The Top 10 Iconic Hermès Handbags You Should Know

The Birkin needs no introduction – not even to future generations. But do you know that Hermès has other iconic, and equally beautiful, durable bags? And no, we do not mean the Kelly, even though this Birkin cousin is all of these things.

If you’ve been trying to get your hands on a Hermès Birkin with no success, you should absolutely check out these other bag models from the French luxury goods brand. According to Sotheby’s, these are the ten most iconic Hermès handbags that should be on your radar – or your wrists.

The Hermès Birkin: Timeless and most coveted
The Hermes Birkin in black
Image courtesy of Hermès

Of course, the Birkin tops the list any day, any time.

The story of its conception has been told so many times that it is not worth repeating. What you should know is that its most popular sizes are the Birkin 25, Birkin 30, Birkin 35, and Birkin 40 (the original size). You already know that getting your hands on a brand-new Birkin is as easy as the proverbial passage through the eye of the needle. So, if you do not have the time, patience (and you are going to need bucket loads of this) and connections for one, you may want to take the path less travelled of getting a pre-loved piece.

But don’t worry, there are so many good ones out there that no one would know the difference, you inclusive.

The Hermès Kelly: Sophisticated classic
The Hermes Kelly bags in two different sizes
Image courtesy of Xupes Journal

This cousin – or should we say elder sister – of the Birkin was the ‘it’ bag before it was usurped. Named for the actress-turned-princess, Grace Kelly, it was initially called the Sac-à-Dépêches in the 1930s following a redesign by Robert Dumas.

The Kelly bag comes in two styles – Kelly Sellier and Kelly Retourne. The differences are the stitching and the edges: a Kelly Sellier has visible stitching and a pointy edge, while the stitching on the Kelly Retourne is not visible and its edges are soft. A Sellier is a more structured, rigid bag thanks to the hard leathers artisans use to craft this Hermès purse. A Retourne is created using softer leathers, giving it a more casual look, and allowing it to fit slightly more than a Sellier.

This Hermès comes in different sizes as well, including the smaller Kelly 15 and the Kelly 20; the medium Kelly 35 and the larger Kelly 50.

The Hermès Constance: Simple and luxurious design
The Hermès bags: the Constance Tattersall edition
Image courtesy of Hermès via Rebag

If you’re not about trends or popularity, this is the bag for you.

The Constance – named after its designer’s daughter – is a versatile bag worn comfortably over the shoulder and secured with the simple and functional “H” clasp. In addition to the standard Constance 24, this bag comes in mini and micro models as well as a rectangular model called the “Elan.” The micro contains only one interior compartment, but buyers of other sizes have the option of a single or double interior compartment.

Like the Birkin and Kelly, the Constance comes in many material and hardware combinations.

The Hermès Picotin: Equestrian-inspired bucket bag
One of the Hermès bags, the Pictin in pink clemence leather
Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

Hermès references its origins with the Picotin, whose name is the French word for the measure of feed given to a horse. The wide, round shape of the bucket bag allows you to fit all your necessities with ease, and the lock closure provides a sophisticated accent.

This Hermès bag comes in soft, grained leather that gives the bag a timeless look or in canvas with leather accents, providing a sportier feel. The Picotin leather also features a variety of colours with either palladium or gold hardware. This bag is perfect for someone who needs a casual, simple bag for an on-the-go lifestyle.

The Hermès Evelyne: Equestrian Essential Turned Luxury Bag
The Hermès Evelyne bag in different colours
Image courtesy of MoneyInc

Another bag with strong equestrian roots, the Evelyne has perforations that form an “H” on one side, which hint at the bag’s original function: to transport horse grooming equipment. These perforations allow air to circulate the bag, drying wet combs, brushes, and picks.

The ventilated side was meant to be worn against the equestrian’s body; however, now that the bag is considered a luxury good, the perforations are worn facing outwards. The Hermès Evelyne bags come in four generations – Generation I, Generation II, Generation III, and the Evelyne Sellier. Generation I does not have an adjustable strap or an exterior pocket. Generation II also lacks the adjustable strap but has an exterior pocket. Generation III has both an adjustable strap and an exterior pocket, making it the most functional Evelyne. The Sellier is the Evelyne reimagined: the perforations have been removed and replaced with a diamond-shaped “H” printed on the front of the bag. Generation III and the Sellier are the only two models still being produced.

