Martha Stewart carried one to court when she faced criminal charges. So did rapper Lil' Kim. It's the ultimate stealth "it bag," the Hermes Birkin. Named for 1960s British chanteuse Jane Birkin, it comes in a variety of leathers and can cost as much as $80,000. (There are probably Birkin-clad women living in Santa Barbara, but none of them have been seen sporting a Birkin to court-yet.)
But it takes more than money to buy it: Try walking into an Hermes (pronounced "air-mez") shop and asking for one. You're likely to be told, with beaucoup attitude, that there are none in stock and the waiting list(!) is closed. At least that was the scenario until Michael Tonello, author of Bringing Home the Birkin, broke the Birkin code.