Let’s be honest: we love them both. But as much as we’d like to say we have equal love for Hermès’ best known pair, we have to be honest with ourselves and admit that we play favorites. Whether it’s Hermès’ first “It Bag” (the Kelly) or the Holy Grail Bag of the modern era (the Birkin), there’s only place for one favorite—even when it all comes from the orange box.
So, even though true love is often instinctual, we thought we’d revisit some of the reasons to love Bs and Ks. While we’ll never be able to perfectly articulate our feelings about them, we figured it’s worth a try (and we love being reminded of our affections). Join us on a trip down B- and K-lane!
The Birkin has one of the best origin stories we’ve ever heard. Style icon Jane Birkin, Jean-Louis Dumas and a toppling straw bag? It doesn’t get better. (Read: Birkin: A True Legend)
The Birkin is, to put it simply, iconic. Even among non-fashionistas, the Birkin as a cultural force is undeniable. It’s found its way into art, television and the news. To the world, the Birkin is the symbol of luxury fashion.
Let’s talk about design. It fits perfectly in the crook of your arm, as if it were always made to rest there.
The Birkin looks stunning open or buckled shut—its versatility is endless, whether you’re bringing a mini to a cocktail event or a B35 to tote around your everyday needs. In this respect, it’s less fussy than the Kelly, which is generally worn closed.
The Kelly evokes the grace and elegance of the one and only Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco. Designed in the 1930s, the bag was known as the Sac à Dépêches until Grace was spotted with the bag in 1956, using it to shield the earliest signs of a baby bump from the paparazzi. Now, the bag is inseparable from its most famous carrier. (Read: 8 Things You Didn’t Know About the Kelly)
Its design is timeless. While its sleek design and clean lines (whether retourné or sellier) lend it a modern air, its mid-twentieth-century history is undeniable.
The strap makes the Kelly the perfect, on-the-go shoulder bag. It’s easy to carry around and wonderfully versatile. This is, naturally, the Kelly’s main structural advantage over the Birkin.
The mini Kelly 15 is, without a doubt, the cutest mini handbag in existence today. Whether you’re a fan of the unstoppable mini trend or not, this bag is precious—just look at it:
Side by Side: A Glance
Does the B or K ultimately reign supreme in your heart? Tell us which one’s your favorite, and make sure to mention any lovable traits we inevitably missed here! We can’t wait to spread the H love, regardless of whether it’s B or K.
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