Much is made of the waiting lists attached to the purchase of an Hermes bag, with four years being the wait time most frequently mentioned.
A spokeswoman for Hermès explained that the lengthy production times were due to a combination of the advanced craftsmanship involved in making the bag, and the limited availability of particular colours or skins.
Communications director Fiona Rushton said: 'If someone is looking for a classic Birkin bag - in a regular leather, colour and size - the lead time is significantly lower.
'It is not and has never been, Hermès intention to create an artificial waiting list. All long lead times experienced by customers are the consequence of capacity limitations or shortage in certain types, sizes or colours of skins.
'Over the last few years, Hermès has embarked on an ambitious program of hiring and training new craftsmen (and women) ... the production is now raising and we are happy to announce a significant reduction in lead time.'
For lucky owners, the sought-after bag will not depreciate in value like a car. Given the wait for a brand new version, second-hand boutiques and auction houses are able to charge a premium, so desperate are fashionistas to get their hands on the product.
Currently, 39 Birkins are listed for sale on the eBay UK site, with prices ranging from £10,000 to an eye-watering £63,000.
Bag of the month: In the last couple of weeks Victoria Beckham has shown off three of her 100 Hermès Birkin handbags. Seen at Heathrow airport, arriving in Milan and at a New York restaurant
Hermès habit: Victoria with her red Birkin at a children's party in March last year; at JFK airport with her pink ostrich bag in September 2007; in Dubai with the £80,000 Silver Himalayan version in January this year
Trophy accessory: Celebrity fans of the Hermès Birkin include Hilary Duff, Katie Holmes and Kelly Brook