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By Margaret Pluvinage, Editor at Large

There is no doubt that the highly coveted Birkin Bag comes with great status. It is one of the ultimate status symbols for a fashion fanatic, but with this great reward of status comes risk. I had no idea how risky it would be to schlep a beautiful Hermes orange Birkin bag, until about 6 weeks into flaunting it out and about town.

As a proud owner of a tricolor Kelly bag, my dream was now complete; in my closet there were two of the most sought after handbags in the world. I have thoroughly enjoyed my Kelly bag, after each use I place the classic gem down on my nightstand and admire its royal status.

When I became the proud owner of the Birkin I was equally as delighted, I received the bag while visiting NYC. I immediately took to the grey streets of NYC with my orange Birkin. I found out the way to get immediate service in the Madison Avenue shops is to tote the ultimate status symbol. At the Hermes store I was treated as a major stockholder in a public company, I was part of a very special elite club. As I continued to enjoy the reaction of my bag all around town I had no idea of what was to lie ahead in just 6 weeks time.

At home I continued to flaunt my beautiful bag, on the sunny streets of California. I was feeling very comfortable using my bag for every occasion, including grocery shopping. When I was unexpectedly called back to NY on family business I wasted no time gathering my things and taking off, with my Birkin in tow.

The content of my Birkin grew. It was perfect for carrying everything I needed from 10 am to 10 pm, extra layers of clothing (scarves, gloves, hats), make- up, files, breakfast, water bottles, etc. I was running around from one appointment to the next and along the way being complimented on my "great" orange handbag.

Upon returning home to California, I resumed my regular exercise routine. I noticed that my right forearm was very sore; I assumed it must be my muscles reacting to my greatly missed weight routine. I was a little confused how this would only affect one arm, and then I thought I must have slept on my arm the wrong way. When the pain in my right forearm persisted, I couldn’t help but try to find the source of my pain, when it hit me, it was the weight of my Birkin bag and its contents. I am no novice to the fashion pain. I have endured the pain of wearing Manolo’s all day, a too tight waistband, headache pain due to tight sunglasses, and a sore shoulder due to a heavy shoulder bag. These are the risks I am willing to assume for the sake of looking good or for giving into status. But I must say I never expected a Birkin to be the cause of such pain. I have changed handbags, I am now sporting a black furry Italian bag and I have placed my Birkin on my nightstand and I admire it everyday passively as my pain has not yet gone away.

I have found out the hard way that there is something more special about a bag with royal status as compared to a bag with actor status; royalty has others to schlep their stuff, and therefore does not have the same risk or need to get their status from a bag!


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