Jen­nifer Carter, pres­i­dent of Her­mès Canada, on how her mother’s ’60s-era Kelly bag has stood the test of time.

ELLE (Canada) - - Style -

an Her­mès hand­bag is the grande dame of luxury—a sym­bol of en­dur­ing love when gifted and a so­phis­ti­cated nod to the world when car­ried. For Jen­nifer Carter, the iconic Kelly is more than just an ac­ces­sory; it has a sto­ried his­tory. “It’s so vin­tage,” Carter says of her mother’s 1963 crocodile bag, which she re­ceived as a birth­day present in the ’80s, not long af­ter she be­gan work­ing for Her­mès. “This bag was el­e­gant be­fore it was called the Kelly and still is to­day,” she re­marks. “For al­most 200 years, there has never been a com­pro­mise on qual­ity. Her­mès un­der­stands the no­bil­ity of the ma­te­rial and the im­por­tance of the artist and the craftsper­son.” So, how does a bag achieve cult sta­tus across gen­er­a­tions of women? “Well, I guess we’d all like to think that our sec­ond name is Grace,” says Carter with a laugh.

MOD­ERN VIN­TAGE De­signed in the 1930s, the Kelly bag sig­nalled a chang­ing of the times—a re­sponse to the mod­ern­iza­tion of so­ci­ety. To­day, the Kelly is re­leased ev­ery sea­son in dif­fer­ent leathers and colours. You can even find a Kelly wal­let to match. IN­SIDE STORY “In the early ’90s, I was in a meet­ing with Mr. Jean-Louis Du­mas in Paris and I had my bag with me. He asked to see it and looked in­side be­fore tak­ing me up­stairs to where the leather crafts­men were work­ing and in­tro­duced me to the man who made my mother’s bag.” FIT FOR A PRINCESS “It wasn’t un­til 1956 that the bag was named af­ter Grace Kelly, who had been us­ing it to con­ceal her baby bump in public.” FAM­ILY MAT­TERS “In 1963, my mom asked my

dad to pick up a Kelly bag for her while he was in Paris

on busi­ness. Her­mès had al­ways been a big part of our house­hold—we al­ways had Her­mès scarves. We were very spoiled. My fa­ther loved beau­ti­ful things.”


“Some­one once said to me that the bag car­ries it­self.

You walk into a room and it says some­thing; it has an el­e­gance to it.” OWN IT This 1963 Kelly is priceless, but you can shop your own

at her­

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