In the 1930s, Robert Dumas, son-in-law of Émile Hermès, whom he succeeded at the head of Hermès (1951-1978), created the women’s bag with straps. He designed a trapezoid shape with two triangular gussets, a cutout flap, a handle and two side straps, and with it he brought the house into the era of boldness and modernism.
In the late 1950s, legend has it that Grace Kelly, a Hollywood star turned princess of Monaco, was photographed holding the bag over her stomach to conceal the early signs of her pregnancy.
The bag shot to international fame and was renamed the Kelly.
The Kelly bag comes in different sizes and styles (like the Kelly Pochette or Kelly Ado for example), offering different aesthetics. There is no «right» size or shape. Although right now smaller bags are the rage, the size for you is the size you choose.
Recently, I have added a Kelly Danse to my Hermès collection. Originally released in 2007 by Jean-Paul Gaultier, who was at the helmet of Hermès at that time, Kelly Danse is a more casual and multi-functional version of the iconic Hermès Kelly. Without the top handle, and with a long strap, you can wear it seven different ways: around the waist, as a crossbody bag, a shoulder bag at two different lengths, as a wristlet, a clutch and even as a backpack!
Danse means dance in French. The idea behind its creation was to attract a younger audience: young ladies who like to dance while having their hands free. Kelly Danse was a revolutionary design for the brand. However, it was discontinued in 2013 because the shape was too «advanced» and fashion-forward. Comfortable cross-body bags were not so trendy at that time.
However, as it often happens, after the bag has been discontinued, the bag has quickly turned into a rare collector’s item and was re-introduced in 2019. Known today as the Kelly Danse II, the bag is around 22 cm in length and 17 cm in height. In terms of dimensions, the Kelly Danse II is very similar to its predecessor.
I chose my Kelly Danse II in Verso Blush/Rose Jaipur Evercolor leather (a leather that is very resilient to wear and tear) with silver hardware and love it, as it is without a doubt, the most versatile of all Hermès bags.
Photos: AP, Courtesy of Hermès, © David Biedert Photography
DISCLOSURE: This post is not sponsored. I own and love this bag!