Hermès originally started with producing equestrian equipment for the elite of Paris, but ofcourse, the horse and carriage weren't meant to stay forever. During the time that Hermès was the go-to fashion house for all things equastrian, Émile-Maurice Hermès was already focussing on a new industry: the automobiles. We're all very lucky that Émile was such a great entrepreneur, as this resulted in another beautiful Hermès bag: Le Sac pour l'Auto. Or as we know it today: the Hermès Bolide. Let's take a trip down memory lane!
A trunk to fit your trunk
Émile-Maurice Hermès, son of founder Thierry Hermès, travelled across North-America in 1916. During one of his trips he met Henry Ford. Henry took Émile to about a dozen automobile car factories and showed him the future of cars. Émile returned with new ideas and with a 2-year patent on his own invention, the zipper. In 1923, the first zippered carryall ever, the 'Sac pour l'Auto' was introduced and could easily fit in the trunk of a sports car. It even had a special space to keep jewellery and other valuable items safe. This innovative design changed the course of Hermès completely.
More and more car engines were running in the 20th century and the demand for the portable Hermès' bags got bigger. The Sac pour L'auto got a name change, and was dubbed the Bolide. A fun fact: it was the term for a meteorite in the 16th century and later became a synonym for a car. Hermès even started to design especially for the car brand Bugatti, designing extra-luxurious accessories that accompanied the car, like leather wallets for travelmaps and driving gloves. Due to these events, everyone felt the need to travel and the elegant bag design was quickly adopted by many. The Bolide was used for travels by car, by train and even for trans-atlantic ocean liners. Hermès became the go-to brand for travelling.
Ofcourse this carryall wasn't a handbag yet. In 1982, the Bolide was introduced in handbag size, coming with a removable shoulder strap and a padlock. The dome-shaped beauty has a top handle and a zip-around closure. It comes in two different styles, Mou and Rigide. Mou is a soft leather, which gives the bag a more casual look. Rigide is hard and makes it a sturdy bag and a suitable candidate for work. It comes in different sizes: 27 cm, 31 cm, 35 cm and 45. The 31cm is the size that is great for everyday wear. The 45cm is suitable for travelling, hinting at its original purpose. As expected, this Hermès icon comes in various shades and some have the signature Hermès stitching. Palladium is the hardware that is used the most, but some can also be delivered with gold hardware. If your wondering what the oval leather part is for: it is especially made for your initials.