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The luxury of time

Trung Phan wrote about the luxury brand Hermès last weekend.

I wasn’t delighted by Phan’s dated and unnecessary gender-jibes about ‘steering’ his wife away from Hermès stores—in our household, it’s me who buys the occasional Hermès item.

I was, however, struck by this particular item in the list regarding what makes a specific type of Hermés handbag a coveted luxury product:

The training to become an Hermès bag maker takes a minimum of two years (often up to 5 years) and the company only trains 200 people per year. Each Birkin bag is made entirely by hand and takes 20-25 hours to make.

It strikes me how unremarkable that is. Many professions require years of background training, and individual jobs often take 25 hours or more, from writing a report to fitting a kitchen. We don’t necessarily regard the outputs as luxuries, and certainly nowhere near as luxurious (or costly) as an Hermés handbag. Perhaps we should.


The image at the top of this post was generated by DALL·E 3.

This post was filed under: Miscellaneous, , .

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