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Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag    by Michael Tonello Amazon.com order for
Bringing Home the Birkin
by Michael Tonello
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William Morrow, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Michael Tonello's Bringing Home the Birkin brightened up an otherwise gloomy, drizzly day with nary a glimpse of the sun for me. In this unusual life story, Tonello recounts how he came to leave the profession of world traveling makeup artist and hairdresser to start tracking down and securing by any means possible the most elusive and expensive of handbags the Birkin by Hermes.

The fact that anyone - even someone as rich as Croesus - would pay from $8,000 to $25,000 for a purse boggles my mind. But the fact that people were willing to do just that is what Tonello counted on to make his living.

Making a career move, he landed in Barcelona with a new life and a new love, Juan. When his intended employment went south, he realized the potential for the reselling of Birkins. Birkins are seldom on display. They must be inquired about and if you have spent enough on other Hermes products, you might be permitted to purchase one - the most sought after handbags being made of crocodile hide.

The Internet served as Tonello's means of contact with potential customers, some of whom became fast friends. With his sense of humor intact, Tonello traveled the world, literally, in search of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow the Birkin bag. His exploits make for good reading, with lots of laughs and a few downers.

The cover of Bringing Home the Birkin is very clever hardbound with the grain and clasp of a Birkin imprinted. Bringing Home the Birkin is a delightful book, and a fun read. I hope that when Tonello settles into his next monetary venture that he writes about it. I shall be first in line to acquire his new book.

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