MUST READ: BIRKIN BAG SETS ABSURD RECORD PRICE AT AUCTION, THIEVES HIT LOUIS VUITTON STORE IN RIO

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The most expensive bag OF ALL TIME. Photo: Christie'sThe most expensive bag OF ALL TIME. Photo: Christie's

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Wednesday.

Birkin bag sells for record price at auction in Hong Kong
A recent study claimed that Hermès Birkin bags are a better investment than stocks or gold, and an auction sale on Monday in Hong Kong more than confirmed their potential return. An anonymous buyer purchased a 30-centimeter Birkin bag made of rare Himalayan crocodile and diamond-encrusted white gold hardware for the equivalent of $300,168, making it the world’s most expensive handbag ever auctioned. The previous record-holder: a fuchsia diamond-studded Hermès Birkin auctioned for $222,000 last year. {CNN}

PETA protests Hermès's annual meeting in Paris
Speaking of Hermès's use of rare crocodile skin, PETA continues to put pressure on the company after purchasing stock in it last year. The animal rights organization sent a representative to Hermès's annual shareholders' meeting on Tuesday in Paris, who "urged the fashion house to end all exotic-skin sales," per a statement from PETA. Meanwhile, protestors holding large images of ostriches waited outside. {Fashionista inbox}

Does Rodarte actually exist?
Robin Givhan investigates the business, or lack thereof, of cult-favorite fashion brand Rodarte. Despite reported ambitions to expand (designers and sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy declined to comment), the independent label only releases two seasons a year to very few retail points with minimal size ranges and high prices. "But should the industry offer the top CFDA honor to a label that aims to be more of a personal creative outlet than a scalable business?" writes Givhan. {The Washington Post}

Teva collaborates with singer-songwriter Jhené Aiko
In its first celebrity partnership, Teva has teamed up with the Grammy-nominated artist Jhené Aiko on three new women's styles inspired by her childhood friendship bracelets and lifelong love of adventure. The collection is available at Teva.com and DSW.com starting at $60. {Fashionista inbox}

U.S. customs agents bust counterfeit perfume operation
If your Chanel No.5 smells more like urine than citrus, you may have been the victim of a five-man counterfeit operation arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security division this week. Officials confiscated 10,000 boxes of perfumes made from urine, antifreeze and other bad stuff branded as Daisy by Marc Jacobs, Chanel No. 5, Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue, Gucci Guilty and many more popular scents. {The Fashion Law} 

Reports reveal widespread abuse of garment workers in Asia
New reports by the Asia Floor Wage Alliance based on interviews with workers at factories used by H&M, Gap, and Walmart in Cambodia, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia reveal widespread worker abuse. Garment laborers are fired for becoming pregnant and pressured to tolerate sexual harassment as well as suffer wage theft and unsafe work schedules, among other offenses. "Voluntary enforcement is not working, which is why we need binding regulation with grievance procedures, arbitration procedures," says Anannya Bhattacharjee, international coordinator of the AFWA. {Quartz}

Tags: Louis Vuitton bag Birkin Rio In at Record MUST READ: SETS ABSURD PRICE AUCTION THIEVES HIT STORE

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$298,000 Hermès Birkin Shatters World Record for Most Expensive Handbag Sale

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It was just last June that we reported to you about a new high in handbag resale prices: Christie’s Hong Kong had just sold a pink crocodile Hermès Birkin for a record high of $221,000. That record didn’t even make its first anniversary; earlier this week, Privé Porter announced it had broken that record with a $298,000 Birkin of its own, and it’s one that will look familiar to PurseBlog readers.

Privé Porter is a resale business that focuses on unused (but previously owned) Birkins and operates primarily via Instagram, where it’s able to reach a worldwide audience of shoppers looking to add rare handbags to their collections. In November, Privé Porter hosted a pop-up Birkin yacht at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and Megs and Vlad were among the attendees who got to peruse the collectible Birkins. The new record-breaker was among the bags in the selection, and it appears in our photos of the event, including the one above.

The bag is a 35cm Birkin in Braise shiny Porosus crocodile, finished with 18-karat white gold encrusted with pavé diamonds, at a total weight of more than ten carats. It was manufactured in 2008 and sold to a US buyer via the brand’s New York City flagship on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Privé Porter acquired the unused bag from the original owner in 2015, and it was purchased from the company by a Los Angeles-based buyer who chose to remain anonymous. The Christie’s bag can still technically claim the title of the most expensive handbag sold at auction; this Birkin sold at a named price with no bidding.

We spoke to Privé Porter co-found and Managing Director Jeffrey Berk, who had this to say of the bag and its sourcing process: “Even with the sheer volume of Birkins we’re offered daily, we are very careful about the bags we actually buy. Is the color special? When was it produced? How rare is it? But we knew that when we had the opportunity to acquire this Braise Croc, we’d stumbled upon one of the special Birkins, the way a horse trainer may see a newborn and know that’s a Triple Crown winner someday. We hoped to sell it to someone who appreciated the bag as much as we do, and from what we understand, the buyer is a very sophisticated collector who genuinely understands how special and rare this bag is. Which is reflected in their willingness to pay the record price.”

Hermès reds and pinks are particularly sought-after shades for collectors; a Rouge H (which is a bit deeper than braise) Birkin set a sales record of over $203,000 back in 2011 via Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, and the most recent record holder from Christie’s in Hong Kong was bright pink. Recently, handbag resellers have been trying to convince the buying public that Birkins are a better investment than stocks or gold bars, and if you’ve got a red or pink croc Birkin at the ready, that just might be true.

Tags: handbag Hermes Birkin sale For Expensive Shatters World Record Most

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