I can’t wait to see what PETA does when they get their hands on this one.
Now, I’m not the most animal friendly shopper on the planet – I eat meat, I wear leather, I’ve got oodles of vintage fur coats and stoles passed down from gloriously glamorous great grandmothers – but this news about Hermes…well, I just don’t like it.
It seems the French luxury goods group is going to start erecting silos in the Aussie outback because women are breaking down doors for their very own Birkin and Kelly bags. Recession, what?
At the Reuters Global Luxury Summit in Paris (also in London, Tokyo, Dubai and New York) yesterday, Hermes CEO Patrick Thomas described the situation: "It can take three to four crocodiles to make one of our bags so we are now breeding our own crocodiles on our own farms, mainly in Australia.”
Well, jeez. I didn’t know you had to kill so many giant lizards to make each purse. Now I understand. Really, that makes it okay to start breeding them for the sole purpose of slaughtering them, ripping their skin off, and making $50,000 handbags for rich old ladies. Apparently, the company can barely crank out the 3,000 crocodile bags per year it already produces (that’s between 9,000 – 12,000 crocs running naked in the jungle, for those of you who don’t have math skills quite like mine). And, although Hermes claims it can’t afford to invest in training new craftsmen to build out the other 60 percent of the company’s business – jewelry, watches, fragrances, clothing, etc. – they do have the Euros to lay down on Kiwi soil for farms and farmers and crocs and, you know…all types of slaughtering equipment. (Did that cross a line? Whatever, I’m making a point.)
Let’s take a step back. Is it just me, or doesn’t Hermes have some power here? I know $50,000 is a lot to charge for a purse, but if women are willing to pay that much, don’t you think they’d be amenable to say, $55 K, or even 60? Let’s play some Econ 101 games here; supply and demand type stuff and crank up the prices! Women will still be lining up ‘round the block, signing on to 5 year-long waiting lists, and doling out their hard-earned cash for a piece of that elusive style carried on by the likes of Victoria Beckam and Katie Holmes. (Or does the pout + swagger + enlarged bag combo only come with anorexia and a famous hubbie?)
While Hermes gets to building, I’m waiting for Pamela Anderson to go crazy in a Hep C freak-out and do plane-drops of red paint over the Australian countryside.
*Slightly off topic, but this turn of events makes me concerned for the elephants featured in last year’s Hermes ad campaign alongside South Indian supermodel Lakshmi Menon.
*Don’t hold it against me if my future Sugar Daddy is so gracious as to provide me with my very own piece of the Hermes croc farm. I shan’t pass it up if it’s a gift…that would be rude.
Photo credit: Hermes advertisement, Fall 2007-Winter 2008.