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    Handbag History: The Hermes Kelly Bag

    December 31, 2016
    The Hermès Kelly bag was named after the one and only Grace Kelly. Although this particular Hermès design had been around long before it was officially dubbed the Kelly, as it was originally designed in the 1930s by Robert Dumas who was influenced by a purist aesthetic that broke with the decorative style in fashion at the time. The bag did not have an official name until Kelly popularized the bag and ended up lending her moniker to the now iconic bag. In case you’re not familiar with her, Kelly was not only an American actress who starred in popular films such as Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, and High Society, but also married Prince Rainier III of the royal family of Monaco consequently earning herself the title of Princess of Monaco.
    Kelly helped shed light on the beautiful Kelly bag through her fame. There was a very specific moment in Kelly’s life which is captured in the picture below by the surrounding paparazzi that essentially encouraged Hermès to name the Kelly bag after her. Kelly is said to have fell in love with the design and commissioned Hermès to create half a dozen of the bags in various colors.
    American actress Grace Kelly whose engagement to Prince Rainier of Monaco was announced today, smiles as she leaves the Philadelphia Country Club, on Jan. 5, 1956, after the engagement announcement luncheon, closely followed in the doorway by the 32-year old prince. (AP Photo)

    American actress Grace Kelly whose engagement to Prince Rainier of Monaco was announced today, smiles as she leaves the Philadelphia Country Club, on Jan. 5, 1956, after the engagement announcement luncheon, closely followed in the doorway by the 32-year old prince. (AP Photo)

     

    In this picture Grace Kelly is seen shielding her pregnant belly from the paparazzi with the Hermès Kelly bag, and she did so for the simple fact that she was not yet ready to reveal her new addition to the family. This photo became so popular that Life Magazine featured it. As you can already imagine this brought a lot of attention to the Hermès brand, pointing the company to ever so rightly name the bag after Kelly.
    grace-kelly-hermes-bag

    A piece of history: Another one of Grace Kelly’s many Hermes Kelly bags paired with her gloves.

    Today the Kelly bag is considered one of Hermès’ most iconic bags, and we can say with certainty that Princess Grace Kelly’s aura has helped it achieve and maintain such a status.