Created in the 1930’s the Kelly bag is the more formal, grown-up of the two. It is a very tailored, sophisticated bag that looks like a small briefcase. It is a bag you would take to a business meeting, a dinner or a night out on the town. It is named the Kelly bag after the gorgeous 1950’s actress Grace Kelly. The story goes, after her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco Grace Kelly used her favourite Hermes Handbag to cover and hide her new pregnancy from the press. There was so much media coverage and hype surrounding both the pregnancy and the infamous bag that Hermes decided to name the bag, the Kelly bag.
The Birkin bag is almost the opposite of a Kelly bag. It’s informal, spacious, casual and young. Where the Kelly bag is an occasional bag, the Birkin bag is an everyday bag. It was also named after a famous actress, Jane Birkin. Apparently on a flight Jane Birkin’s overloaded large handbag broke and her belonging scattered in front of the president of Hermes, Jean-Louis Dumas who was on also on the flight. A few years later in 1984 Hermes launched the Birkin Bag inspired and guided by Jane Birkin. The Birkin bag has the longest waiting list of any luxury bag, over 6 years unless of course you are someone like Victoria Beckham who apparently has over 100 Hermes Birkin bags.
The Birkin Bag