Special Order Hermes Birkin Process Explained!

Have you ever seen a Horseshoe stamp on a Birkin or Kelly bag and wondered what does that stamp mean? Well this horseshoe stamp indicates the bag is A special order Hermes bag which is a custom bag that is unique (often one of a kind) that are dreamed up by Hermes Clients and created by the Hermes staff.

Black Special Order Hermes Birkin Size 30
Diane wearing a Black Special Order Hermes Birkin Bag © PetiteinParis

Unless you’ve done endless amounts of research on Hermes bags, you might not know they exist. You’ve might have seen a special order Hermes Birkin bag and thought wow, that has a unique color scheme. Whatever the case may be,

What is the Hermes Horseshoe Club? 

Hermes Birkin Horseshoe stamp
Hermes Special Order Horseshoe Club Closeup © Fashionphile

Hermes Horseshoe Club is when you order a Special Order Hermes Bag also known as being able to customize your Hermes Bag. Hermes is a clever brand, every time I feel like I’ve figured something out, there is always more to uncover, it’s a very tangled web. A little more than 10 years ago, Hermes released a Special Order Hermes bag with a Horseshoe stamp on the bag. At the time, only a limited number of people knew about this “Hermes Horseshoe Club” was. Getting offered a special order bag from Hermes is the crème de la crème experience at Hermes.

If you are part of this horseshoe club or get offered to make a special order Birkin bag there is a Horseshoe stamp next to the Hermes name. Hence, the name, Horseshoe club. The truth is, there is little information about the Hermes Horseshoe club and the Hermes Special Order process, and I think it is because the VIPs, celebrities, or people who get offered one don’t typically talk about it. 

My experience getting offered a Special Order Birkin Bag

How does the Special Order Hermes Process Work
Special Order Hermes Birkin Process © exceptional.materials

The one thing I always told my husband Aaron, was before we leave Paris I want a Birkin Bag. I watched and read endless amounts of videos and articles about how to score a Hermes bag. I followed all the steps, made the appointment online the day before. I nervously awaited for 730 PM to announce if I received an appointment. At 7:37 PM, I received a rejection text…wait, what? No appointments? Okay, well, I’m still going to show up. (I Definitely not recommended). 

I went in the morning and asked for an appointment with someone for leather goods. Luck was in my favor that day, because they had a cancelation. I was escorted to a back room. In this back room, there were walls of different leather types and comfortable chairs. When I arrived, the sales associate was asking me all these questions, such as what color and leather I’m interested in. She kept asking if I was interested in the gold color. While I loved the gold color, I only had one interest: black, Togo leather, size 30 with gold hardware. When making a big purchase such as a Birkin bag, you should get what you want, right? 

The Sales Associate (SA) came back empty-handed, and I thought, well this is it, I won’t get a Birkin Bag today, I’ll have to come back and try my luck again. The sales Associate could tell I was disappointed. Then the SA made a quick call, and left the room, when she came back she was carrying a giant Red box, and initially I was confused. Then she told me, she'd like to offer me the opportunity to customize a Birkin Bag! My jaw hit the floor, and I immediately jumped at the chance and began designing.

What type of Birkin Special Order did I create?

Special Order Hermes Birkin Bag Black Togo Leather
Hermes Horseshoe Club · S.O. Hermes Birkin Bag Black Togo Leather 30

I’ve always dreamed of having a Black or Gold Color Birkin Bag. Since this was my first Birkin purchase, I wanted to purchase a timeless color. After looking at both colors, ultimately I decided to go for the Black in Togo Leather for the outside. Once I figured out the outside color, then the customizing began!  There are so many options you can choose when it comes to how you design the Birkin: Leather type, Color, Do you want a color on the side, thread color, pipping, the inside color, and finally the hardware.

I kept mine simple and did Black Togo Leather, Black Thread, Route H (Red) as the inside color and brush gold hardware. I chose brush gold hardware for 2 reasons, the first being I wear only gold jewelry and the second being it’s only available for Special Order bags, so it felt unique and special. 

For me, this was enough customization, I’ve seen several Special Order Hermes Bags online that do bright fun color schemes and maybe someday I’ll do that, but for now, I wanted to keep it classic and simple.

Is the Special Order Hermes Bag more expensive than a Normal Hermes bag?

Closeup of Special Order Birkin Bag
Hermes Birkin Special Order Size 25 © mrandmrs.j

Many people often assume because you’re designing a special order Hermes Birkin bag that it will be more expensive than a Birkin bag you’d buy off the shelf. Contrary to popular belief, the special order (SO) Hermes bag is the exact same price as a non-special order Hermès bag

This was probably one of the biggest things that shocked me about the entire experience. However, on the flip side, a special order Birkin bag, can resell for a great deal more than a normal Birkin bag. Before I get tons of emails, No, I’m not interested in selling my Birkin.

