Created in 1892 as a large saddle carrier, the Kelly Bag was redesigned several times before it was popularized by and then named after the famous American actress and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly.
Originally, the iconic Hermes bag was known as haut à courroies because of its high handle. It was not until the 1930s when the bag was downsized for daywear. Renamed sac à dépêches, the bag’s appearance was completely different towards the dominant purses of the time which were simple, small and flat.
Legend states that Grace Kelly fell in love with the boxy bag on the set of Afred Hitchcock‘s movie “To Catch a Thief” in 1954. The most famous moment with her wearing a sac à dépêches happened in 1956, within months of her marriage to Prince Rainier III. Trying to shield her early pregnancy bump from the paparazzi, the princess was photographed using her handbag as a barrier thus putting it in the spotlight unintentionally. After the photo was published in Life magazine the bag became an overnight sensation. Although instantly became known as the Kelly bag, it was not officially renamed as so until 1977.
A Kelly bag is crafted entirely by hand by a single artisan from start to finish – a process that can last for up to 25 hours. In general the bag is defined by a trapezoidal shape, a single handle and four studs on the bottom. Nowadays, the Kelly bag comes in no less than 8 sizes, in a variety of materials and all the Hermes colours and combinations. The price for the base model starts at $6000.
Even though 60 years have passed from the time when Grace Kelly made it famous, the Kelly bag is still a wanted item of many women.
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