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Hermès Kelly Bag

One of the most coveted fashion accessories in history is the Hermès Kelly handbag and made famous by one of the most iconic women in history. The long waiting lists and high price tags often over shadows the simple story behind the crafting of such an iconic luxury item.


It’s easy see why a Kelly bag might set you back at least AUD$10,000. Each Hermès bag is assembled and shaped by hand and constructed by a single craftsman. The handle alone is constructed in four layers and takes four hours to complete. The entire bag takes 18 to 24 hours to produce by the 340 craftsmen and women that are trained to make handbags for Hermès. The workshop is located in Paris and leathers are sourced from around the globe. Specific requests for exotic leathers can increase the price to over AUD$100,000.


Here is a video which shows you the Hermès craftsman at work on creating a Kelly bag.



In 1958 the bag became known as the Kelly after Grace Kelly (or later Princess Grace of Monaco) used the bag to hide her pregnant belly from the waiting paparazzi. She was unsuccessful and was quoted saying “the freedom of the press works in such a way that there is very little freedom from it.”


Since 1958, the Kelly has become one of the most coveted bags in history and is made to last a lifetime. One of the benefits of owning a Kelly bag is that you can take it to any Hermès store regardless of its age, and for a fee it will be sent to Paris for a “spa treatment”. Apparently, the bag comes back as good as new. We would love to hear from anyone who has experienced this service, so please let us know in the comments box below.


Kelly versus Birkin

If the Kelly bag is a little too small for you, or a little formal, you may consider the Hermès Birkin bag. The man at the helm of Hermes in the 1970s had a chance meeting with singer Jane Birkin on a Paris to London flight. She told him she loved her Kelly bag but she needed a little more room. Thus the Birkin was born and it has become another Hermès classic.



Image of Kate Upton from Harpers Bazaar May 2012 edition, photographed by Terry Richardson.

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