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Hermès Mini Kelly – The Luxury Trend

Author: 
Evi P.
20. December 2023

The world of fashion is constantly evolving, and sometimes, certain pieces and accessories experience a renaissance that surprises us all. Such is the case with the recent rise of Hermès Mini Kelly bags. These small luxury jewels have undergone an impressive transformation and have once again become a trend. This blog post extensively explores the phenomenon of Hermès Mini Kelly bags and examines what makes them so sought after.

The Origins of the Mini Kelly

The history of Mini Kelly bags dates back to 1957 when the first known Mini Hermès Kelly with a mid-length shoulder strap was produced. The iconic round top handle, which collectors have affectionately dubbed the “bracelet handle,” wasn’t introduced until 1980. It would be another ten years before Hermès introduced the Mini Kelly 20 model in Retourne construction, a model that is exceedingly rare today. These early Mini Kelly bags never came with locks, keys, or clochettes, although shoulder straps have been a feature since their inception.

The Revival of the Mini Kelly

In recent years, the fate of Mini Kelly bags has undergone a dramatic transformation. Since Hermès redesigned the Mini Hermès Kelly and reintroduced it as the Hermès Mini Kelly 20 II to the world, this bag has embarked on a short journey back to popularity—it’s back in fashion. In this new version, the top handle was reduced in size, and the bag’s depth was adjusted, making it a handy yet luxurious accessory. The option to carry it in hand, over the shoulder, or as a crossbody is appealing. Everyone (of course, we’re exaggerating a bit) seems to want one, and there are plenty to go around.

Vintage vs. New: Collector Preferences

For many collectors and fashion connoisseurs, the vintage version of the Mini Kelly remains their preferred choice. It’s slightly larger, features a larger handle, and comes with a longer strap. In other words, the new one may not be an improvement on the original. For those fortunate enough to own or find a vintage Mini Kelly, well, they are indeed very lucky.

The Price Evolution of the Mini Kelly

In the seven years since the introduction of the Hermès Mini Kelly II, prices in the auction and secondary markets have only risen. This exciting new rendition of a timeless bag has proven to be a runaway success with both experienced collectors and young enthusiasts. In fact, the Kelly 20 is now one of the most coveted Hermès bags on the secondary market, fetching prices that are five times the retail value.

Exotic Mini Kelly bags, such as those made from ostrich or lizard leather, have also commanded high prices in the auction market. These bags, however, are far rarer than their leather counterparts, which can result in record-breaking auction results. One particularly expensive example, a Gris Perle and Kraft Matte Alligator Mini Kelly, sold for just over $196,000 in 2022, making it the most expensive Mini Kelly ever sold by Sotheby’s Auction.

The Future of the Mini Kelly Trend

The question on many minds is how long the hype surrounding Mini Kelly bags will last. Speculation about the return of larger bags abounds, but there is little concrete evidence so far. Whether Mini Kelly bags will continue to be as sought after as they are today depends on how scarce they remain.

Nevertheless, recent developments indicate that these tiny bags have remarkable resilience. Fashion is cyclical, and what was once deemed impractical can quickly become a hot trend again. Hermès has even introduced new variations of the Mini Kelly, including the Tricolore Mini Kelly and the Mini Kelly Touch with an alligator handle and side straps. It’s expected that more limited edition models will come to the market in the coming years.

Conclusion

Hermès Mini Kelly bags have undergone an incredible journey, from their introduction to their current popularity. Whether you’re an experienced collector or an aspiring fashion enthusiast, these bags have undoubtedly found their place in the world of luxury fashion. Their charm and versatility make them timeless classics highly cherished by both the fashion world and collectors. Mini Kelly bags prove that sometimes, the impractical can be the most coveted, and fashion has a way of surprising us time and time again.

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