The Hermés ‘Kelly bag’ was a 1950s high-class classic. It was inspired, like the Chanel “2.55”, by the equestrian world as a fashionable take on the traditional saddlebag used for riding. The design dated back to the 1930s and was known then as the “sac haut courroies”. When Grace Kelly appeared in Life magazine in 1956 carrying a large version of the Hermés classic, reportedly to hide her pregnant tummy, the bag was then renamed the “Kelly bag”.
Kelly bags enjoyed a huge revival in the 1990s and Hermés operates a six-month waiting list for new orders. Vintage examples command serious price at auctions, while finding a bargain in a flea market or a thift store is tantamount to hitting the vintage jackpot! These bags, with their handmade, handstitched, super high quality, will always be a sound investment, even when purchased for a high price at a top vintage outlet.
Did you know that it takes 13 hours and 2 600 hand stitches to make a Kelly bag today. And that originally the 1950s Kelly bag were mostly of calfskin, but also ostrich, lizard and crocodile were available.
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