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Image showing Birkin vs Kelly

Birkin vs Kelly: Deciphering the Iconic Hermès Rivalry

Written by Georgia Swain



Time to read 4 min

Imagine luxury handbags like constellations in the fashion sky, each star shining brilliantly. But amongst them, two Hermès icons command attention: the Birkin and the Kelly. Both capture hearts globally, but which speaks to your unique style story?

The Birkin, a poem in supple leather, holds tales of practicality and power. Each stitch whispers generations of craft, its form echoing Jackie Kennedy's confidence. Or maybe the Kelly beckons, its structured shape a whisper of Grace Kelly's elegance. Its handle promises vintage charm, history woven into its curves.

Forget trends. These bags are about you. The Birkin's confident stride? The Kelly's timeless charm? Join us to unlock their secrets, find your style odyssey. Which legend writes your next chapter? Dive in!

The Birkin: A Timeless Favorite

Forget mere flights – imagine a plane ride sparking a timeless icon. The Birkin, born from Jane Birkin's quest for the perfect bag, took off not just in the sky, but in the hearts of style icons and everyday women alike. Now, let's unlock its secrets and yours.

The Hermès Birkin handbag was first designed in 1984, through an unexpected counter between British Actress Jane Birkin and Jean Louis Dumas, on an engaging flight from Paris to London. During this flight, Birkin ended up talking down the fact that she was unable to find a stylish and special handbag that could not only compliment her style but sustain extensive usability. 

Through this intriguing encounter, Dumas created with the support of his skilled artisans the Birkin handbag with the key aim to meet hers and other women alike concerns. It wasn't long before this handbag took the light as one of the most coveted piece, as it started to gain its popularity rapidly amongst celebrities and icons.

Image showing a Hermès Birkin

The Kelly: A Symbol of Grace and Elegance

While the Birkin soared on a chance encounter, the Kelly, born in 1935, found fame draped across the arm of Grace Kelly, transforming from a chic accessory to a timeless icon. Now, let's compare their stories and find your perfect match.

The Hermès Kelly Handbag, that was introduced much earlier in 1935, and from the outside offers a unique and glamorous appeal, that offers any look a sophisticated finish. Similar to the Birkin, this particular creation too has its own story, tracing back to the Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly.

This bag gained its attention when it was first photographed, when Grace was using this handbag to shield her pregnant belly from the chaotic paparazzi. Seen in the hands of a celebrity, this propelled the Bag into its spotlight, giving it its iconic status for the times to come.

Image showing Hermès Kelly

Comparing the Birkin vs Kelly: A Tale of Two Iconic Bags

Both of these handbags are iconic and pieces that are a result of impeccable craftsmanship that scream luxury, however let's delve further into understanding what features and characteristics make these bags different from one another, and which one is best fit for your style:

Shape and Size

Let's first take a look at size comparisons between the two collections. The Hermès Birkin handbag, is a much wider, rectangular shaped handbag, which offers a large capacity to store items whereas in comparison, the Kelly has a trapezoidal silhouette, which offers a slightly smaller holding capacity. Additionally, the Hermès Birkin comes in a wider and more diverse range of sizes and colors, reaching out to a much larger clientele.

Carrying Options

In comparison to the Hermès Birkin, the Hermès Kelly is complimented with a removable shoulder strap, that makes it a versatile option to carry as it can be taken around cross body or even over the shoulder if you're trying to go for a more casual look, however the Hermès Birkin on the other end offers two sturdy handles that make it more of a handle bag.

Personal Style

When it comes to picking a handbag, that compliments your iconic style, it is important to take into consideration that the Birkin is more for those aiming to achieve a more relaxed and casual look whereas the Hermès Kelly, is more for those individuals that are looking towards something that screams timeless sophistication.

Elevate your personal preference and style.

As we navigate this journey, it is important to remember that picking the right bag for you, ultimately depends upon your individual style preferences, if you're someone who prefers a more hands-free option with a relaxed elegant finish, then the Hermès Birkin is the perfect choice for you. On the other hand, if you seek a more timeless and sophisticated look for that upcoming red carpet event, then the Kelly is your go to! With its cross body appeal, this timeless classic could be that one accessory that could significantly elevate your style.

A Legacy of Excellence

Both the Birkin and Kelly bags represent the pinnacle of luxury handbag design, each embodying the essence of impeccable craftsmanship, timeless elegance, and enduring appeal. They have transcended the realm of mere accessories, becoming cultural symbols and status symbols coveted by discerning individuals worldwide.


As we reach the end of this, informative journey it is understood that the Hermès Birkin handbag, and the Hermès Kelly handbag, are by far one of the most iconic testaments to the brands' commitment towards craftsmanship and excellence. Having successfully been able to capture the attention of fashion enthusiasts for the decades to come so remember, whether you're more inclined towards the Birkins casual vibe or the Kelly's sophisticated grace, pick the bag that represents your appreciation towards this alluring luxury craftsmanship.


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