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Introducing the guide to the iconic Hermes Kelly Bag. This purse was first designed in 1932 as a travelling bag and was originally called “sac à dépêches“. It was then renamed in 1956 after the actress Grace Kelly, as she used the bag to cover her pregnant belly from the photographers.
The Hermes Kelly Bag is hand made which makes the purse extremely coveted by luxury handbag purveyors and also makes it that much more rare as supply is hard to come by. A single craftsman usually take 18 hours or more to create a Kelly bag as everything is hand sewn. The Kelly bag is available in various kinds of leathers like goat (chevre), lambskin (agneau), calf (togo), buffalo (clemence), ostrich, alligator, crocodile and lizard. The craftsmanship and quality of these bags are impeccable; however, if a bag is required to be repaired simply take it back to the store and they will refurbish the bag.
Prices start at around $10,000 (USD) and up depending on the size and material in store. Rare and limited edition bags have known to be tens of thousands of dollars at auctions and in resale marketplaces.
Kelly Bag Sizes
15cm (11cm H x 15cm W x 5cm D)
20cm (16cm H x 20cm W x 10cm D)
25cm (19cm H x 25cm W x 9cm D)
28cm (22cm H x 28cm W x 10cm D)
32cm (23cm H x 32cm W x 10.5cm D)
35cm (24cm H x 35cm W x 12cm D)
40cm (28cm H x 40cm W x 16cm D)
50cm (34cm H x 50cm W x 25cm D)
28cm and 32cm are the most popular sizes, while 40cm and 50cm are mostly used for traveling.
There are different types of hardware used in a Kelly bag: gold, palladium, ruthenium and guilloche (diamond cut pattern palladium). Made in two styles, Rigide, which is a stiffer and considered more dressed up style. It includes exterior stitching and will cost a bit more. The other style is Souple, which means soft and would be more suitable for daytime every day wear. It has interior stitching and softer leather. An Hermes Kelly Bag has a single handle which includes a shoulder strap and a number-coded padlock with keys enclosed in a leather tab. The interior is lined in leather with one zip pocket and two open pockets.