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Meet the Hermès Himalaya Kelly, The World’s Rarest — and Most Expensive — Handbag

By The Rebag Team, June 8, 2022

Hermes Himalaya Kelly

What makes the Hermès Himalaya Kelly so special?

Handcrafted from Niloticus Crocodile, and painstakingly dyed to achieve its signature gradation, the Hermès Himalaya Kelly is arguably the world’s rarest — and most expensive — handbags. Handbag collectors see it as the ultimate piece for their collections. Look no further, Rebag has a Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Kelly 28 available — but act fast — it won’t be around for long.

Named for the signature gradation that resembles the snowcapped Himalayan Mountains, the Hermès Himalaya Kelly is arguably the world’s rarest handbag, often fetching six figures on the secondary market. What makes the Hermes Himalaya Kelly so expensive? It’s the painstaking method used to achieve the gradation. Dyeing crocodile hide isn’t easy — it takes a lot of time and effort to create that smokey gray that fades into a pearly white snow color.

In order to create the Matte White Himalayan coloration, the craftsman must first select a naturally light skin, which in itself is a daunting task to undertake. Then, like all skins, the hide is dry salted to preserve the material, soaked to clean the skin, limed for descaling, and de-limed to prepare the hide for pickling. The sample is then chrome-tanned to turn the organic material inorganic, thus ensuring durability. The skin is then shaved and degreased to thin it out, re-tanned to soften the hide and make it workable, and finally dried. Only then can the secretive and proprietary dyeing process begin, which is highly guarded and a mystery to the majority of outsiders. What makes the Himalaya Kelly so rare is the time-consuming dying process. Only limited numbers can be made because of the amount of work and time it takes to create an Hermès Himalaya.

Just last year an Hermès Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Diamond Retourne Kelly 28 with 18-carat white gold and diamond hardware sold for HK$4 million ($510,000 USD) at Christie’s Hong Kong, breaking the world auction record for handbags. The previous record was for an Hermès Himalaya Kelly 25 that fetched HK$3.3 million ($420,000 USD) in November 2020.

Rebag has a Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Kelly 28 with a clochette, keys, lock, dust bag, box, and detachable strap with Palladium hardware for $195,000. It’s 11” W x 8.5” H x 4.5” D with a 3.5” handle drop and 17” strap drop.