Hermès, Paris evokes images of princesses, famous actresses and the wealthy elite. In 1837 Thierry Hermès opened his workshop making quality saddlebags, harnesses and horse carriages in the heart of Paris.
In 1892 the prototype of the Kelly bag was used as a saddle holder. By the 1930’s it had evolved into the Sac à dépêches, a spacious travel bag. Acclaimed costume designer Edith Head, introduced Grace Kelly to the bag when she chose accessories for the actress starring in ‘To Catch A Thief .’ After her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco, a photo of her with the bag appeared in Life magazine. Instantly known as the Kelly bag it was officially renamed in 1977.
Actress and singer Jane Birkin, well known for carrying her belongings in a straw bag, was the inspiration behind the Hermès Birkin created in 1984. Priced between £4,800 and £100,000, the Birkin remains a best seller of the brand.
The bag is associated with long waiting lists (up to 5 years) as depicted in the TV series ‘Sex And The City’ and the book ‘Bringing Home the Birkin: My life in Hot Pursuit of the World’s Most Coveted Handbag’ by Michael Tonello.
Hermès is renowned for its equestrian inspired silk scarves, bracelets, ties and watches. Last time I visited I acquired the iconic Multi-Loop Bridle bracelet.
Model, fashion icon and blogger Olivia Palermo says, ‘Buying my first Hermès bag was like becoming one of the tribe.’