From 2.55 to Grace Box, they’ve all lead the style of several generations of women, without being forgotten or outdated. But, How do they become timeless items of worship?
1. Chanel “2.55”
Released in February 1955 (which it was named after), and Coco Chanel transformed the evening bag by adding a chain strap to the traditional clutches that were popular in her era. Thus, women had both hands free to socialize. Since Coco was a keen horse rider, she designed the bag with a padded texture mimicking jockey jackets. In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld, turned Creative Director, relaunched the 2.55 bag with the original design, but with the double C iconic clasp.
2. Hermès “Birkin”
Hermès’ Birkin was created after a casual encounter between Hermes’ executive director Jean-Louis Dumas with singer Jane Birkin in a 1984 flight. Birkin complained she wasn’t able to find a leather handbag she acually liked that fit everything she needed to bring along. With a 1892 design, masterful artisans dedicate 2 entire days to creat each and every Birkin, the price of which ranges from 7.000€ to 100.000€, depending on the material used in its making. The waiting list for each Birkin, also, ¡Can be up to 6 years!
3. Hermès “Kelly”
Hermès’ Kelly, formerly known as Sac à dépêches, is a leather handbag of an equestrian origin. Several versions were made before the american actress and monegasque princess Grace Kelly (who the bag is named after) showed the bag to the entire world, turning it into a worshiped item and an status symbol.
Alfred Hitchcock was who exposed the handbag to the public eye, thanks to the Hermès accessories that Edith Head, costume designer for the movie “To Catch a Thief” (1955) chose, starring Grace Kelly. The actress was photographed with the bag, of which she “fell in love”, and inmediatelly made the bag popular, until in 1977 they officially named the bag “Kelly”.
We can closely examine the bag which with Princess Grace was photographed at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. One can see how it was a well-loved bag, full of scruffs and marks after constant wear for years.
4. Louis Vuitton “Speedy”
Born in 1932, the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag with its iconic Monogram, was essential for the Louis Vuitton transformation from a luxury luggage brand into a fashion maison. It was created after the travel bag Keepall was popularized, when Georges Vuitton had the assignment of designing a smaller bag for short trips. In 1960, Audrey Hepburn, international icon and great admirer of the original Speedy, asked if a smaller version could be created. Finally, when Marc Jacobs became Creative Director in 1997, the Speedy got updated season after season, with designs such as Murakami’s Pop Art version or the graffiti style Speedy.
5. Loewe “Amazona”
Trough its over 160 years of history, Loewe has put together several iconic designs. Probably the most recognizable of them all is the Amazona bag, designed in 1975 by Dario Rossi. It stands out specially because of the quality of its materials. It’s made of Napa 7000, allegedly the best quality leather there is. The myth says Ernest Hemingway gifted it to Ava Gardner, thus becoming an icon.
6. Mark Cross “Grace Box”
You may very possibly only know one iconic bag named after Grace Kelly, the Hermès one; but, actually, Mark Cross, an american cult brand, also features a model named after the actress: the “Grace Box”, which appeared in Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” (1954). This prototype that has had over 30 versions, has become a worshipped item after It Girls such as Alexa Chung, Rihanna or Leandra Medine started wearing it. The brand, of an equestrian origin, closed in 1990 and was relaunched four years ago; that is why its name isn’t as well-known. Undoutebly, their Grace Box model in black is their most-sold item.
¿Which would you get if you could?