Hermes bags are a fashion-world holy grail, sparking years-long waitlists and inspiring cult followings. From celebrities to influencers, there’s a reason these iconic classics are coveted the world over.
On a fateful flight, actress Jane Birkin spoke to Hermes CEO Jean-Louis Dumas about her desire for a practical yet stylish bag, leading to the creation of the iconic Birkin bag.
The Kelly Doll Handbag
The Hermes Kelly Doll Handbag is a playful twist on the iconic Kelly bag. Designed by Jean-Louis Dumas, this pint-sized buddy bag was first introduced in 2000 and immediately made waves in Hermes collector circles. Based on a sketch of a sitting character, the doll’s leather detailing outlines two arched eyebrows and a wry smile complete with twinkling eye studs and a turnlock nose. Its sangles are transformed into two bendable ‘arms’ and a pair of protruding feet to complete the doll-like look. The name “Kelly Doll” is a play on words, as it’s a nod to the bag that Princess Grace Kelly used to shield her growing baby bump from the paparazzi.
Hermes Doll bags are crafted in the same manner as a regular Kelly, but the addition of the doll adds a touch of whimsy to this already cherished design. Crafted in a variety of colors and materials, the Kelly Doll can be as simple or elaborate as a collector chooses. In 2015, Hermes artisans debuted five one-of-a-kind Quelle Idole Kelly Dolls for the brand’s Leather Forever travelling exhibition in Singapore. These incredible creations took seven months to complete and featured embroidery, exotic leathers and other embellishment.
While still highly rare (you won’t find a Hermes Doll on boutique floors or be offered one by your SA without building a long-term relationship first), 2017 marked a new era for the Hermes Kelly Doll as it became a regular HSS option for collectors in myriad combinations of color and material.
The Birkin is the most coveted of Hermes bags. A roomy top-handle carryall, it has become the status symbol of choice among celebrities, heads of state, and royalty, not to mention everyday women who love its versatility. It’s also the most difficult to get, with waiting lists and buying limits in place.
The bag is made in France, using a variety of premium materials, including calf and exotics skins. Hermes uses a special saddle stitch—an equestrian technique that gives the bags their signature shape and prevents them from stretching. “Not all Hermes are created equal,” says luxury marketplace Luxury Promise’s Sabrina Sadiq, advising that shoppers looking for Birkins should look for other signs of authenticity, such as how the handles are attached to the body of the bag. If the handles are too long or longer than the bag, it’s likely a fake.
Other telltales include the fact that Hermes only uses the finest quality leathers, like crocodile, python, and ostrich. She also points out that the bags’ hardware should always match, and if you see a tag with an ID code, it is definitely an authentic Hermes. Also, the feet on the bottom of the bag should never screw off. These are hammered in, not screwed in, and should feel very solid. In addition, she suggests checking the seams of the bag for blemishes and stains—and making sure that any lining is the same color as the outside of the bag.
Purchasing a Hermes bag is a bit of a process. It’s almost impossible to walk into a Hermes boutique and purchase a popular Hermes bag without first building a profile, which requires spending thousands of dollars on other Hermes products as you build up a relationship with a Hermes sales associate at your preferred store. Hermes Experts offers a comprehensive and meticulous Hermes bag authentication service to ensure the genuine and unmatched quality of every Hermes bag, giving buyers confidence in their prized investments.”
Hermes’ iconic bags come in many colorways and materials, with the most popular being Togo and Clemence for Retourne Kellys and Sellier Kellys (more structured, studier, and less roomy). Hermes also produces a clutch version of their Kelly Pochette, shrinking down the trapezoidal shape to just the bag itself and removing the stiff top handle to create a sleek bag ideal for evening or formal events.
In the past, Lopez has been spotted carrying a variety of Hermes bags, including this crocodile Hermes Himalayan Birkin in 2019 and a bright yellow Picotin in 2018. She’s also been seen with this Hermes Kelly Tote in black leather, which she likely carried during her recent vacation in Italy.
The Mini Bag
Hermes is a French luxury fashion house that is primarily known for its high-end leather goods, which include handbags. Their products are renowned for their supreme elegance and craftsmanship. The brand is coveted by celebrities, professional women, and anyone looking to add a touch of luxury to their wardrobe.
The Hermes bag collection features classic bags like the Birkin and Kelly, but it also has more modern purses that are perfect for everyday use. The Constance is a crossbody Hermes bag that can be worn over the shoulder or chest and secured with a bold H-clasp. The Constance is available in a variety of sizes, including the micro size which only has one interior compartment.
For Spring 2023 Hermes debuted a bag with an unfinished crescent moon shape, thick leather shoulder straps, and utilitarian Hermes-style hook clasp. The bag was shown in a variety of fabrics, from smooth Barenia to Etoupe Epsom with contrasting stitching. Hermes also showed a cylinder-shaped version of the bag that featured a large outside pocket, an adjustable shoulder strap, and a plume of feathers.
Owning a Hermes bag is an experience that will last a lifetime. The bags will never go out of style and they maintain a high resale value over the years, especially compared to most other designer clothing and accessories. It’s important to keep your Hermes bag looking its best and treat it with the proper care. To do so, empty the bag before storing it and place acid-free tissue paper over any sangles, pontents, or plaques to prevent indentation marks.