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Back in the Saddle: The Timeless History Of Dior’s Iconic Bag

CEO Tinh Phung
Before Maria Grazia Chiuri revitalized it and Dior propelled it to Instagram fame, the Dior Saddle bag made its debut on a Parisian runway in the late 1990s. A Legendary Debut In 1999, John Galliano,...

Before Maria Grazia Chiuri revitalized it and Dior propelled it to Instagram fame, the Dior Saddle bag made its debut on a Parisian runway in the late 1990s.

A Legendary Debut

In 1999, John Galliano, the Creative Director of Dior, unveiled his Spring/Summer 2000 collection. The show was a spectacle of hip-hop influences, '70s silhouettes, and Western classics, culminating in a parade of models adorned with the iconic Diorissimo logo. However, stealing the spotlight was the pièce de résistance – the Saddle bag.

RealStyle | Authentic Dior Saddle Bag Image: Liz Sennett, Lead Valuation Manager, with a canvas Diorissimo Saddle, a Hardcore Mini Saddle, and a crimson Diorissimo Mini, all vintage.

The Inspirations Behind the Icon

The true inspiration for the equestrian-inspired It bag is shrouded in mystery. Rumor has it that the Saddle bag drew influence from Helmut Newton's iconic photograph, "Saddle I," featuring a model wearing a saddle and riding boots on a bed. Whether fact or fiction, the image perfectly embodies Galliano's theatrical and romantic aesthetic.

Following its runway debut, the Saddle bag cemented its status when it made an appearance on "Sex and the City." Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, showcased a patterned version of the bag during her second date with Aidan. Paris Hilton's adoption of the white leather Saddle bag further solidified its position as an iconic fashion accessory .

RealStyle | Authentic Dior Saddle Bag Image: Erin Brown, Valuation Manager, inspects a Diorissimo Saddle Pochette for the proper materials and brand identifiers.

A Resurgence in Popularity

As time passed, the Saddle bag's relevance waned, disappearing from Dior's runways in 2007. The era of flashy logos gave way to a preference for understated luxury. Galliano's controversies led to his departure, and Raf Simons introduced a new vision for the brand – one without the Saddle bag.

However, in 2014, the Saddle bag made a comeback when Beyoncé was spotted with a tie-dyed ponyhair iteration. This marked the beginning of its resurgence. Vogue reported the revival of not just the Dior Saddle, but also other classic bags like the Fendi Spy and Louis Vuitton Murakami creations. Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior's first-ever female Creative Director, was then tasked with restoring the brand's former glory. With logomania reaching its peak, vintage Dior Saddles started appearing in the fashion consciousness, flooding the resale market.

The Return of an Icon

In Chiuri's Fall 2018 collection, she made a momentous decision – to revamp and reintroduce the classic Saddle bag. Amidst a wave of '60s-inspired fashion, the Saddle made its triumphant return. The updated version features a slightly larger size and comes in various materials, including buttery black leather, the new-and-improved Oblique logo canvas, and embellished variations.

RealStyle | Authentic Dior Saddle Bag Image: The ultra-rare floral Dior Trotter Saddle bag from the Girly collection.

Authenticating Vintage and New

When it comes to authenticating a Saddle bag, experts pay attention to various details. Liz Sennett, Lead Valuation Manager, focuses on the quality of materials, including leather and hardware. Counterfeit bags often have shiny, low-quality hardware and improperly placed serial numbers.

Erin Brown, Valuation Manager, highlights the differences between vintage and new Saddle bags. The font style and monograms, like the Diorissimo and Oblique patterns, undergo changes across different eras. These nuances help determine authenticity.

RealStyle | Authentic Dior Saddle Bag Image: Brown inspects the paperwork that accompanies a real floral Dior Trotter Saddle bag from the Girly collection.

The Saddle's Resale Value

The Saddle bag's popularity has skyrocketed, leading to a significant increase in its resale value. Bags that were once sold for $100-$200 now fetch anywhere from $495 to $3,250. To maintain their value, it is crucial to store Saddle bags in their dust bags, away from sunlight and heat. Avoid overstuffing to prevent stretching or loss of shape.

The revival of the Saddle bag has caused a sensation in the fashion world. Whether you're a longtime fan or a newcomer to the trend, explore our selection of authentic pieces to embrace this timeless icon.

All items are pre-owned and consigned to The RealReal. Trademarks are owned by their respective brand owners. No brand owner endorses or sponsors this ad or has any association and/or affiliation with The RealReal.

Please note: Brand standards, logos, and other identifying features may have changed since the time of publication.

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