How are Hermès Kelly and Birkin Bags made?

In 1956, Grace Kelly was photographed using her Hermès haut à courroies to conceal that she was pregnant with Princess Caroline. The photograph was published in Life Magazine and caught the attention of Robert Dumas, then chairman of Hermès, who decided to rename the bag “The Kelly”. Then, in 1984, on an Air France flight from Paris to London, British actress Jane Birkin complained that she couldn’t find a suitable weekend bag. The man sitting beside her was Hermès chairman Jean-Louis Dumas, who asked Birkin to describe her ideal bag. Not long after, Birkin received a package from Hermès at her doorstep. It was a brand new weekend bag, adapted from the haut à courroies but made exactly as she had imagined. That bag is now universally known as “The Birkin”.

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