A brief history of the inimitable Kelly bag.
In the 1930's, Hermés designer Robert Dumas fought against the lavish bags of the day. Almost a hundred years, later his minimalist vision and taste still resonates with the desires of every classic woman.
Thierry Hermès first established Hermès as a harness workshop in the Grands Boulevards quarter of Paris in 1837. Dedicated to serving European noblemen, he began crafting saddles with his two sons. Almost a hundred years later, in 1922, his great-grandson created the first collection of Hermès handbags–all because his wife couldn't find one she liked anywhere else. The bag we know today as the Kelly was released in 1935 as the "Sac à Dépêches."
The brand’s exceptional skill of leather artisans led to the actress (and Princess of Monaco) Grace Kelly embracing the ‘Kelly’ bag as she used it to shield herself from paparazzi in 1956. It became part of her signature style and was officially renamed the "Kelly bag".
Today, the bag remains a treasure for its class and beauty. Hermès implements strict rules as to who is able to acquire one of their timeless pieces. It can be very challenging to purchase a bag from a Hermès boutique as their production is so limited & the opportunities are quite rare.
The bag makers who craft these bags are carefully screened and require years of high qualified experience. One craftsman makes one Kelly at a time taking 18 to 25 hours to craft.
Hermès exemplifies the difference between looking expensive and being expensive due to craftsmanship. The company remains steadfastly independent and family-owned. This allows the brand to remain connected to their old-world roots and employ the skill, trade and artisans that other leather companies quietly replace with cost-effective factories that lack workers with the artist’s irreplaceable touch.