How to get the opportunity to order a Special Order Birkin Bag

Special Order Exotic Birkin
Special Order Exotic Hermes Birkin Bag © m.t.l1968

Being able to order a Special Order Birkin bag, is easily one of the most coveted Hermes experiences you can be offered. There are so many articles out there about how to get offered the opportunity to get a Special Hermes Order bag. I’ve read you need to spend a certain amount, or you have to be a celebrity, or have a super strong relationship with your SA. The truth is, at the end of the day it comes down to plain luck. Are you lucky? When I walked into the Hermes Store, I was prepared to buy an off the shelf Birkin and I was lucky they offered me this opportunity to design my own.

I always tell people, you should ask if you can order a special order bag. The worst they can say is no.

Do you have to pay for your Special Order Hermes Birkin bag immediately?

Special Order Birkin Bag
Hermes Birkin Special Order Multi – Color Combination © jns.ake

One of the reasons that your SA might be hesitant to submit a Special Order Hermes Birkin Bag  / Hermes bag for you is that you don’t actually pay for your bag until it arrives. This can cause some confusion when it comes to the price. Normally, Hermes increases their pricing once a year, and typically special order bags take a while to make. Therefore, when you pick up the bag you have to pay the new market rate, not what the price was when you placed the order. For reference, my bag had a price difference of 500 Euros.  

How long did it take for my Special Order Hermes Birkin bag to arrive? 

How to custom design a Birkin Bag
Special Order Hermes Birkin Bag © misguidedpriorities

Once I ordered the special order Birkin Bag, then the waiting game began. I was told, I had to wait anywhere from 6 months to 1 year and sometimes more. When they call you or email you, you have exactly 1 month to pick it up. If you miss your 1-month window, then you lose your chance to purchase the bag and can be immediately sold to someone else. (Trust me, Special Order bags even if you don’t design it are sold quickly).

Can you choose from any leather when designing your SO Hermes Birkin? 

Hermes Special Order Process Leather Choice
Special Order Customization Box © pinky_pinkie_h

I’ve often heard that when you get asked to make a special order Hermes Birkin bag, you are limited to the type of leather you can choose from. This was not the case for me. Perhaps it was because I was designing my custom order at the flagship store in Paris, or the lady knew I didn’t have a budget for an expensive leather. 

Whatever, the case was, I was not limited to the leather I could choose. However, my pocketbook was. I was looking at the least expensive leather, not the white Himalayan or black crocodile leather.

Do you have to spend over $100,000 or be a celebrity to be able to purchase a special order Hermes bag?

Special Order Kelly Bag
Hermes Special Order Kelly Bag Size 20 (Mini Kelly SO) © daphnehung18

One of the biggest myths is that you have to spend over 100k to be offered a custom order Hermes bag. This is absolutely not true at all. As I mentioned before, it’s all about luck. To tell you the truth, I had zero buying history from the Hermes Store.  I've purchased Hermes Products before, but not at the Hermes Store.

Can you purchase a Special Order Hermes Birkin Bag on the Secondary Market?

Hermes Birkin size 25 Horseshoe club Special Order Bag Custom bag
Custom Order Hermes Birkin Size 25 © bagsionista

Hermes Birkin Special Order bags are rare, and because of that they sell on the secondhand luxury market for a premium. It is possible to purchase a vintage Hermes Special Order bag. My favorite places to purchase vintage Hermes Bags include Fashionphile, Rebag, and WGACA

Recap on Special Order Hermes Birkin Bag & Horseshoe club. 

Special Order Hermes Guide, Customized Hermes Birkin Guide
Special Order Hermes Guide, Customized Hermes Birkin Guide

In short, the Horseshoe Club is where you are given the opportunity by a Hermes Sales Associate to custom design a Hermes Birkin or Kelly Bag, which is known as a Special Order Hermes Birkin Bag or Special Order Hermes Kelly Bag. To be offered a Special Order Hermes Bag it comes down to luck, and asking for what you want. When it comes to the design process of the custom order Hermes Bag you can choose the leather you can choose the leather on the outside, inside, on the side, stitching, piping and even the hardware.

When your special order is finished, you pick it up and it comes with a horseshoe stamp next to the Hermes name.  The Special Order Hermes Birkin Bag process can take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year to complete. Some exotic Special Order Hermes Bags can take longer than 1 year to complete.

Sincerely Petite in Paris,

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  1. Hi Diane,

    So you walked in with no prior purchase history and didn’t have to buy any other goods that day at the store when you got offered to make a special order??

    Please clarify. Thank you!

    1. Diane Marz says:

      Hello Jenn,

      Yes that’s correct!


  2. Hello Diane!Thank you so much for this detailed overview! Do I understand correctly that the bicolor Birkin is only available through special request? Thank you again!

    1. Diane Marz says:

      Hello Maria,

      Thank you for your message, yes that is correct!