Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Handbag Wednesday: Hermès Kelly
For this week's Handbag Wednesday, I'm featuring another Hermès bag I like to dream about, the Kelly, as well as musing on the future of Hermès.
The chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault, revealed last month that LVMH has acquired a 20.2% stake in Hermès International, the family-owned luxury house founded by Thierry Hermès in 1837, maker of the Kelly and the Birkin bag, as well as scarves, jewelry, fragrances, and other items. Mr. Arnault said he would not attempt a hostile takeover in the next six months. A French antitrust watchdog group is meeting tomorrow to look over the Hermès family's plan to prevent a takeover by LVMH. There is lots of chatter at the Purse Forum about how an LVMH takeover of Hermès would forever taint the goods and drive up the prices of anything Hermès made before the date of such a takeover.
I like the idea of a leather goods house that's been handed down through the generations and continues to make well-designed, beautifully-crafted goods so I hope the Hermès family can hold onto their company.
I will be watching this story throughout the year to see what happens and will write about it here, so stay tuned!
Back to the bag, I learned in Anna Johnson's book Handbags: The Power of the Purse, that it takes 18 hours to make one Kelly bag and that a single craftsman works on it from start to finish.
The bag was originally known as the Haut à Courroies, was created in 1892, and downsized for daywear in the 1930's. After it was shown on the cover of Life in 1956, with Princess Grace using it to shield her pregnancy, the bag was dedicated to her and renamed the Kelly.
The picture above is from the 2010 Handbags calendar by Workman Publishing. The calendar features a new purse every day and was clearly created for bag addicts like myself.
I hope to add a Kelly to my handbag collection one day, probably vintage! This cream-colored Kelly is from the 1970's. Isn't it divine?