As I was indulging in a small spot of blog browsing the other day, I stumbled upon a post that, I’m not quite sure why, really got me thinking. May I present the see through Hermès Kelly bag – Plastic Edition 1996.
Obviously no way near as wonderfully manufactured and fetching as the real mccoy, I still thought that this was so funny!
But let me quickly introduce the ‘real’ Kelly bag.. Hermès launched it in 1935 as the Sac à dépêches, but it didn’t become famous until 1956, when Grace Kelly (then Princess of Monaco) used one to hide her pregnancy from the prying eyes of the paparazzi. It was promptly renamed ‘The Kelly’ in honour of Princess Grace. The bag comes in a variety of sizes, with prices starting at $7,000 and easily trumping $50,000! It takes a single craftsman about 18 hours to make a Kelly bag, which can be customized to the buyer’s specifications.
Now a Hermès Kelly (or a Birkin for that matter – one much closer to my heart) is one of those über fashion classics that I’ve always dreamt of having. You invest a sum of money in an amazing bag ONCE, that will accompany you for the rest of your life and will never date. (Any Hermès bag in any condition can be brought into their ateliers, where it will be restored to pristine condition free of charge!) Bliss. It’s one of those pieces where I’m a firm believer that either you invest the money in the real deal, or you buy a completely different bag.
Nevertheless this plastic number really tickled my fancy. I must admit I don’t know the actual price that it was sold for, but I definitely would consider a purchase! I simply think it’s super fun!
But... Let’s think about this more seriously. Who’s more stupid – the consumer (Me!) or the producer (Mr Hermès)? The consumer is 99.9% certainly paying a LOT of money for, yarrr, some plastic in an iconic shape. Namely, the producer is a genius. They’ve managed to convince us that this shape is SO iconic and SO desirable that we’re quite willing to ignore the fact that we’re not really getting the quality, but paying the quantity.
Or is the producer stupid? Surely they’re ripping themselves off? They’re downgrading from the finest quality leather (if the cow has so much as a bee sting, the leather isn’t used) to, yarrr,, some plastic. It’s allowing the likes of Emma from next door to own a Kelly. Then again this is probably amazing publicity for a bag? Emma owning the budget bag, an ideal indication that the bona fide bag is for the beguiling and beautiful bag lady. I’ve lost the plot.
However the bottom line remains - I’d love this bag and I think it’s great!