Did you know that the first bag with the bamboo handle was introduced in fashion by Gucci? Do you know why Chanel’s iconic shoulder bag is named 2.55? Can you name the two most famous bags by Hermès? Since I often visit fashion exhibitions and events, I come across interesting facts about various fashion pieces. Bags are one of my biggest passions. I never miss the opportunity to find out more about this accessory piece. In this post I have summarized short facts about the iconic bags of famous fashion houses which I learned during my visits to the Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam and the Gucci Museum in Florence.
Hermès: The Kelly Bag
Robert Dumas-Hermès designed the first Kelly bag in 1935. The trapezoidal bag with its gracefully curved handle became very popular in 1956 thanks to Grace Kelly, who used to carry it to conceal her pregnancy.
Hermès: The Birkin Bag
Following the success of the Kelly, in 1984 the Birkin bag was designed. Named after the actress and singer Jane Birkin, the Birkin bag is larger then its predecessor the Kelly and has two handles instead of one.
Both the Kelly and the Birkin became an inspiration for other fashion houses. In 2012 Prada launched the Pyramid, that has the same shape and stiffness as the Kelly. Popular nowadays the Hamilton design by Michael Kors is an interpretation of Birkin.
GUCCI: The Bamboo Bag
The first handbag with a bamboo handle was created in 1947. The lack of materials and fabrics during WW II, pushed Gucci to search for alternative solutions to produce his designs. Bamboo imported from Japan replaced the traditional leather handles, creating one of the most successful handbags of the House: the Bamboo Bag.
There are different variations of the Bamboo Bag nowadays. Each bag is made with the same techniques used for the original model and requires 13 hours of craftsmanship to guarantee the perfection of the details.
60 years ago in February 1955 (2.55) Gabrielle Chanel introduced the famous 2.55 shoulder bag to the market. In the 1950s when handbags were still dominating in fashion, the 2.55 was a true innovation in the industry. Being the supporter of both beauty and comfort Mademoiselle Chanel came up with the shoulder bag that offered the advantage of leaving your hands free to smoke or to hold a drink.
The bag with a diamond-shaped pattern and braided chain shoulder strap became an immediate bestseller. Since then the 2.55 is one of the most recognizable and the most imitated bag in the world. Among the many celerities that have been carrying this iconic shoulder bag are Brigitte Bardot, Jackie Kennedy, Miley Cyrus and Dutch Queen Maxima. The original 2.55 had a rectangular turn lock. In 1985 Karl Lagerfeld (current creative director of Chanel) introduced a twist lock with the “CC”-logo on the 2.55. Nowadays the house of Channel offers many new variations of 2.55 each year.
FENDI: The Baguette
“I was asked, among other things, to come up with a particularly ‘easy and functional handbag’. In a certain sense, it had to be technological and minimal, just like the times. My response – fortunately I am indomitably disobedient – was the Baguette. It was an unprecedented success: one of the most desired objects in the world.”
Silvia Venturini Fendi
The Baguette, named after the French loaf, was introduced into fashion in 1997. A small, simple handbag to be carried under the arm like the French loaf became one of the most beloved accessories of women all over the world. Over 1,000 versions of the Baguette have been produced during the past 18 years.
This is it for this time. Don’t forget to let me know you opinion in a comment bar below! Till next week!