The Story Behind The Name of Hermès Bags

By Kikemonk
January 7, 2022

Ahhhh, Hermès, a fashion house family owned for five generations. Hermès started as a saddlery with fine equaterian leather goods. However, nowadays they are known for their prestigious handbags and fashion.

Hermès is rich in history but have you ever wondered about the stories behind some of their classic bags? 

Jane Birkin

Yes, Birkin is named after none other than Jane Birkin. Jane Birkin was a British born, Paris based singer, songwriter, actress and former model. On a flight from Paris to London, Jane Birkin received a seat upgrade beside none other than Jean-Louis Dumas (Executive Chairman of Hermes 1978-2006).

While on the flight Jane Birkin was complaining about not being able to find a bag that suits her needs especially as a young mother. Jean-Louis Dumas  immediately sketched a spacious rectangular body with a burnished flap and saddle stitching with a dedicated space for baby bottles. Which became the coveted Birkin. 


Jane Birkin


Princess Grace Kelly 

The Hermès Kelly was formerly known as the Sac à dépêches bag. Doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely.The Sac à dépêches was first released in the 1930’s, and was renamed by the public as “The Kelly Bag”.

Due to an image of Princess Grace Kelly using her Sac à dépêches to cover her baby bump from the paparazzi. Shy and newly-married, she didn’t want to make her pregnancy known right away, and her beloved Hermes bag helped her hide it.This image became extremely popular all over the world and was on the front cover of many magazines.

Due to the public referring to the bag as the  “Kelly bag” and it began to grow in popularity throughout the world, giving the company much more exposure which then inspired them to produce even more of the iconic bags for wealthy celebrities and rename it the Hermès Kelly Bag.  

Catherine Chaillet

Was the first woman to ever design an Hermès Bag (score one for team women). In 1959 while pregnant she dreamed up a design for a bag and named it in honour of her fifth child, Constance, her baby was delivered the same day that the first Constance left the Hermes production store.

 Do they still teach the Lindy Hop in schools? 

The energetic swing-style Lindy dance, born in Harlem in 1928, known for its eccentric dance shapes.Thus being the inspiration for the Lindy bag it was designed for comfort and movement. The Lindy was Friederic Vidal homage to the Lindy Hop. 


In the late 1970s, the rapid growth in the house of Hermès had called for separate collections for their day-wear handbags and functional equestrian tools.

Evelyne Bertrand

It was then that the Hermes Evelyne was created by Evelyne Bertrand, the head of Hermes’ riding department, in the year of 1978. The bag was originally designed for convenient carryall for horse grooming equipment. The defining feature of the bag was the “H” monogram on the back, which allowed for aeration of the grooming tools while those were carried. Yes, you were supposed to carry Evelyne with the “H” facing the body!



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