In 2009 I was fortunate to be able to be offered a Hermes Himalayan Birkin.
*Note*If you're not a fan of leather or legal exotic skin handbags; please read no further.
I used this bag often; but not daily, throughout the summer of 2009; which was moderately humid. I'm casually careful with my bags, but I was a little more mindful of this one because of the light colour and skin.
At the end of the summer, I noticed the handles were looking a little yellowish and dark. it looked like nicotine stains on my handles, and I don't smoke.
I started to fold up a tissue and place it in the palm of my hand, whenever I carried this bag, hoping to prevent further discoloration.
I tried securing cornstarch filled paper towels around my handles at night, trying to soak up any oils deposited by my hands. It didn't work.
I decided I would have to try and request a bespoke product from Hermes to use on my handles, so I set to work to come up with a design idea.
I tried all sorts of crazy designs, cutting them out of leather pieces I had, trying to secure them to my handles with snaps, and even Hermes ribbon. They not only looked ridiculous; they didn't work.
After much trial and error, I managed to make a few designs that were not too bulky or noticeable. They provided more protection on the underside of the handles where it's needed most, and they stayed put.
After filing a patent application with USPTO I sent a sample and a request for a bespoke order to Hermes Paris. I gave them a list of bags and colours I wanted to protect and waited to hear from them.
I then went to work on creating my protective handles wraps to use in the meantime.
I started with my most important bag first, and after discovering that Ultrasuede® brand micro fibre was outstanding for my purposes, I chose the closest colour match to my bag; Mica.