March 25, 2013

Iconic IT-Bags And Their Stories


They are incredibly stylish, they are statement pieces and they are widely coveted. Here are some of the most iconic IT bags in the world and their fascinating stories:

Gucci Jackie


Originally called the ”Constance”, the instantly recognizable bag featuring rounded edges and a signature push lock closure was renamed the ”Jackie” after Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, wife of US President John F Kennedy and fashion icon of her time, was photographed on numerous occasions wearing the bag while working as a consulting editor at Doubleday.

Since its creation in the late Fifties, the bag has suffered a few stylish alterations. Currently, the ”New Jackie”, which is available in croc, python, ostrich and New Zealand calfskin, features a couple of glamorous details, such as long leather tassels and bamboo accents.

Hermès Kelly


In 1956, a photograph of Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, using her Hermès Sac à dépêches to shield her growing pregnancy belly from the press, went viral around the world, ending up on the cover of Life magazine. The bag was then renamed the ”Kelly” and has become a staple of elegance, just like its carrier.

The Kelly takes 18 hours to make and is done by a single craftsman.

Prada Backpack


It is believed that the new iconic backpack is what turned Prada from a declining brand into a household name in the late Seventies. The equally stylish and practical style is made out of a hard-wearing waterproof fabric called Pocone and was designed by the house’s creative director, Miuccia Prada, in 1978.

Lady Dior


After Bernadette Chirac, France’s First Lady, gifted Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1995, with a Dior stitched leather bag with shiny letter charms, Lady Diana instantly fell in love with and and was subsequently photographed carrying it on her arm almost anywhere she went. The house of Dior decided then to rename the bag in her honour.

The Lady Dior bag is made out of 130 pieces of leather and featured 43 pieces of metal. It takes eight hours to make and is handcrafted by seven craftsmen.

Chanel 2.55

2.55 chanel classic bag

The story of the emblematic Chanel bag begins in the late1920s, when Coco Chanel decided to create a bag whose style would allow her to carry it on her shoulder, rather than in her hand. It wasn’t however until February 1955 (a date that gave the iconic bag its name) that Coco updated her 1929 design to the style that we know today.

The bag originally had what was called a ”Mademoiselle lock” (symbolising the fact that Chanel never married), but since the Eighties, Karl Lagerfeld, the head of the house of Chanel, introduced an interlocking CC clasp instead.

Fun facts:

The zipped compartment that is featured inside of every 2.55 bag is rumoured to be the place where Coco would hide her love letters.

The burgundy-coloured lining is said to represent the uniforms at the Aubazine convent where Coco grew up, while the chains used for the shoulder straps are rumoured to be a replica of the ones used to hold the caretakers’ keys at that same convent.

It is uncertain what inspired the bag’s distinctive quilted design: some say it’s jockeys’ padded jackets, others argue it’s the stained glass windows at the Aubazine convent, while others believe it to reflect the cushions in Coco Chanel’s Paris appartment.

Gucci Bamboo

black bamboo

You might think that the bamboo handle on the classic Gucci Bamboo bag was designed to symbolise luxury, but in 1947, at the time of its creation, the use of that particular material was commanded by wartime shortages. Over the years, the label incorporated bamboo details into many other designs – in watches and jewelry, and even as a print motif – and it soon became synonymous with the house of Gucci.

Louis Vuitton Speedy

M41526_PM2_Front view

After the launch of the iconic Keepall luggage bag in 1930, the house of Louis Vuitton had established itself as a leading name in luxury luggage, but it was in 1932, with the creation of the Speedy bag, that the French brand made its transition into the fashion industry as a true fashion house.

The small carry-on bag became an immediate hit in the Sixties. After style icon Audrey Hepburn requested that the bag be created in an even smaller size, Vuitton also made it available in a size 25, along with the original size, which was 30 cm. Currently, the Speedy is also available in two more sizes, 35 and 40. The Speedy was designed to be ”indestructible” – it is waterproof, tear proof as well as scuff proof. Originally featured only in the brand’s signature Monogram pattern, Marc Jacobs, the label’s creative director since 1997, has reinterpreted it in many versions, including a graffiti one and a Pop Art style featuring Haruki Murakami’s artwork.

Hermès Birkin


The emblematic Birkin bag was born in the mind of Jean-Louis Dumas Hermès chief executive, when he was seated next to actress Jane Birkin on a place flight from Paris to London. After seeing that she used a straw bag to carry her belongings and hearing her explanation about the fact that she couldn’t find any other weekend leather bag that she liked, Dumas created especially for Birkin, a black leather bag based on an older 1892 design.

Due to the fine craftsmanship required to make such a bag and the fine materials used to create it, the Birkin is one of the most expensive and sought-after bags in the world. The cost of a Birkin ranges from £6,000 to £100,000, depending on the size and materials used. It features a lock (that can be custom covered in leather or diamonds, for instance), which is enclosed in a leather lanyard known as a clochette, carried by looping through a handle.

Fendi Baguette


Launched in 1997, the Baguette was designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi to be carried under the arm, much like the French bread type it’s named after. After being featured on Carrie Bradshaw’s arm on Sex and The City, the bag became an instant hit. Over the years, the bag was re-edited in more than 700 different styles.

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