Nine iconic women’s bags and their histories from Hermès Kelly to Lady Dior
There are some luxury labels that are emblematic of high style and perfection that transcend time and age. They have gained cult status and are always in vogue. With exquisite design and master craftsmanship, their designs are a testament to their legacy of setting people apart from others. Women’s bags from luxury brands have their own chapters in fashion history, while signature jewelry and timepieces are statements.
This collection of women’s bags tells the stories of the women who inspired them to create them, and the iconic silhouettes that never go out of style, all while upholding the luxury brand’s tradition. Each iconic tote with its signature monogram has become a status symbol, whether it’s a stunning Hermès or a Gucci tote worn by Princess Diana.
Its Luxury handbags have also captured my attention due to their uniqueness, exclusivity and sophistication. It’s as interesting to watch the process behind them as it is to see the creations themselves.
Discover the stories behind some of the most iconic luxury women’s handbags
Luxury, sophistication, and taste are the hallmarks of the Lady Dior bag. Princess Diana’s handbag was custom-made for her during one of her state visits to France in 1995 by First Lady Bernadette Chirac, the wife of French President Jacques Chirac.
A few weeks earlier, Dior’s creative director, Gianfranco Ferré, had been appointed. Chouchou, which means favorite in French, was his first bag design in 1994. An elegant, dignified posture was represented by the bag that resembled a box structure. It didn’t slouch or bend in any way. The gold monogram was emblazoned on the top-arching of the handles.
She immediately fell in love with this bag after receiving it at the Grand Palais in Paris during a Cézanne exhibition. Her famous Met Gala appearance in 1996 was just one of several royal occasions when she carried it. She also used the bag as a symbol of her independence when she was about to divorce Prince Charles.
A luxury Handbag became a prized possession when it was photographed with one of the world’s most photographed women. A Lady Dior bag was named for her in the same year by the fashion house.
Black quilted leather was used to create the Iconic women’s bag. Christian Dior’s most recent shows featured chairs modeled after Napoleon III’s fabric. To give the box a sturdy appearance, the leather was mounted on a rectangular box. There are three handcrafted sizes available for the bag, small, medium, and large. As well as Dior’s famed Toile De Joey, a removable strap and other prints, these bags come in supple calf leather, patent leather and lambskin.
USD5,205 is the price of a mini Lady Dior, and SGD 7,300 is the retail price
The Speedy by Louis Vuitton
Flight became more popular in the 1930s, causing a shift in travel habits. Industrialization and modern transportation prompted the house to create the bag. When it came to travel, it was all about Traveling light, smart and elegantly instead of carrying stiff luggage.
Louis Vuitton Speedy bags provide ample space to accommodate all your travel essentials and are a smaller version of the Louis Vuitton Kemal bags. As a shoulder bag or Crossbody bag, it has an adjustable shoulder strap.
When it was launched, the iconic women’s bag was aptly named the Express since it could withstand rough treatment for long periods of time. Audrey Hepburn, who starred in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, catapulted it to its current status as an It-bag. A speedy 30 was resized from 30 centimeters to 25 centimeters in response to Hepburn’s request after the film’s success. As a result, she has become obsessed with the satchel-sized bag.
This luxury handbag is made of Damiere Eeben canvas or exotic leather, and features dual zip compartments (introduced in 2015) and rolled leather handles. In addition to the Nano size and Speedy 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40, this Louis Vuitton bag is available in multiple colors and designs. Bandoliered, which was introduced in 2011, is a bag with a strap, while Speedy bags without a strap are also available.
The Kate Kelly collection by Hermès
Grace Kelly was not always the inspiration behind the Kelly bag. The bag is an epitome of grace and polished chic. Robert Dumas, Monsieur Émile Hermès’ son-in-law, invented Sac à Dépêche (A Mail Bag) in the 1930s, and it became widely available in 1935.
Because of its structured leather construction and neat lines, the bag soon attracted the attention of luxury buyers. This iconic handbag was used by Grace Kelly in 1956 to hide her baby bump from the press as she married into the Royal Family of Monaco. As a result, the Kelly bag became a subject of speculation.
Due to the event, demand soared for the trapezoidal bag, which features a single top handle and palladium-plated hardware. Featuring cutting-out flaps, handles, and two sides, the luxury Handbag has triangular gussets.
Hermès‘ iconic Kelly purse is available in several sizes – the smallest is the 20cm Mini Kelly II. Other sizes include the 25cm, 28cm, and 32cm and 35cm versions.
There was a severe shortage of materials in the luxury fashion industry after World War II in 1947. Due to its ease of growing and ability to be bent into handles over an open flame, Japanese bamboo could quickly become a viable alternative to exotic leather for the Italian house. Originally known as the 0633, the bag was renamed today.
An extension of the Gucci Bamboo, the Gucci Diana is a beautiful handbag. There has been a lot of innovation in the design of a Gucci Tote bag. Her trips often included carrying this bag and pairing it with sweatshirts and shorts. In no time at all, this iconic bamboo-handled bag became an emblem of her individuality and freedom.
For Michele’s 60th birthday, Gucci Diana was renamed in honor of the late Princess. There is a GG logo on the handbag that faces the same direction as the logo on the bag. Additionally, the handles will have neon bands around them, reminiscent of how bamboo was once kept in shape. The bags can also be worn crossbody.
Featuring seven colors and three sizes, the Gucci Diana is one of the most iconic bags of all time.
Bag designed by Bottega Veneta
After actress Jodie Foster was spotted shielding herself from the press with a large black Bottega Veneta bag, the luxury handbag no longer sparked any curiosity until it hit shelves in stores in 2020. Hence, it only made sense to name it after her.
Daniel Lee, creative director of Jodie bag, added a knot to this iconic women’s bag to make it a member of the elite club of handbags. In addition to logos and monograms, Luxury Handbags also arrived at a time when brand logos and monograms were popular. An elegant and sleek minimalist design was the aim of this bag.
There are several sizes and colors of these bags available today – candy, teen, mini, small, and maxi. In addition to intrecciato leather, other variants are also very popular among fashion insiders, such as padded intrecciato and puffy leathers.
The City bag by Balenciaga
Balenciaga’s 2001 bag wasn’t approved initially even though it debuted in 2001. Nicholas Ghesquière’s first design for the house was rejected by the brand’s management because it was slouchy. The bag was made in only 25 copies for the runway show thanks to Ghesquière’s persuasiveness. As well as giving them to models, he also gave them to Kate Moss, who immediately loved them. It’s all history from there.
It is only the Neo Classic (in the picture) that is available on the official Balenciaga website today. A variety of colors are available for the bag, which has refined hardware. There are several leather options available for the bag, including grained calfskin and crocodile embossed calfskin. It is available in sizes mini, Nano, small, medium, and large. In contrast to the Neo Classic, the City features a more structured design and does not use “aged” leather. There are no changes to the zippers, studs, or other hardware.