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Hermès Makes Birkin and Kelly Bags Covered in Diamonds

Hermès' Birkin and Kelly bags, which are both priced in the five-figure range, are iconic representations of wealth, status and power. Most versions are crafted from hand-stitched leather, but the brand's resident accessories guru Pierre Hardy is taking things to another level this season. Inspired by the label's famous carryalls, the designer has created miniature fine jewelry versions of each bag in diamonds and gold.

"This is the other Hermès icon, after the horse," Pierre told WWD in an interview. "The idea was to start with the house’s famous bags, like the Kelly or the Birkin, and to turn them into jewels."

All the styles—which are each limited to three editions—open and shut like a real bag. The Kelly version has 1,160 diamonds (34 carats' worth) and gold chainmail sides, and the Birkin (which comes in pink and white gold) is set with 2,712 diamonds (a staggering 90 carats). Both pieces stand around six inches high and can be carried as a small purse with a detachable black strap, used as a tiny evening clutch or worn as a bracelet.

In a dream scenario, which would you prefer to own? A fancy—but decidedly more practical—leather Kelly or Birkin bag, or one of the ultra-luxe jeweled versions?

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