The real deal

Salome Hinora is a specialist in handbags and accessories at Sotheby’s, which made us curious to learn more about her curation of commissioned fine handbags for the new Sotheby’s Salon at Bucherer in Zurich and around the world.

IRMA: How does one become a specialist in handbags and accessories at Sotheby’s, one of the largest auction houses in the world, which is opening its first permanent ultra-luxury retail destination within Bucherer’s Zurich flagship store on Bahnhofstrasse?
SALOME HINORA: I studied at the University of the Arts in London and I started my first job at Bonhams as a client service administrator. It was a valuable experience learning the ins and outs of auctioning.
My experience and love for fine handbags and accessories has always been a passion, which is now my responsibility at Sotheby’s.

Black Calfskin and Transparent PVC Sand By The Sea Flap Bag Silver Hardware, 2019

IRMA: What are the most sought-after brands?
SALOME HINORA:There are three brands of desire that we carry at Sotheby’s: Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.
Hermès is the most sought after because the brand stands for the highest and most exquisite craftsmanship, all made by hand, whether it is a classic bag or a unique limited edition or series, such as the all-black alligator Birkin designed by Jean Paul Gaultier when he was artistic director at Hermès.

SO BLACK Matte Alligator Birkin by Jean Paul Gaultier

IRMA: What about Chanel and Louis Vuitton?
SALOME HINORA: From these brands we only take limited editions or special runway editions, they have to be unique and of course not available on the mainstream market.

Limited Edition Black and Gold Acrylic and Strass Owl Evening Bag Gold Hardware, Cruise 2018


Salome Hinora, Specialist, Handbags and Accessories at Sotheby’s

IRMA: How can I find the bag I am looking for at Sotheby’s?
SALOME HINORA: If you are looking for a particular bag, you can let us know and we can access our worldwide digital library to find the piece you want.
Sometimes even in the country you are looking in, which makes it easier to get a bag directly to you. Especially if they are made with rare animal skins, like alligator, etc.

Salome Hinora and Jasmin Khezri from IRMASWORLD at the Sotheby’s Salon at Bucherer in Zurich

IRMA: And there are no waiting lists ?
SALOME HINORA: Yes, that’s right, you can buy what we find for you in a second from our online library anywhere in the world, or you can buy it directly when you visit our new The Salon Sotheby’s in the Bucherer flagship store on Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse and choose what you like.

IRMA: With a guarantee of authenticity, of course?
SALOME HINORA: Yes, all pieces are certified by us and we check every detail for authenticity.

Hermès bags

IRMA: Can you give us an example?
SALOME HINORA: Yes, for example, we can tell if a bag is genuine or not by the stitching. For example, all Hermès bags are handmade, the stitching is not always perfect all the way through, there are tiny irregularities that you can only see if you look very closely with an experienced eye. This irregularity is a sign of a handmade, authentic piece.

IRMA: What happens if I want to sell my vintage Hermès bag and it is not in the best condition?
SALOME HINORA: That is not a problem, we will advise you to take it to Hermès, they offer a service to restore and repair your bag for a reasonable amount of money so that it looks brand new, and that is where the bag was originally made, so they know what they are doing. For other bags like Chanel and Louis Vuitton we would advise you to go to The Handbag Clinic or The Restory, both in London.

Thank you Salome, let’s look at some more bags.


Louis Vuitton Keepall Bandouliere Monogram 50 Foliage