This very casual, yet utterly stylish bag comes in four sizes: Evelyne 16 (formerly TPM), Evelyne 29 (formerly PM), Evelyne 33 (GM) and Evelyne 40 (formerly TGM).

The Hermès Garden Party: Accessible yet versatile tote
The Hermès Garden Party tote
Image courtesy of Luxe Love

This Hermès purse can be made from leather or canvas with leather accents for a beachy, casual feel. The bag can be secured with a snap closure located at the top of the tote. Clou de Selle snap closures on either side of the bag can be used to change the shape of the tote and provide extra space.

The Garden Party comes in a variety of colours and four sizes: Garden Party 30, Garden Party 36, Garden Party 39, and Garden Party 49 Voyage. This is one of the most practical Hermès handbags, given how easy it is to use and the amount of interior room it provides. The Garden Party’s lower price point and durability make it one of the more accessible Hermès bags, ideal for those looking to make their first Hermès purchase.

The Hermès Lindy: relaxed and casual
The Hermès Lindy in different sizes
Image courtesy of Luxe Love

Named after the Lindy Hop, a famous American dance from the 1920s, this bag was designed for comfort and movement. The perpendicular handles allow it to sit naturally on the wearer while the optional shoulder strap makes it more versatile. The handle positioning causes the centre of the bag to droop. This purse has two exterior pockets positioned on either end and two zip closures sit on top. The Lindy is secured by a clou de selle touret lock closure and comes in a few sizes: Lindy Mini, Lindy 26, Lindy 30, Lindy 34, and Lindy 45.

The Hermès Bolide: Travel in style
The Hermès Bolide bag
Image courtesy of Philippe Lacombe via CNTraveler

The Bolide’s sleek design was intended for top drivers and world travellers, while its trapezoidal shape fits easily into sports cars or luggage. The zip closure was discovered by Hermès CEO, Emile-Maurice Hermès while touring Henry Ford’s factory in America. There, he was struck by the zipper device he saw on the cloth top of a car, and, upon his return to France, zipper patent in tow, he created two bag models: le sac pour l’auto, which is now the Bolide, and a more minimalistic version called the 1923.

The Bolide has two major styles – the Mou and the Rigide. The Mou is made using soft leather, allowing it to slouch with use while the Rigide is studier and maintains its form over time. In terms of style, you have  Bolide Mini, Bolide 27, Bolide 31, Bolide 35, and Bolide 45. The Bolide 45 is an ideal travel bag while the smaller Bolides are suitable for daily use.

The Hermès Jypsière: Crossroads of Sporty and Glamorous
The Hermès jypsiere
Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

Introduced in 2008 by Creative Director Jean Paul Gaultier, the Jypsiere is a small, highly functional bag that can be worn on your shoulder or as a crossbody. A mix of Hunting bag and Birkin, the Jypsiere is elegant and luxurious without feeling static. This messenger bag features a frontal flap closure secured with a lock and a thick, adjustable shoulder strap. The interior features several compartments, allowing the wearer to keep her necessities organized with ease. Sizes include Jypsiere 28, Jypsiere 31, Jypsiere 34, and Jypsiere 37.

The Hermès Herbag: Approachable bag for everyone
The Hermès herbag
Image courtesy of PurseBop

The Herbag is one of Hermès’ most accessible bags thanks to its largely canvas construction. The top flap is made from thick, durable leather and features the clou de selle closure while its body is made entirely of canvas or toile. The top can be detached from the body, allowing for the wearer to mix and match Herbags. This Hermès purse, which also came in a backpack version, has been compared to the Kelly because of its elegant, classic style.

The Herbag was discontinued in the mid-2000s and was reintroduced in 2009 as the Herbag Zip. This newer version features an external pocket, a zip pocket, and an interior removable pouch. Both versions have handles and a strap and come in a few sizes: Herbag TPM, Herbag Zip 31, Herbag 39, Herbag Cabine 50, and Herbag Zip 52.

Source: Sotheby’s

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