Hermès Kelly Retourne

About Hermès

Since 1837, Hermès has remained faithful to its artisanal model and its humanist values. The freedom to create, the constant quest for beautiful materials, and the transmission of exceptional know-how – which enable the creation of useful, and elegant objects which stand the test of time – forge the uniqueness of Hermès. Family-run, independent and socially responsible, the company is committed to maintaining the majority of its production in France, through its 43 production sites, while developing its international distribution network of 311 stores in 45 countries.

Leather, Skins, & Material

Offered in a wide range of different leathers and skins, the most popular types of leather used to craft the Hermès Kelly Retourne include Clemence, Epsom and Togo. Other leathers include Barenia Natural, Box Calf, Fjord, Swift, Buffalo Skipper, Chamonix, Chevre de Coromandel, Doblis Suede and Chevre Mysore. Exotic skins include Varanus Niloticus (Lizard), Ostrich, Alligator, Crocodile Niloticus (matte and shiny), Crocodile Porosus and Natural Lizard.

History of the Kelly Retourne

Established in 1837, Hermès International S.A. (“Hermès”) is a French luxury goods manufacturer of leather products, lifestyle goods, and accessories. The Hermès Kelly bag was created in the 1930s by Robert Dumas, who designed the bold bag with two triangular gussets and a short handle. Famously, the bag was renamed the “Kelly” after 1950’s Hollywood star Grace Kelly was seen holding it to conceal the early stages of her pregnancy. A smiling anthropomorphic bag, doodled by Jean-Louis Dumas, Executive Chairman of Hermès, later became a kawaii culture mascot in Japan. The term retourne signifies that the bag was reversed, hence why the edges of the Kelly retourne are softer as compared to the Sellier.

How to Buy

You would think that the answer would be the Hermès boutique around the world. Yes and no. Hermès Kelly Retourne bags are definitely sold through the Hermès boutiques, however, due to its limited availability, Hermès has created a lottery system in their flagship Faubourg Saint Honore store in Paris, where you must register yourself a day in advance to see if you can get a “Leather Goods” appointment the very next day. If you are one of the lucky few that got yourself an appointment, you can ask for the Hermès Kelly Retourne and, based on availability, you may be offered one. However, color combinations or leather styles are still extremely limited. You often have to buy what is offered without many choices to pick through.