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Hermès Kelly: The Ultimate Guide to Materials, Sizes, and Prices

CEO Tinh Phung
Image Source: Hermes Leathers If there's one luxury bag that stands the test of time, it's the Hermès Kelly. With almost a century of history and an ever-growing popularity, this iconic handbag has become a...

Hermes Kelly Bag

Image Source: Hermes Leathers

If there's one luxury bag that stands the test of time, it's the Hermès Kelly. With almost a century of history and an ever-growing popularity, this iconic handbag has become a symbol of style and sophistication. In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you through everything you need to know about the Hermès Kelly Bag in 2023.

About the Hermès Kelly Bag

Let's start with a bit of history. The Kelly bag traces its origins back to 1852 when it was inspired by the Haut à Courroies (HAC) bag used by equestrians. In 1930, it evolved into the Sac à Dépêches, and later into the boxier, more elegant ladies' bag it is today. However, it wasn't until 1954, when actress Grace Kelly was photographed carrying it to conceal her baby bump, that the bag gained worldwide fame. It was then officially renamed the Kelly by Hermès in 1977.

The Kelly features a trapezoidal design with two triangular gussets, a cutout flap, a top handle, and two side straps. Newer versions also offer an optional shoulder strap. It comes in two styles: the Kelly Retourne and the Kelly Sellier. The Retourne is sewn backward and turned inside out, giving it a softer and more casual look. On the other hand, the Sellier has external stitching and sharp edges, resulting in a more structured and architectural appearance. Ultimately, the choice between the two styles boils down to personal preference.

Materials: A Touch of Luxury

When it comes to materials, Hermès provides a wide range of options. The choice of leather depends on whether you prefer the relaxed look of the Retourne or the firmer structure of the Sellier. For the Retourne, craftsmen utilize Togo, Clémence, Swift, or Evercolor leather. On the other hand, Epsom, Chèvre, Box, or Tadelakt leather is used for the Sellier. Exotic skins such as crocodile, alligator, ostrich, or lizard are also available for the Sellier. In terms of hardware, Kelly bags feature Gold, Palladium, or Permabrass hardware. Special orders can even be made with Brushed Gold or Brushed Palladium hardware. Some rare bags even boast Diamond Hardware.

Hermès Kelly Sizes: Find Your Perfect Fit

Hermès offers the Kelly in eight different sizes, ranging from the small and charming 20 cm Mini to the spacious and luxurious 50 cm. The 28 cm, 32 cm, and 35 cm sizes are the most popular among fashion enthusiasts. Here are the dimensions for each size:

Kelly Bag Size Dimensions LxHxW (inches) Dimensions LxHxW (centimeters)
20 cm (Mini) - -
25 cm - -
28 cm - -
32 cm - -
35 cm - -
40 cm - -
45 cm - -
50 cm - -

While black remains the most popular color for the Kelly, followed by Gold (camel tan) and Etoupe (taupe), you can find this exquisite bag in nearly any color imaginable.

Kelly Prices: A Worthwhile Investment

With a starting price over $8,000, purchasing a Kelly bag is undoubtedly a significant investment. However, let's delve into why it's considered one of the best handbag purchases you can make. First and foremost, the Kelly boasts a timeless style that will never go out of fashion. Knowing that you can use this bag for years to come makes it even more attractive. Additionally, each Kelly bag is meticulously crafted with the finest materials by highly-trained artisans who spend 15 to 20 hours on each piece. You can rest assured that your Kelly will withstand the test of time and maintain its charm.

Not only do Kelly bags retain their value, but certain models even appreciate over time. This means that if you ever decide to part ways with your Kelly, you might make a profit on your investment. Therefore, it's safe to say that the Kelly bag offers exceptional value for the money spent.

The Challenges of Getting a Kelly

Considering its desirability, it's no surprise that getting your hands on a Kelly bag can be quite a challenge. To purchase one, you must build a buying history and establish a relationship with the sales associates at Hermès. If you're lucky, they might contact you when a bag becomes available. However, it's important to note that the available bag may not necessarily be your preferred style, size, or color. Sales associates cannot order specific Kelly bags and rarely have prior knowledge of what they'll receive.

Should you not have the patience to wait for the Kelly of your dreams, you can explore reselling platforms for secondhand options.

Kelly Resale Value: A Lucrative Investment

With an average resale value of 92%, the Kelly bag surpasses many other Hermès bag models. The smaller sizes, such as the Mini Kelly, Kelly Pochette, Kelly 25, and Kelly 28, are particularly sought-after by fashion-savvy individuals. If you're considering purchasing a pre-loved Kelly, there are numerous platforms where you can find exquisite options.

In Conclusion

With its rich heritage, classic design, and premium materials, the Hermès Kelly bag remains one of the brand's most coveted items. Its enduring style and exceptional craftsmanship make it a worthwhile investment. So, if you have the opportunity to own a Kelly, seize it without hesitation. The beauty and elegance of this bag will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.

For more guides on Hermès bags, be sure to check out our other articles:

  • Lindy Bag Guide
  • Evelyne Bag Guide
  • Best Starter Hermès Bags Guide
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