Handbags and Accessories

Hermès Kelly Cut and Other Below the Radar Hermès Bags to Collect Now

By Max Brownawell
Hermès Kelly Cut
Hermès Kelly Cut

Under the Radar Hermès Bags

While the Birkin 25, Mini Kelly and Birkin Faubourg might be breaking price records at auction, there are a number of Hermès bags that are worth a second look given recent prices. These under the radar bags are selling at prices below their peaks and are worth a closer look for the Hermès collector. While everyone is still carrying a mini Hermès bag, fashion trends are likely to swing back to larger bags. Additionally, the nature of the tiny mini bags almost requires the need for two bags. The popularity of the new Chanel 22 shoulder bag could also be an early sign that Hermès fans will also want a larger more practical bag.

Hermès Kelly 32 Retourne Matte White Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Palladium Hardware, 2014

Hermès Kelly 32 Retourne

While Hermès Mini Kellys have been all the rage for a number of years now, trends are showing signs of shifting back to bigger bags, and though we don’t expect the popularity of 20, 25 or 28cm Kelly bags to decrease any time soon, it’s likely the 32cm Kelly will soon become equally as sought-after. Particularly the Retourne Kelly 32, whose soft body lends itself perfectly to over-the-shoulder carrying. Comfortable against the body and big enough for anything you might need (without being ‘big’) the Hermès Kelly 32 Retourne is poised to become far more valuable in the near future. Now is a great time to buy these pieces, since this size generally sells at a discount compared to the smaller Kelly bags. A leather Kelly 32 often sells for under $15,000 depending on the age, material and color, while a Kelly 25 generally sells for around $25,000.

Hermès Kelly Cut Orange Poppy Shiny Porosus Crocodile Gold Hardware, 2016

Hermès Kelly Cut

The recent increase in popularity and value of the Hermès Kelly Pochette comes as no surprise to those who always understood the value in any ‘mini Kelly,’ but the Hermès Kelly Cut has yet to return to the popularity it had closer to its release. First seen in 2008, the Kelly Cut hasn’t been around as long as the Kelly Pochette, which debuted in 2004. Its iconic closure and dramatic styling (The Kelly Cut is 31cm long, compared to the pochette at 22cm) are sure enough to bring it lasting popularity with Hermes collectors. The longer size makes it easier to carry as a clutch and makes a more dramatic statement, especially in shiny crocodile. In Sotheby's most recent Paris auction, an Hermès Kelly Cut in Crocodile Niloticus Bleu Roi Garniture with Palladium hardware from 2011 sold for $17,291 while an Hermès Kelly Pochette in Crocodile Niloticus Bleu Abysse Garniture with Palladium Hardware from 2011 sold for $27,171. The Kelly Cut sold for $10,000 less than the Kelly Pochette.

Hermès Constance 25 Elan Vert Emeraude Shiny Crocodile Gold Hardware, 2013

Hermès Constance Elan

The Hermès Constance bag has been around since 1959, when its designer named the bag after her newly born daughter. Most commonly found in 24cm and mini 18cm sizes, Constances have also been made in 14, 23, 25, 29 and 35cm, though it’s the Constance Elan (which measures 25cm across but is distinct from the rare vintage 25cm Constance) that we believe is most undervalued today. Constance Elans not only have the slender double-gusseted sides of a mini Constance, but a much longer strap that is ideal for crossbody use, and the added width which gives much appreciated extra space. Currently Constance Elans sell for less than any other size, but we believe in the years to come their practicality and rarity (Constance Elans were only produced from 2010-2015) will be enough to turn collectors in their favor.

Hermès JPG Shoulder Birkin 42 Rouge H Shiny Crocodile Porosus Palladium Hardware, 2007

Hermès JPG Shoulder Birkin

Lets face it, the Hermès JPG Birkin is controversial. The big handles, the big hardware and giant flap are very distinct. It is the only Birkin with straps large enough to wear over the shoulder. The shape really sets it apart with a big horizontal body distinct from all other Birkins. These bags retailed for close to $11,000 when they were discontinued in 2013, more than any other leather Birkin at the time. Today the JPG Birkin sells for less than all other Birkins. As trends change, collectors and fans are likely to come back around to these bags. Given current prices, the value of the JPG Birkin is like to grow in line with other collectible vintage Birkin bags.

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