Kelly bag was the predecessor to the Birkin. At that time these
This happened like that - one of the most beautiful and elegant actresses of the time Grace Kelly (also a princess of Monaco) had a photo on the cover of the magazine, where she was hiding her pregnancy under this Hermes bag. Actually there have been more photographs of her with the handbag, but the first one made the story.
Kelly bag has several sizes and different materials, as well. For the collectors, the original Kelly can be purchased by 3000 - 6000 dollars. The bag takes 18 hours to make and in some cases the leather is even ironed to make it perfect. Each bag is made by one craftsmen. The more sophisticated and exotic the leather, the more experienced craftsmen are involved. This bag is made in France, of course.
One of the features to tell the authenticity of Hermes Kelly bag are the straps on clasp, as well as the padlock and small leather piece that sort of hides the key. This handbag also has one handle and there is also a shoulder strap available. Size of this beautiful Hermes creation originally is 32cm (12.6') and 28 cm (11'). The mini Kelly bag was introduced in 1968, but the large version of 40 cm (15.7) was made in year 1980.
Birkin bag's story is a bit different. Although also named after a famous French actress Jane Birkin, the bag was a co-creation between her and the Hermes brand. The legend goes that in 1981 Jane Birkin was traveling on the same plane as Jean Louis Dumas Hermes. And she happened to spill the content of her Kelly bag out and made a comment that this bag was to small and impractical. And the idea of Birkin bag was born. The actual purse was made in three years time and very soon became a handbag with almost cult like status.
What is ironical is that Jane Birkin was using her famous bag very rarely due to health problems.
Birkin bags are sold in the following sizes - 30 cm (11.8'), 35 cm (13.8'), 40 cm (15.7') and 50 cm or 19.7'. The bag is larger than the Kelly and also the coloring used for this hand held purse is brighter. THis is the celebrity handbag of all times and Victoria Beckham is a know fanatic of both famous Hermes purses. In comparison to the smaller sister bag, Birkin is considered less formal and has two handles. The metallic details are covered with gold or palladium.
It is still one of the most coveted purses today that has a waiting list (although there are cases when you can just walk in the store and get your brand new Birkin immediately. Michael Tonello has even written book about the experience - his tip of the day is to be dressed appropriately, buy a decent amount of other Hermes products and then inquire about possibility to buy the famous elusive purse. He says that the success rate of this strategy is 99 percent).
It was already the tote chosen by the elite and fashion experts, when after several features on TV (e.g. after Sex and The City), it became known to wider public. Due to insane popularity, the counterfeit goods manufacturers got their hands on the matter and replicas followed like a snitching dogs. And now there are replica Birkin bag, Kelly bag replica and whole range of other fake Hermes bags around sold under pretense of real ones. Also you have to know that typically it costs from 9000 USD to 150 000 so the handbag you get for few hundred dollars is surely a Birkin bag knock off.
Also leather purses are not the only luxury product this brand has, if you love this French chic label, then you are probably well informed about the perfect silk scarves that they make. These luxury scarves are also available on their online store.