Fashion & Film: The Hermès Handbags

Posted: Jul 13 2017


The Hermès Birkin and Hermès Kelly bags deserve their own stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Stealing the spotlight on the silver screen for over 60 years, these two lovely handbags have become celebrities in their own right.  In fact, the handbags are so coveted that Hermès only sells the bags in their own boutiques, and then only to their most valued and wealthy clients.  The rest of us are left to admire them from our seats in the movie theater. 

It is appropriate that both bags are named after movie stars.  The Birkin is the namesake of British movie star and fashionista, Jane Birkin.  After meeting Jane on an Air France flight from Paris to London, Hermès Creative Director Jean-Louis Dumas determined she needed a larger and more luxurious handbag.  Thus, the Birkin was born and has maintained a constant celebrity following.  Memorable on-screen appearances include The Royal Tenenbaums, with Gwyneth Paltrow’s character, Margot, toting one on her very stylish and skinny arm; Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, with Cate Blanchett carrying the bag while suffering a nervous breakdown; and The Proposal with Sandra Bullock carrying a bright orange Birkin around a tiny town in Alaska.  Her Birkin rivals the devilishly handsome Ryan Reynolds for the perfect arm candy.

Not to be overshadowed, the Kelly Bag has also held an important place on the arms of movie stars on and off-screen.  In addition to its namesake Grace Kelly, Hollywood legends Audrey Hepburn, Catherine Deneuve and Ingrid Bergman had their own Kelly bags.  The bag also makes a memorable appearance in the movie A Perfect Murder.  Once again, Gwyneth Paltrow is the lucky actress who carries a black Kelly 28 bag in this stylish remake of Dial M for Murder.  It is fitting that Gwyneth should carry a bag named for the actress who originated the role. 

Whether you are lucky enough to own one of these fabulous bags or just admire them from afar, there is no doubt that the Hermès Birkin and Hermès Kelly will always be the star attractions wherever they go.

 The Hermès Birkin 


The Hermès Kelly


Jane Birkin


Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine with her Birkin


Sandra Bullock in The Proposal with her orange Birkin


Grace Kelly with her namesake handbag


Audrey Hepburn with her croc Kelly 


Catherine Deneuve with her Kelly bag


Ingrid Bergman with her croc Kelly


Gwyneth Paltrow in A Perfect Murder with her Kelly 28


Images via The Royal Tenenbaums, Touchstone Pictures 2001; Blue Jasmine, Gravier and Perdido Production, 2013; The Proposal, Touchstone Pictures, 2009; A Perfect Murder, Warner Bros, 1998; Portero