On episode three of And Just Like That, Seema wanders out of her ritzy Upper East Side townhouse with her brown Hermès Birkin bag in tow. “I’m out front a little early,” she tells her driver on the phone, as she pulls out a cigarette—only for a mugger to quickly run by and snatch her purse. “Hey! Stop him,” she screams to pedestrians as she runs after the assailant in her chic stilettos. And just like that, her pricey designer bag is gone.
For the remainder of the episode, Seema is distraught over the luxurious theft. “I splurged on that bag as a gift to myself after my very first big sale,” she tells Carrie. “I bought it so long ago there wasn’t even a waitlist!” It’s no wonder she’s in despair: These days, a waitlist for an Hermès Birkin bag pretty much doesn’t exist—you have to be “offered” the bag by a sales associate. It’s no secret that Hermès only offers up the status item to returning or VIP customers—meaning, you’ll have to spend a lot in their stores on other items before even potentially getting your hands on a Birkin.
So, how much would Seema’s Birkin even cost? Today, the price range for a Birkin generally comes in at around $10,000 to $40,000, though styles with special or rare finishes can go for much more than that (a rose gold and diamond-covered Birkin, designed by Pierre Hardy in 2012, came in at a whopping $2 million—the most expensive to date). On Sothebys and 1stDibs, similar Birkin bags to Seema’s—in light brown leather, with silver hardware—go for around $30,000. In the episode, Seema also peruses such sites and comes across one for $28,995. “Motherfucker,” she says between sobs.
Today, many consumers are looking to vintage or second-hand Birkins, given how hard they are to get brand-new – though it’s obviously not any less costly. Sites such as 1stDibs, What Goes Around Comes Around, and Vestiaire Collective all have Birkin bags for sale starting at more than $15,000 and up. Given Seema bought the bag years ago, long before their value increased to staggering heights, it’s safe to say she didn’t pay anything near that – no wonder she was “in the foetal position” over the robbery, then. (In, say, the 2000s, a Birkin was only around $4,000 – still expensive!)
The Birkin theft in And Just Like That is not the only time a character in the Sex and the City universe had a designer bag stolen, however. In season three, fans will remember that Carrie gets her purple sequin Fendi Baguette bag and Manolo Blahniks stolen by a mugger in New York as well. How does that compare to Seema’s lost Birkin, exactly? A sequin Baguette only costs around $5,000 today – it’s got nothing on Seema’s $30,000 loss.
Don’t feel too bad for Seema, though. At the end of the episode, Seema discovers her Birkin bag has been ditched in some shrubs on the sidewalk, with all of her belongings taken from it. She doesn’t care. She’s secured the bag, and celebrates with Carrie over drinks. “A toast,” she says, “to the classy old-fashioned mugger who just took my wallet and tossed my purse!”
This article was originally published on British Vogue.