Purchase guide: Hermès Birkin vs. Kelly

23 May 2016

Crazy about the Hermès Kelly bag
The Kelly bag was the first of the two to be introduced by the house of Hermès and was named after none other than Grace Kelly. The former Hollywood star was a huge fan of the bag, back when it was still named the Sac à Dépêche. After her marriage to the crown prince of Monaco, Grace Kelly used the bag to hide her growing baby-belly. Ofcourse the paparazzi never left her side and as a result the Sac à Dépêche was seen in every major magazine. This led to Hermes renaming the bag after the Princess and it still retains the name today.

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Birkin does it better?
The Birkin on the other hand, came later and was designed specifically for actress Jane Birkin. In the 80’s Jane was seated next to Jean-Louis Dumas, the CEO of Hermès, on her flight from Paris to London. Jane was complaining that she never found the perfect weekend bag, and was describing to Dumas what her dream bag would look like. Shortly after their meet-up, Jane Birkin received her personalized bag with a note. The Birkin bag was born. 

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History made the difference
The history of the two bags gives a hint into the main differences between the Birkin and Kelly. As the Birkin was designed as an everyday bag that could store all your essentials. The Kelly however was named after a princress and designed as the embodiment of luxury. The Kelly has one handle on the top plus a shoulder strap, this gives the bag a more elegant look and provides the option to carry it either in your hand or cross body. The Birkin is has a more casual and contemporary design and is meant to be carried on your arm. Another big difference between the two bags is the closure system, the Birkin bag is often worn as a tote with the closure undone to make easy to grab somemthing out of your bag. The Kelly bag, however, requires the flap to be closed when wearing it. Finally the Birkin is wider than the Kelly as it was intented to hold more contents.

The Kelly or the Birkin, which is best for you?
Based on the history and the difference of the two bags we could say that if you are a lover of classic and sleek accessoiries you should definitely go for a Kelly. The bag is slightly more formal and works for for an evening out, a business appointment and gives its wearer refined look. Is your style more casual or eclectic? Choose the Birkin. The Birkin has a more modern feel and will combine nicely with a wide range of outfits. 

Size differences between the Hermès Birkin and Kelly
BIRKIN
Hermès 25 Birkin: 25 x 20 x 13 in cm (W x H x D)
Hermès 30 Birkin: 30 x 22 x 16 in cm (W x H x D)
Hermès 35 Birkin: 35 x 25 x 18 in cm (W x H x D)
Hermès 40 Birkin: 40 x 30 x 21 in cm (W x H x D)

KELLY 
28 Kelly: 22 x 28 x 10 in cm (H x W x D)
32 Kelly: 23 x 32 x 10.5 in cm (H x W x D)
35 Kelly: 24 x 35 x 12 in cm (H x W x D)
40 Kelly: 28 x 40 x 16 in cm (H x W x D)
50 Kelly: 34 x 50 x 25 in cm (H x W x D)

Prize differences between the Hermès Birkin and Kelly
BIRKIN
Hermes 25 Birkin: Togo: €5900 euro
Hermes 30 Birkin: Togo: €6750 euro
Hermes 35 Birkin: Togo: €7400 euro
Hermes 40 Birkin: Togo: price unknown

KELLY 
28 Kelly: Togo: €6450 euro
32 Kelly: Togo: €6800 euro
35 Kelly: Togo: €7000 euro
40 Kelly: Togo: €8200 euro

Prices depend on size, material and hardware.