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Hermès Kelly: Discover the Story Behind This Vintage Icon

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Symbol of wealth and timeless style, Hermès‘ Kelly bag is one of the most coveted bags in the entire world! In similarity to the Hermès Birkin (another vintage icon), it is crafted by one expert artisan – since Hermès does not hold a production line. Every piece of leather and hardware is deeply inspected to ensure perfection. The Hermès Kelly is carefully hand stitched, so you will not see perfectly lined stitches throughout the bag. Discover now the story behind this vintage icon.


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Having Hermès an equine background, the very first prototype for the Kelly bag was introduced around 1892 as a bag to hold saddles which was called Haut à Courroies. In 1923, Emille Maurice Hermès redesigned the Haut à Courroies bag for his wife – it was smaller but still large enough to hold a saddle.

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Haut à Courroies – Image source: www.bonhams.com

Only by the ’30s Hermès’ son-in-law, Robert Dumas, remade the Haut à Courroies into the Sac à Dépêche which remained barely untouched till today – a simple yet stylish bag, with a trapezoid firm shape, closed with two straps, and four studs on the bottom, allowing the bag to remain upright when placed on a flat surface.

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Sac à Dépêche – Image source: www.lapasserellemontreal.com

vintage icon Hermès Kelly: Discover the Story Behind This Vintage Icon dl heritage 750

Grace Kelly

American Hollywood actress, best known for her roles in films like High Noon, To Catch a Thief and High Society. In 1956, she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco, becoming Princess of Monaco. The story of the American actress turned princess captivated thousands across the world, and nobody could deny her beauty, elegance, and style. In the 1955 Alfred Hitchcock film To Catch a Thief, Grace Kelly, who played a millionaire’s spoiled daughter, carried HermèsSac à Dépêches and instantly fell in love with it.

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Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief – Image source: www.goldenageestate.tumblr.com

Her passion for the bag was so strong that Grace carried it to her most important events – like her engagement announcement – and after marrying Prince Rainier III, she used her Hermès bag to hide her growing pregnant belly from the paparazzi. Photographs of her covering her baby bump with her Hermès were spread all over the world.

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Grace Kelly smiling as she leaves the Philadelphia Country Club after her engagement announcement luncheon in 1956 – Image source: www.huffingtonpost.com/

These pictures became extremely popular worldwide. The public renamed it as Kelly bag and it began to grow in popularity throughout the world, giving the brand much more exposure which then inspired them to produce even more models of this iconic bag for wealthy celebrities. The Princess helped the bag become a status symbol.

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Image source: www.bluevelvetvintage.com
Hermès Kelly Discover the Story Behind This Vintage Icon vintage icon Hermès Kelly: Discover the Story Behind This Vintage Icon Herm  s Kelly Discover the Story Behind This Vintage Icon
Image source: www.vintagedancer.com

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Image source: www.hautetoday.com

Despite all these events, it wasn’t until 1977 that Hermès officially renamed the Sac à Dépêches as the Kelly bag.

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Princess Grace with her 18 month-old daughter Princess Caroline – Image source: www.huffingtonpost.com

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