Iconic Bags Countdown #4: Hermes Kelly
Arguably THE most iconic bag of all time (but frankly too rare and too difficult to score to be a real contender in this countdown) the Hermes Kelly is a hero of a handbag that has had an influence on so many styles that followed.
Handbag History: First produced in the 1930s when it was known as the Sac à dépêches, the Kelly was one of the first bags to be re-fashioned from the earlier trend for saddle bags to make it more suitable for travel by automobile and other 20th century modes of transport. Hermes was an early adopter to modern-day travel, and this is in part why its styles have enjoyed such widespread and long-lived success.
The name was changed to the 'Kelly' in 1956, after Grace Kelly, then Princess of Monaco was pictured carrying the bag, which she was using to shield her pregnant belly from the prying eyes of the Paparazzi. The photo appeared on the front cover of Life magazine, cementing its place in history and giving the Hermes brand a massive popularity boost.
Despite its old and long-established pedigree, the Kelly still takes pride of place in Hermes' seasonal runway shows, most recently appearing in a rock 'n' roll smattering of studs; a look that really shows off its versatility.
In Our View: In many ways the mother of all 20th/21st Century handbags, the Kelly's appeal comes in part through timing, as it was one of the first truly modern bags. Smaller and neater than the Birkin, its designed to be the ideal day bag: roomy enough to take more than just the essentials, but not so big as to be bulky. Grace Kelly added much to its status, and Hermes have done well to preserve the bag's exclusivity through the use of waiting lists and amazingly expensive fabrics!
Celeb Fans: Grace Kelly, Julia Roberts, Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss, Katie Holmes, Anna Friel, The Olsens, Britney Spears, Heidi Montag, Camilla Al Fayed, Lara Stone, Kate Hudson, Kim Kardashian
Get the Look: Unless you get as lucky in a vintage store as this blogger claimed to have been, you'll have to wait - and save. Hermes' waiting list is around a year, and prices start at approximately £2.5k - they can go up as high as £10k depending on materials.