A recent design that walked down Hermes’ Spring 2023 runway caught the eyes of collectors everywhere. A seemingly new design of the iconic Kelly bag, the examples on the runway sported soft floating ostrich feathers hanging from the front. At later private showings, additional models were seen sans-feathers, giving us a full look at the design of this ‘new’ Kelly. It turns out this new bag has a predecessor. In the early 2000’s Hermes produced a style of Kelly Clutch called the Kelly Elan. Preceding the Kellys Pochette, Longue and Cut, the Elan was designed with a flat base, 28cm across and no handle at the top. The sangles attach around back, though, creating a strap to slide your hand through. Rarely seen on the secondary market today, the Kelly Elan was produced primarily in Box leather and exotics like shiny crocodile. The new design for Spring 2023 might have done away with the rear hand-strap, but added one for the shoulder, turning this clutch into a much more practical bag. It’s likely the straps will be removable and interchangeable with a similar attachment to those used on Kelly To Go Wallets.
Other bags in this show included new additions of the highly collectible Mini Kelly 20 and Picnic Birkins, as well as Toupee bags featuring ostrich feathers, a re-edition of the Shadow Kelly Cut in White, and an exciting version of the Kelly Cut with chain-link sangles. Other new designs will also surely be making their way out of Hermes workshops in the coming year, but one thing Hermes does well is referencing itself. The best, most popular ‘new’ designs often have roots going back decades, and Hermes’ dedication to timeless design has kept some bags in production for nearly a century.