There’s buying a bag, and then there’s buying an Hermes bag, the world’s most coveted accessory that is so much more than just a purchase, but an experience drenched in the kind of old world refinement and luxury almost impossible to find today. Made to last with fine leather, expert stitching and fabric, an Hermes is a gateway to an exclusive club of wealth, status and power, neatly packaged in a hard to miss iconic orange box with brown trim. The Hermes bag has become such a bastion of grandeur that the wife of house of Gucci owner Francois Pinault carried the famed Birkin bag to Paris fashion show, instead of a Gucci. Called the Rolls Royce of the handbag world, the cost of an Hermes ironically rival the price of most cars, and sometimes even exceeds the going rate for the average American mortgage. The bag that made Hermes more of a worldwide hit than it already was the Birkin. Debuting in 1984, its existence can solely be traced back not just to British actress Jane Birkin, but a serendipitous encounter she had on an airplane.Since then, the Hermes empire has grown - bringing in designers like Martin Margiela and Jean-Paul Gaultier to head up and transform the brand while also staying true to its commitment to quality and class. A favorite of Victoria Beckham, Oprah and Kim Kardashian (whose two custom-painted bags from husband Kanye West might be branded blasphemous by Hermes purists), an Hermes bag is said to be a better investment than the American stock market. The market value of an Hermes bag isn’t coming down soon. Sales of the brand itself have remained strong and recent studies have shown that Hermes has even outpaced the price of gold. It’s stake in the luxury resale market - built on craftsmanship and heritage - is perhaps best summed up best by a Hong Kong-based investor and Birkin collector who told the New York Times, “Birkins are like currency: You can cash out any time.” Cha-ching, indeed.