Ladylike Luminaries

Hermes’s Best Bags and the Women Who Inspired Them
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    From small wallets to exceptional sculptures, Hermes’s wide variety of products, have made it the top destination for luxury goods since 1837. Above many of the outlandish items that Hermes has to offer, their handbags are by far the most well known and the most desirable.But, did you know that several of the styles were named for important women? In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re going to take a look at some of the most well known to the lesser known models from Hermes that were inspired and named for those special women.

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    In 1959, the Constance was named for the fifth daughter of Catherine Chaillet, the then head designer at Hermes. It was designed with simplicity and beauty in mind, while keeping true to Hermes’s aesthetic for clean lines and structure. Constance Chaillet became a notable French journalist and writer later in life.

    Portrait Credit: Getty Images
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    Originally designed in 1892 as a large bag to carry a saddle, and named the Sac a Depeche, this bag was redesigned many times until Grace Kelly fell in love with it. It was thus reimagined and renamed in her honor. Grace Kelly was an accomplished actress and became the princess of Monaco after her marriage to Prince Rainier III, living the real life fairytale every girl hopes for.

    Portrait Credit: People Magazine
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    Legend tells that in 1983, Jean-Louis Dumas, creative director of Hermes, and Jane Birkin, actress and singer, sat together on a plane from Paris to London. Miss Birkin was said to have spilled papers everywhere from her Hermes diaries, and Dumas came to her aid and conceptualized the now exclusive Birkin. Jane Birkin has owned 5 of these namesake bags, all of which were worn for many years, personalized, and then auctioned off. As of 2017, she reported to Vogue UK that she no longer wore them as “it no longer suits her needs due to it capaciousness.”

    Portrait Credit: People Magazine
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    While not designed until a century after her passing, it is theorized that the Christine was named in honor of Thierry Hermes’s wife, Christine Pétronille Pierrart. As the woman who supported and inspired Hermes when he started with saddles and moved into luggage and handbags, it is no surprise that she was honored with a bag named for her.

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    In 1978, Evelyne Bertrand, as head of Hermes Riding Department, wanted to offer the horse groomers a bag that would allow them to carry their brushes and other grooming utensils with ease. The bag, which is now named for her, had air holes in the “H” motif set in a horseshoe oval. Unlined and crafted of sturdier leather in a wide variety of colors and multiple sizes, the Evelyne is meant to withstand more wear and tear. It has been reimagined twice from its original inception, now featuring a back pocket and an adjustable strap.

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