Stories Behind the 7 Most Iconic Bags of All Time

Stories Behind the 7 Most Iconic Bags of All Time

Every season, we read reports of the latest ‘it bags’ and ‘must haves’ of the season. But some classics are not swayed by any of these newcomers. These legendary bags are almost sought after, and are the real ‘It’ bags. From brand showrooms in Italy to pre-owned luxury websites, Indian women are not far behind in collecting these iconic bags. A bit ironical, but the number of knock-offs recently being seen on online Whatsapp groups alone will testify the popularity of these bags. But don’t you wonder how these bags came to become so popular? Let’s take a look at the stories behind some of these iconic bags.


Hermès Kelly Bag

Hermès Kelly Bag made famous by American actress Grace Kelly who married Prince Rainier of Monaco
Hermès Kelly Bag made famous by American actress Grace Kelly who married Prince Rainier of Monaco

The oldest and the first ever iconic bag – The Kelly Bag from Hermès continues to remain popular 80 years later. Inspired by the Granc leather bag created in 1892 by the luxury equestrian accessories house Hermes, to carry boots and saddle, this Hermès bag was then reduced in size to become a handbag for women in 1935.

Hermès Kelly Bag

Later, in 1954, director Alfred Hitchcock proposed to use the handbag for his favorite actress Grace Kelly in the film ‘To Catch a Thief’. Grace Kelly later made a public appearance, accompanied by her husband Prince Rainier of Monaco, carrying the bag supposedly to hide from public view her still unofficial pregnancy!

Shilpa Shetty Hermes Bag

What followed is an exceptional popularity of this bag that every woman now wanted. Women stormed into the Hermès boutiques referring to the bag as “Kelly “. This led to Hermès deciding to change the name of the bag (over 20 years after its creation) to ‘Kelly’.

Lady Dior

Lady Dior bag made popular by Princess Diana
Lady Dior bag made popular by Princess Diana

For many, a Dior bag means this bag. It is synonymous with the name Dior. The lovely quilted bag with the dangling D-I-O-R charms was named after the princess of hearts – Princess Diana herself. In 1995, France’s first lady, Bernadette Chirac, gifted this latest Dior bag to Princess Diana during her visit on the occasion of the Cézanne exhibition at the Grand Palais.

Lady Dior bag

The Princess of Wales fell in love with it and ordered it in all available colors and versions. After that, Lady Di was regularly seen with this little bag in her hand, during her public appearances, which contributed largely to its huge popularity.

Shilpa Shetty with her Pink Lady Dior Bag
Shilpa Shetty with her Pink Lady Dior Bag

As a result, in 1996, Dior decided to rename the bag as ‘Lady Dior’ as a tribute to Princess of Wales.

Chanel 2.55

Kareena Kapoor carrying her Chanel 2.55 bag
Kareena Kapoor carrying her Chanel 2.55 bag

Women are indeed thankful to Coco Chanel for coming up with innovative ideas that took the fuss out of dressing. After tweed and No. 5, Gabrielle Chanel created another fashion icon that is as popular with fashion addicts in 2016 as it was in 1955. Chanel wanted a bag that combined aesthetics with practicality. To free women’s hand off the handbag, she came up with idea of a flap bag with shoulder straps and that has changed the way we carry our most prized fashion accessory.

Chanel 2.55 Bag

Just like she named the famous perfume Chanel No.5 based upon the bottle number, Coco Chanel named this bag after the date of its creation – February, 1955.

Louis Vuitton Speedy

Louis Vuitton Speedy 25

Although the bag itself was created a long time back, it’s phenomenal success came when Audrey Hepburn took a liking to it and carried it everywhere. The goal of the French luggage maker Louis Vuitton, in coming up with this design, was to offer a smaller version of a space-saving travel bag.

Louis Vuitton Speedy

The ultra chic Speedy quickly became a classic from Louis Vuitton and was launched in various colors and prints including the famous LV monogrammed canvas or the equally famous checkerboard design. The Speedy undoubtedly remains the it-bag and is often the most copied and imitated handbag, but never really equaled.

Cabas ChYc by YSL

Angelina Jolie with her YSL Cabas Chyc Handbag
Angelina Jolie with her YSL Cabas Chyc Handbag

A fairly recent addition to iconic bags, the ChYc (a.k.a Cabas Chyc or the Cabas Y or simply Y bag) has became one of the cult bags in 5 years since it’s launch in 2011. This bag rom the house Saint Laurent is chic and elegant and appeals to women of all generations. It is neither too dressy, nor too young and casual. Instantly recognizable by its structured rectangular shape and the large golden letter Y on the flap, it can be carried in hands with its small handles or on the shoulder with larger strap. A far cry from the overly branded handbags seen today, the classy Y bag with it’s understated branding was an instant hit with celebrities.

Gucci Jackie Bag

Jackie Kennedy Gucci Handbag
The Gucci ‘Jackie’ Bag was named after Jackie Kennedy, one of the most fashionable women of all times

This iconic bag from the Italian fashion label Gucci was born in 1955. It soon became a favorite of the fashion icon Jackie Kennedy-Onassis who had no less than 6 different models and showed them off proudly on many occasions in 1964. Like the Hermes Kelly, the ‘Jackie’ which was renamed after it’s patron several years after its launch. The ‘Jackie’ is considered to be a feminine icon with it’s round edges and very recognizable shape.

Gucci Jackie Bag

This iconic bag, like many others, was revisited by another artistic director of the house Frida Giannini, who in 2009 released a newer and more modern version: the New Jackie.

Celine Trapeze Bag

Celine Trapeze Bag

A bag with wings? That’s correct! The trapeze is one of the most coveted bags and was designed by the current artistic director of the fashion house Celine – Phoebe Philo in 2008. The Trapeze bag is a structured rectangular bag with a classic flap but a very interesting twist to it. Two wings, built on the sides, completely change its shape and add interest to it.

Kiran Rao Celine Trapeze

It is THE perfect everyday bag and we love how the wings render it possible to color block and bring out innumerable versions of it!