Bringing Home the Birkin (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Jul 8, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
49 Reviews

An insider's hilarious, whirlwind account of his years spent globe-trotting in search of the holy grail of handbags: the Birkin

For more than twenty years, the Hermès Birkin bag has been the iconic symbol of fashion, luxury, and wealth. Though the bag is often seen dangling from the arms of celebrities, there is a fabled waiting list of more than two years to buy one from Hermès, and the average fashionista has a better chance of climbing Mount Everest in Prada pumps than of possessing one of these coveted carryalls. Unless, of course, she happens to know Michael Tonello . . .

Michael's newfound career started with an impulsive move to Barcelona, a vanished job assignment, no work visa, and an Hermès scarf sold on eBay to generate some quick cash. But soon the resourceful Michael discovered the truth about the waiting list and figured out the secret to getting Hermès to part with one of these precious bags. Millions of dollars worth of Birkins later, Michael had become one of eBay's most successful entrepreneurs—and a Robin Hood to thousands of desperate rich women.

With down-to-earth wit, Michael chronicles the unusual ventures that took him to nearly every continent, from eBay to Paris auction house and into the lives of celebrities and poseurs. Flirting with danger, Michael recounts the heady rush of hand delivering his first big score to famed songwriter Carole Bayer Sager in Paris; how he had to hire thugs to rescue a bag that one of his "shoppers" held for ransom; and the story of the Oscar-worthy performances that allowed him to snag "reserved" bags from other, less dogged Birkin seekers.

Whether he's relating his wining and dining, buying and selling, dodging and weaving, laughing and crying, or schmoozing and stammering, Michael is a master raconteur who weaves together tales of hunting Birkins in the world's most posh locales, memories of meals that would make any gastronome salivate, anecdotes of obsessed collectors with insatiable desires, and sweetly intimate stories about his family, friends, and finding true love. The result is a memoir that is distinctive, fun, page-turning, and as addictive as its namesake.

  

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Review: Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag

User Review  - Hzar Worth - Goodreads

From where the story started with a New Englandy backdrop, with a man working in the fast lane of photography, to where it ends up, is a great journey. For alot of us that feel like there are always ... Read full review

Review: Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag

User Review  - Jana - Goodreads

essentially being a memoir of Michael's life while he was selling Hermés product I wasn't quite sure I would enjoy this book. But there was something so intriguing that made me want to keep reading, I was enthralled the whole time Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
Barcelona on the Brain
3
The Spanish Indecision
8
Vespas and Vespers
14
Warding Off Trouble
19
Career Chop Suey
24
Horseshoes and Handkerchiefs
28
Silk Serendipity
33
Devilish Prada Pants and Heavenly Cuisine
114
Chilean Charades and Buenos Birkins
123
Blueberries and BlackBerries
130
A Roster of Reservations
137
A Yen for Hermès
151
Shop Til You Drop
158
Capricious Life
163
The Italian Way
172

Le Monde dWish Lists
38
The Pyrenees Passing
42
Living It Up Between the Birkin and Barcelona Michaels Theme
47
Birkin Bankruptcy
55
Orange You Glad You Asked?
60
The Formula
67
Smoke and Mirrors
71
Road Trip Redux
74
How Do I Buy These? Let Me Count the Ways
79
Knight in Shining Croc
88
PingPong Ill Play but Purse Penelope? No Way
99
Parisian Purse Pipeline
108
In Hermès We Trust Aston We Shall Receive
178
Creamsicles and Moonstones
190
Theres More Than One Way to Skin a Crocodile
199
Hermès We Have a Hostage Situation
204
Mr Sherlock Hermès
213
Fellini Film Noir
222
Found Money Hidden Grace
233
A Birkin for Mom
242
Epilogue
255
Glossary of Hermès Terms
259
Acknowledgments
262
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Originally from Massachusetts, Michael Tonello traveled the world as a makeup artist and hairdresser before resettling in Spain to become an eBay luxury reseller of all things Hermès. He resides in Barcelona with his partner, Juan.

Bibliographic information