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When you think of Hermès, you immediately think of the brand's bags. However, when the company was born, its vocation was quite different. Over the years, the company has been able to develop and adapt to changes in society, while also opening up to many different professions. Let's take a look back at the rich and special history of Hermès, which has led to the creation of iconic bags.

Hermès was founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermès. He makes harnesses in his workshop in Paris. Attentive and detail-oriented, he created harnesses that combined finesse and strength. In 1880, Thierry Hermès' son, Charles-Émile Hermès, moved the workshop to the Faubourg Saint-Honoré and opened a shop. The company then became very well known for the quality of its harnesses and custom-made saddles. In 1992, during the inter-war period, under the direction of Charles-Émile Hermès' son, Émile Hermès, the brand turned to leather goods to meet the new needs of society. In 1925, the company also created its first men's garment, followed by jewellery in 1927 and finally watches and sandals in 1928.

In 1937, the first silk square was created, which would become an iconic accessory for the Maison. It was during the 1930s that the future Kelly bag was designed by Émile Hermès' son-in-law, Robert Dumas, who took over the Maison in 1951. Five years later, in 1956, the success story of the mythical Kelly bag began. It was named after the Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, when she was photographed wearing it.

In the 1960s, the brand also launched its first women's ready-to-wear collection. From 1978 onwards, Jean-Louis Dumas, the son of Robert Dumas, revolutionised Hermès. In particular, he entered the watch industry and the shoe industry. In 1984, the iconic Birkin bag was created when Jean-Louis Dumas met the artist Jane Birkin, who was looking for her ideal bag.

Since 1984, the company has continued to develop and has entered into different businesses. In 2020, the brand introduced its sixteenth business line with its first collection dedicated to beauty. In 2021, the Maison also created its own school: the École Hermès des Savoir-Faire to ensure the transmission of know-how and craftsmanship.

With almost 190 years of existence of the Maison, many bags have been sold for our pleasure. It's impossible not to notice all the celebrities and influencers who share pictures of their Hermès bags. Discover our selection of the brand's second hand bags that combine the incredible savoir-faire and unique timelessness of Hermès.


The emblematic Kelly bag created in 1935

In 1932, Thierry Hermès created the "Haut à Courroies" bag. Initially intended for riders, the bag was designed to carry equestrian equipment. The bag's design was revisited in 1935 by Robert Dumas-Hermès, its size was reduced and its cut became more feminine. With its elegant cut, rigid leather and clasp, the Kelly bag has become a timeless classic. 

This green version of the Hermès Kelly bag in ostrich with gold jewellery available at Closet is a piece that will accompany you throughout the seasons.


The iconic Birkin bag created in 1984

It was during a flight from Paris to London in 1981 that Robert Dumas-Hermès met the artist Jane Birkin. The artist confided to him that she could not find a bag that was both elegant and practical, allowing her to store all her belongings as well as those of her daughter. Robert Dumas-Hermès began to imagine this new bag. The Birkin bag was born in 1984 following several exchanges between the company's president and the artist. With its flared shape, its flap and its two rigid handles, the Birkin bag became a true legend.

We hope you enjoyed this new article. We invite you to check out all of our Hermès pieces

We look forward to seeing your looks. Feel free to tag us on Instagram @closet.geneve with our luxury second hand items. 

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