Designer bags

Here we give a short list of designer bags named after famous people. Celebrities are usually known for their looks or talent. This becomes an inspiration for brands to design fashion after them. Here are some designer handbags named after celebrities.

Photo: Wikipedia/Jane Birkin
Photo: Wikipedia/Hermes Birkin

Hermes Birkin

Arguably one of the most coveted handbags in the history of fashion, how the handbag came about was during a flight from Paris to London in 1981. Jean-Louis Dumas, the then CEO of Hermes was seated next to Jane Birkin on the plane.

Birkin is a popular British singer and actress. She was putting her wicker basket in the overhead compartment when everything fell down as well as her Hermes diary. The CEO of Hermes then joked that Birkin needed a handbag with pockets, not a basket.

The star then complained that there were no beautiful, practical weekend handbags which had enough space for her needs.

Dumas then sketched a design inspired by Birkin. The design was based on an earlier Hermes handbag from the 1900s. Birkin added the large interior pockets and detachable shoulder strap.

Photo:Wikipedia/Grace Kelly
Photo: Wikipedia/Hermes Kelly

Hermes Kelly

Hot on the heels of the Birkin is the Hermes Kelly. The story about this classic beauty is of equestrian heritage, Hollywood glamour and accidental reinvention. Back in 1892, Hermes created “Haut à courroies” bag. It was designed for horse riders, has a trapezoid shape, a single rolled handle, leather sangles, a metal plaque, and a touret closure.

This was the prototype for both Kelly and Birkin handbags. Named Sac à dépêches, in 1950s the handbag found its way to the hands of Hollywood actress Grace Kelly. The bag was selected for Kelly’s role in Hitchcock’s film To Catch A Thief by costume designer Edith Head.

The actress loved the handbag and continued to use it after filming. She had it to cover her early pregnancy from paparazzi. Over time, photos of the actress and the handbag became viral and in 1977 it was officially named as the Kelly bag.

Photo: Wikipedia/Princess Diana
Photo: Instagram/Albert Dior

Lady Dior

The tale of the Lady Dior is about royal encounters, cultural exchange as well as the iconic influence of Princess Diana. During a visit to Paris, French First Lady Bernadette Chirac fave the then-unnamed Dior handbag to Princess Diana in 1995. Gianfranco Ferré designed the bag and it was nicknamed Chouchou ‘favourite in French’ at that time.

Princess Diana loved the quilted pattern, rounded handles and D-I-O-R charms that signified good luck. Photographed carrying the bag frequently, the public became enraptured by the handbag. Dior then named the handbag “Princesse” and then later “Lady Dior” as a tribute to the princess.

Photo: Instagram/Jessica Stam
Photo: Instagram/sheisdede

Marc Jacobs Stam Bag

Debuting in the early 2000s fashion scene, the Stam bag by Marc Jacobs was a trend-setter when it was introduced. It appeared in Marc Jacobs’ Fall/Winter 2005 collection on the runway. The handbag was named after Canadian supermodel Jessica Stam who is known for her edgy, cool-girl vibes.

Featuring a vintage-inspired quilting, kiss-lock closure and chunky chain it was a glamorous item to have at the time. Celebrities like Rihanna, Beyonce and Lindsay Lohan were spotted carrying the Stam bag. In 2023, the Stam bag was reborn as part of Marc Jacobs’ re-edition project.

Photo: Instagram/Alexa Chung
Photo: Instagram/Mulberry England

Mulberry Alexa

The Mulberry Alexa is a timeless classic that boasts British fashion heritage and celebrity influence. Emma Hill, the brand’s creative designer saw Alexa Chung carrying a vintage Mulberry briefcase in 2009. Chung is a fashionista and British TV presenter.

The handbag had a casual slouch and practical functionality which led Hill to design a modern adaptation for the contemporary woman. In 2010 the Alexa handbag was introduced and it was inspired by Chung. It features vintage briefcase elements like the postman lock and satchel silhouette. It also had softer leathers, wider straps and playful detailing.

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