cleaning your home during lockdown? Are you trying to take the Marie Kondo lessons seriously?

Is it finally time to look through the wardrobe and find where to put those bags…?

Here is some help with how to store your precious handbags.

Where to store your bag

  1. The first thing to do is make sure your chosen storage area is clean, dry and has no persistent smells. Avoid areas which smell strongly, such as rooms where people smoke, or places close to a kitchen. The leather will absorb the smell of tobacco.
  2. Moisture in the air is needed, but only to a certain extent. Heavy air conditioning will dry the leather of your bag, so if you have to keep it in an extremely dry environment, make sure you condition the leather frequently: once every two months should be enough. Central heating will also dry the leather, so again, if your bag is near a radiator, make sure you condition it frequently.
  3. If you live in a humid environment, you might want to consider a dehumidifier, even if it’s just on an occasional basis. Important advice: do NOT leave your bag at the bottom and back of a wardrobe and forget about it for months on end. The leather will become misshapen and where it is bending, it will crack. We have people come in regularly to Lilac Blue London with bags that have been ignored and unloved. It takes us months sometimes to completely remove smells and recondition leathers. And sometimes it is just not possible to reshape bags once the leather has been forcibly reshaped while badly stored.
  4. So do avoid letting the leather on your bag sag. Stuff it with a cushion if possible, or ideally with a bag pillow – available here: Lilac Blue Bag Bolsters.
  5. Do not store your bag upright as it will encourage sagging. Try to store it in the original Hermes box, lying down with the handles supported by the paper cushion it came with, or by another bag pillow.

How to clean a Hermès bag?

Top Tips from the largest Hermès bag reseller in London.

  1. Don’t be frightened of cleaning your Hermès calf leather bag. It is made from one of the best and strongest leathers available, so is more resilient than you might think.
  2. Always wipe off any dust or surface dirt, using a clean soft cloth, before applying a polish.
  3. Use a leather cleaning cream, or gel.
  4. If you have a leather which is pebbled (just as togo or taurillon clemence) and you use a cream, beware that the cream can get in-between the grooves of the leather and takes a lot of buffing to remove. So use a light cream or gel if you can. Top Tip: try using a soft brush toothbrush can work to get into the grooved texture of the leather.
  5. Work the cream into the leather with a soft cloth, in a circular motion, until all the product is absorbed.
  6. Take another soft cloth and polish the area that has been cleaned.
  7. Use a protective leather care spray to finish.
  8. If the leather is heavily worn Hermès will clean it in the Hermès Spa. They will also replace the handles, the metal wear at the front. And if you really want, they will replace the leather belt. Beware, it can take up to 6 months. Top Tip: try taking your bag to the Hermès Spa in January or September when waiting lists are at their shortest.
  9. Remember: prevention is better than cure! Protect your bag with a leather protector, and wipe it clean regularly, before any stains can set in. For crocodile or lizard, use a specialist cleaning such as Reptile Beauty Milk by Saphir. You can buy it here: Saphir Reptan Cleaning Cream
× Chat on WhatsApp