Hermes faces lawsuit in California over 'refusal' to sell Birkin handbag

Fashionistas desperate to get their hands on an exclusive Birkin handbag are suing Hermes in California on grounds the company won't sell them one unless they buy other luxury products first.

A class-action lawsuit argues that would-be customers have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on scarves, shoes and belts just to be given the opportunity to get their hands on one of the world's most sought-after purses.

One of the plaintiffs, Tina Cavalleri, says she inquired about buying one of the coveted handbags from the French company in 2022.

She "was told specialty bags are going to 'clients who have been consistent in supporting our business'," the lawsuit says.

Fellow plaintiff Mark Glinoga tried to buy a Birkin bag last year "but was counseled by Defendant's sales associates to purchase Ancillary Products in order to potentially obtain a Birkin Handbag."

The extremely limited edition handmade leather purse, inspired by the late Franco-British actress Jane Birkin, has become synonymous with luxury and exclusivity, with a price that ranges from $10,000 to over $1 million.

Beloved by celebrities including Khloe Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Victoria Beckham, the bags are not on display and cannot be ordered online.

"Most consumers will never be shown a Birkin handbag at (an) Hermes retail store. Typically, only those consumers who are deemed worthy of purchasing a Birkin handbag will be shown a Birkin handbag (in a private room)," the lawsuit says.


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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