Guide to Hermès Colors That Hold Their Value and Are Best Investments
Color is essential to understanding the titanic allure of Hermès bags. Over the brand’s storied history, Hermès artisans have created over 250 colors — a feat unrivaled by any other design house or group of designers. The best Hermès colors include strong neutral shades, bold pops of color, classic hues, and complex niche tones. Soft pastels, brilliant brights, and sultry shades abound. Fledgling fans and Hermès aficionados alike are certain to find several obsession-worthy colors to dream about.
Each color the design house releases has a unique color code to help collectors identify specific shades. We have included the color code for each hue in this Hermès color guide.
But the color of the Birkin bag you would move heaven and earth to own is not necessarily the one with the greatest Hermès resale value. And these days, many collectors purchase bags with an eye on their resale value. It adds an extra level of excitement to wear a bag you know is so highly coveted, and the investment is wise. Over the past 40 years, Hermès bags investments have consistently outperformed gold and the stock market for their return on investment. Whether you’re planning your first or fifteenth Hermès bag for your own use, or you are considering investing in these pieces of functional art, this Hermès color guide explores the best colors for their performance on the secondary market.
Understanding the Value of Hermès Colors
When Hermès handbags were first introduced, they came in just five shades that form the core of the classic shades today. These colors, Noir (89), Rouge H (46), Etoupe (18), Gold (06), and Orange H (93), have been joined over time by Blanc (01), Etain (8F), Rouge Casaque (Q5), Craie (10), and Blue Nuit (2Z). Together, they are considered the classic colors of Hermès. For the most part, these colors are produced every year, though, of late, Blanc and Orange H are harder to come by.
Every season, Hermès introduces new colors, generating tremendous excitement and analysis by the brand’s fans worldwide. Popular season colors may continue to be produced for years. But often, colors are “rested” or taken out of production for a year or several years. And some are permanently retired. Naturally, rested and retired colors are the rarest. You might think a color’s scarcity increases the Hermès resale value. Although true in part, you’ll find that the best Hermès colors for investment are either among the classic colors or are “standards” that are frequently produced. This is likely due to the ease of pairing these colors with others in your wardrobe.
Best Hermès Colors for Investment and Resale Value
While the love of color is highly subjective and individual, this Hermès color guide is based on data from tens of thousands of sales, both our own and industry-wide. We’re defining the best Hermès colors for investment purposes as those that quickly sell for the highest premium over their retail purchase price.
Hermès Gold (06)
Rather than metallic, Hermès Gold bags are a rich, tawny shade infused with honey, caramel, and café-au-lait. This lovely neutral shade was the color of the Sac à Dépêches bag that legendary actress and Moroccan royalty Grace Kelly wore to shield her baby bump. The photo of Princess Grace with her Hermès bag in Life magazine launched a worldwide craze for the “Kelly bag.” Two decades later, the design house bowed to the inevitable and officially renamed it the Hermès Kelly bag.
Gold bags routinely top the charts of the best colors for Hermès resale value. It trades the number one position with the next shade in our Hermès color guide.
Hermès Noir (89)
Hermès Noir bags are another classic neutral shade. Black is fashionable year-round and coordinates beautifully with everything in your wardrobe. With the myriad colors to choose from, it seems ironic that black is one of the very best colors for Hermès bag investments.
Hermès Craie (10)
Hermès Craie is an impossibly chic color, similar to a chalk white, but with rich undertones of smoke and blush. There is not a trace of yellow in this incredible neutral. It is right next door to Nata, a lovely cream that also holds its value well.
Hermès Etain (8F)
Anyone who thinks a neutral shade could never make your heart go pitter-patter has never seen an Hermès Etain bag with rose gold hardware. This moody smoke gray is blended with bark brown for an elegant neutral that elevates any ensemble. Introduced in the 2011 Fall/Winter season, Etain was an instant success and continues to be one of the very best Hermès colors for investment.
Hermès Rose Azalee (8W)
Just as neutral shades consistently rank high for Hermès resale value, so, too, do the pink shades. Rose Azalee is an exquisite warm pink with coral undertones. Utterly feminine, this color is quite pleasing to the senses.
Hermès Mauve Sylvestre (X9)
Named after the woodland wildflower that inspired it, Mauve Sylvestre is a delicate pastel pink, cool and tinged with lilac.
Hermès Bleu Brume (T0)
Another excellent color for an Hermès bag investment is the misty ice blue Bleu Brume. Although definitely blue, this color functions beautifully and is an unexpected neutral. Paired with gold hardware, this intriguing shade calls to mind sunrise on a clear winter day.
Hermès Rose Sakura (3Q)
Hermès fans the world over cherish the pink shades. And Rose Sakura is the undisputed favorite of all the pink shades. This lovely cherry blossom pink is soft and warm, though it pairs beautifully with gold or palladium hardware.
Hermès Vert Criquet (3I)
Surprised to find a green listed on our Hermès color guide to the top colors for investments? Then you haven’t met Vert Criquet. This lovely celadon shade could easily be named “spring green.” It seems alive with joy and possibilities. Although introduced in the spring of 2020, it has proven an excellent choice for Hermès resale value.
Two colors just introduced in 2022 have already ranked among the best Hermès colors for their resale value. It is too soon to know whether their exceptional resale performance is simply due to the excitement for the “newness” of these shades or whether we can count on their extraordinary popularity to continue like the rest in our color guide. However, we expect Chai (0M) and Vert Fizz (0S) to join the list of the best Hermès bag investment colors.
Of course, the expected resale value is not the only — or even the best — way to choose a color for your bag. If you adore Bambou or Bleu Frida has captured your heart, don’t be afraid to follow your passion. Our Hermès color guide is just that — a guide.
Getting Started With the Hermès Color Collection
When you’re planning to purchase your first Hermès bag, you dream about the colors. You may spend months researching the incredible rainbow of options, wondering which is the best Hermès color to start with. Sadly, whatever color you land on is wildly unlikely to be available at an Hermès boutique. Going to a brick-and-mortar boutique is certainly the most exciting way to buy your bag. Unfortunately, it is also (by far) the hardest way to buy an Hermès bag. Don’t despair! You can select the exact model, size, color, and hardware for the bag of your dreams when you shop with a trusted Hermès independent dealer like Madison Avenue Couture.
Our Hermès color guide is a great starting point for selecting the best shade for your collection. Which stunning color will you choose for your new Hermès bag?