As Hermes continues to tease the release of the Kelly En Desordre, first seen on the Fall 2022 runway, we look back at the discontinued Kelly 20 shoulder, a clear source of inspiration for the new design.
The 20cm Kelly has been seen dating back to the mid 1950s and the earliest examples feature this mid-length shoulder strap, rather than the round top-handle which was introduced around 1980. The length of this strap is ideal for wearing the bag over the shoulder or on the arm, and not so long that it can’t be carried in-hand either. Kelly 20s would also be produced with crossbody-length straps, but the mid-length examples are generally more sought-after and diverse. Since the vintage Kelly 20 was in production for over half a century, many unusual examples made their way out of Hermes’ workshops. These include canvas examples with leather r exotic trim, crocodile, alligator, ostrich and lizard versions. Some examples sport small studs on the body, and others have printed leather featuring patterns from Hermes neckties. There are suede ones and straw Panama ones, too. The potential for collecting vintage Kelly 20s is endless.
Hermes en Desordre
Hermes’ Autumn 2022 runway show saw new designs for the Birkin, Kelly and Bolide make their way down the catwalk and back. Since the show’s premier, Hermes has continued to tease the release of these new designs En Desordre, a term used previously in an interpretation of the Brides de Gala scarf that saw the decades-old pattern cubed and rearranged. This group of bags En Desordre shuffles up the various design elements for a fun new take on some timeless classics. The handles are attached to the bag at different heights, pockets and flaps and other design elements seem to float around the bag. The Kelly En Desordre appears to be a 20cm with the original mid-length shoulder strap, though the attachments are those of a classic Kelly handle rather than the thick deco loop hardware found on vintage 20cm Shoulder Kellys. The flap on one side opens to the main compartment of the bag, whereas the other serves as an exterior pocket. No other bags from Hermes so far have taken such liberties with these classic design elements. The fun factor in these bags brings to mind the wacky designs of the late 1980’s such as the Sac Himalaya, the Symboise or the Sac New Amsterdam.