DESIGNER 101

Hermès 101:
The Lindy Breakdown

By James F. Jan 8, 2021

Hermes 101 Lindy

Floating just above the surface on the popular handbag radar,

the Lindy is hailed as one of the more accessible and practical options of the Hermès handbag lineup. With variable sizing and the addition of a more recent Mini size, the Lindy has reentered the conversation with a renewed vim and vigor.

 

 THE ORIGIN STORY

In 2006, while the helm of the creative direction at Hermès was well under Jean-Paul Gaultier’s purview, another formidable (albeit lesser-known) designer made a practical observation around the way women use handbags. That designer, Frédéric Vidal, took note of how the average handbag forces the wearer to stick out their arm to have the bag stay parallel to their figure, so he set out to create a more flexible solution.

Eventually, the design came to fruition, and the new handbag style made a couple of key changes that set the Lindy apart from other handbag styles. The first and most notable change was the handle positioning. A traditional handbag construction is to have the handle(s) sit parallel to the main body of the bag, however, the Lindy design turned the handles to a perpendicular orientation. This simple change allows for one to put their hand through the two handles from the side, while both bag and arm stay in a more natural position for the wearer. To extend this practicality, Vidal added a shoulder strap that connects handle to handle, adding an optional shoulder strap that adds extra functionality and stays out of the way while not in use. The total sum of these two concepts also allows the bag to fold slightly to bend with the body and be more versatile for travel.

In addition to these critical features, Vidal added two exterior slip pockets just under the handles and a double zip and classic clous de selle turnlock closure to boot. This bag was very clearly designed with functionality at the forefront and form not far behind.

THE RISE OF LINDY

Lindy Runway Detail

Lindy Runway Detail

Kelly Flat Runway Detail

Kelly Flat Runway Detail

The Lindy made it’s official runway debut in Hermès’s Spring-Summer 2007 collection, alongside it’s kindred spirit the Kelly Flat bag. The inspiration of the collection was beach leisure, and the bags followed suit on the idea, all being designed and re-interpreted to be more portable. While the reception of the overall collection may have been mixed, the Lindy bag’s success was unmistakable. Touted as a portable yet still stylish option in contrast to the Hermès classics, the Lindy made its intended mark and is still a formidable force in the handbag pantheon at Hermès.

THE SIZE BREAKDOWN

The Lindy was originally produced in four sizes, the smallest of which was the 26cm version. Two medium sizes gave added customizability at 30cm and 34cm. Lastly a large “voyage” size was added at 45cm, mainly for short sprints of travel. Unsurprisingly, these sizes’ rarities followed the typical retail bell-curve with 26cm and 45cm sizes being the most uncommon, and the 30cm and 34cm sizes were more widespread.

In their Fall/Winter 2019 runway show, Hermès debuted the most recent Lindy size: the 20cm Mini. These bags were instantly ogled and the news promulgated the world over. Reports show that these bags are currently circulating the reseller space at around 60% above retail price.

Lindy Runway Detail

20cm Mini

Hermes Lindy Bag Evercolor 26

26cm

Hermes Lindy Bag Swift 30

30cm

Hermes Lindy Bag Clemence 34

34cm

45cm

45cm

LIMITED EDITIONS AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

In the relatively short time that the Lindy has been in circulation, a few special collections and limited edition styles have been released, keeping this bag fresh and exciting. Hermès does enjoy repeating artistic concepts throughout their handbag lines, so you might find some familiar features and interesting twists in the following lineup.

The Toile Lindy

The Toile Lindy

Less of a limited edition and more of a style of note, Hermès created a toile version of the Lindy that lends itself to a more casual attitude. If you prefer the durability and nonchalance of Hermès’ classic Toile H material, you will undoubtedly find this version beguiling.

The Verso Lindy

Verso Lindy Exterior

Verso Lindy Exterior

Verso Lindy Interior

Verso Lindy Interior

Much like it’s other cousins, the Birkin, Kelly, and Constance bags, the Verso Lindy belongs to the Verso collection. In 2016 Hermès launched the collection, the main features of which being the contrasting interior color versus the exterior color. The effect of these special bicolor bags is quite unique, and channels the idea of contrast and surprise.

The Éclat Lindy

Éclat Lindy Exterior

Éclat Lindy, Exterior

Éclat Lindy Interior

Éclat Lindy, Interior

Again part of a larger collection, the Éclat Lindy takes form in line with its close relatives. The vision of the Éclat collection (meaning flash in French) is to have the parts of the bag that would normally be in a shadows be done in high-contrast colors, creating stark “flashes” of color when you turn handles, straps, or even on the bottom of some models. In the Lindy bag specifically, Hermès decided to contrast the bottom of the shoulder strap and the reverse of the sangles (closure straps) with the overall exterior, creating a captivating flash effect.

The Tressage de Cuir Lindy

Tressage de Cuir Lindy

The Tressage de Cuir line of handbags and accessories draws its major influence from the craft of woven leather. The Lindy bag being a part of the broader collection, features two different versions of shoulder straps that are replete with woven leather detailing in standard slatted leather as well as the chevron woven leather motifs.

The Touch Lindy

Touch Lindy

The Touch collection of handbags so far is scoped to include the Birkin, Kelly, Picotin, Double Sens, Jypsiere, and Lindy styles. What differentiates the Touch Lindy from the others, is the simple addition of a matte alligator strap in place of the traditional leather version. This subtle detail is perfectly consistent with Hermès’s overall minimalist-meets-luxury aesthetic under the creative direction and influence of Nedège Vanhee-Cybulski.

The Himalayan Lindy

Now to the holy grail of Lindy bags. Any savvy collector will know that the Himalayan line of Hermès bags tops the scale for highly sought after items. The now iconic coloration inspired by the peaks of the eponymous mountain range has been donned on the arms of the well-heeled and opulent for years. To add to this heightened line of styles, Hermès also added a Lindy to the lineup. The fabulous scales and the overall coloration of this bag makes it an ideal mix of fantasy and practicality, the ambition of any critically acclaimed bag.

Throughout it’s relatively short history compared to other Hermès handbags, the Lindy has proven it’s rank and continues to be one of the top handbags that the house has ever produced. With the classic style combined with many special collections and limited editions, there are more ways than ever to style the Lindy to your heart’s content! Anything is possible with Hermès

 

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