From celebrities to movie stars, Hermès bags have adorned the shoulders of every style icon since the inception of the luxury fashion house. These very same individuals, often genre and fashion defining, have lent their own personal je ne sais quoi towards elevating the already luxurious brand that is Hermès — so much so that they have become synonymous with particular designs in the Hermès line.
Yet how did the namesakes of the Birkin, Kelly, Picotin, and more come about? Read on if you’re curious to find out more about how these emblematic Hermès bags got their names.
1. Hermès Constance
The Hermès Constance bag was birthed from Catherine Chaillet in 1959 and paid homage to her fifth child, Constance. As if it was written in the stars, the name hailed from Constance being born on the exact date the first Constance exited the production store. With its trademark leather shoulder strap, it emerged as the darling of beloved former First Lady of the United States, Jacqueline Kennedy, who made the Constance a cultural icon amongst Hollywood’s elite.
The Hermès Constance bag’s eye-catching and signature ‘H’ shaped fastener, thrusts anyone who adorns it into the spotlight immediately. Coupling this feature with an adjustable strap affords the versatility to be worn over the shoulder or by your side, demonstrating the Constance’s staying power as a luxurious yet evergreen fashion icon.
2. Hermès Picotin
The word “Picotin” has its root in French, and was a term used to describe a measure of oats fed to a horse. An ingenuous name given how the Hermès bag was heavily influenced by horse feed bags. Stemming from the maison’s equestrian heritage in the early days, the Hermès Picotin’s bucket bag frame and simple padlock weighted strap makes it an instant classic amongst fans of minimalist design.
What we feel makes the Hermès Picotin truly special is its versatility and utility. Never one to shy away from change while embracing their roots, the French fashion house has eloquently created a bag that adds an air of class and sophistication while being rugged enough for everyday use.
3. Hermès Evelyne
Another gorgeous Hermès bag that owes its roots to the French designer’s association with equestrianism, the Hermès Evelyne was named after former head of Hermès Riding Department Evelyne Bertrand. Seeking to create a bag that would function as a convenient carryall for horse grooming equipment, Evelyne eventually settled on the crossbody messenger bag style with a small belt closure and removable strap. Sporting a unique perforated “H” on the back, the original intent of this was to allow aeration for the grooming tools within.
Despite its modern day popularity amongst Hermès fans for its chic design and functionality, the Hermès Evelyne was actually unavailable to the public for the majority of its lifespan. It was only at the turn of the 21st century that Hermès finally gave the Evelyne its due credit and moved it from the equestrian to leather goods department.
4. Hermès Bolide
An indubitably revolutionary bag that heralded the birth of zippers onto Hermès creations, the Bolide bag is held in high esteem in the eyes of fashionistas and collectors alike for its trailblazing history. A new chapter of the Hermès legacy was penned when Emile Hermès paid Henry Ford a visit at his own groundbreaking automobile production factory in the early 1900s. Catching a glimpse of how zippers were employed in the removable roof on Ford cars, he incorporated it in into his bag, creating the Bolide’s signature round-angled shape.
In 1923, the French design maison introduced to the world a carryall with the first zippered compartment replacing the traditional metallic clasps. Designed in 1923 with top drivers and long-distance travelers in mind, the globe-trotting bag was meant to be easily stowed into the trunk of any automobile. As a nod to its origin, the Bolide was originally coined the “le sac pour l’auto” or “The Bag for the Car”. Later on, it was renamed Bolide, a literal translation for the word “Comet” in French, referencing a nickname for sport cars. Fast forward to the present and the Bolide is still a seminal classic. A chic beauty, the Bolide has continued to strike many collectors’ fancy with its curvy round body, padlock and zipper clochette, detachable straps and curved long handles.
5. Hermès Garden Party
Released in 1964, the HermèsGarden Party is an impeccably crafted tote bag. Both town leather and country canvas, it is elegance personified – the sporty, casual carryall par excellence. Without any bells and whistles, the bag’s simplicity and rustic design is perfect for all occasions. Minimalist and understated, it is an ideal choice for those who have a distaste for screaming logos.
The Clou de selle snap closures, engraved with the Hermès logo, on either side of the bag offer variety for its owners as it can be used to change the shape of the tote and provide extra space. Versatility is its calling card and those who own one can easily stamp their own style on it, accessorising it with one of Hermes’ bag charms or twilly scarves.
Shop Iconic Bags at LUX.R
With how iconic and gorgeous as these bags are, there is indeed a style or bag for everyone. If you’re looking to get your hands on a Birkin, Kelly, or any of the popular bags but can’t find them in boutiques – you’re in luck. Shop online now at LUX.R, a trusted luxury consignment store and reseller in Singapore that carries a variety of Hermès bags.