In the ever-evolving world of luxury fashion, where styles ebb and flow, few handbags have the ability to transcend time and trends. Among these icons, the Hermès Constance stands as a true enduring masterpiece. Now as we stand on the cusp of the re-launch of the Hermès Constance Elan, it’s an opportune moment to delve into the evolution of this iconic bag.
Luxury aficionados are well aware that there’s a whole world of Hermès beyond the legendary Birkin and Kelly. For decades, the Constance has been a symbol of understated luxury and a cherished accessory by luxury connoisseurs.
Moreover, recently, we cast our spotlight on the Hermès handbags we wished to see grace boutiques once again. Thankfully, our collective wishes have been answered, as some of these bags make a triumphant return. Welcome back the Hermès Constance Elan.
Read also: 5 Hermès Bags We Wish They Would Bring Back
Exploring the history of the Hermès Constance and its multiple variations, discover how the coveted bag evolved into today’s much admired Constance Elan.
A Glimpse into the History of the Constance
The story of Hermès Constance begins in 1959. This iconic bag, designed by Catherine Chaillet, was fittingly named ‘Constance’ in honor of the designer’s own daughter.
At its core, the Hermès Constance is a picture of simplicity and elegance. This minimal shoulder bag strikes the perfect balance of functionality and style. Complete with a long leather shoulder strap, it can be worn doubled up on the shoulder or full-length as a crossbody.
The elegant design of the Constance is most recognized for its ‘H’ emblem fastening that takes center stage. This distinctive ‘H’ comes in various hardware options, including gold, palladium, rose gold, enamel, and even exotics such as ombré lizard.
Read also: Hermès 101: The Hermès Constance Bag
Early versions of the Constance from the 1980s and 90s included a slip pocket on the back – a feature eliminated in later models. These vintage bags also featured one main compartment, offering a streamlined style that sits perfectly against the body when worn as a crossbody. This design later was remodeled to include two gussets (pockets) that expand to house your belongings. The result is a slightly chunkier shape.
Hermès offers the Constance in a range of sizes – micro, 18 (known as the mini), and the roomier 24. Previously the bag was available in additional sizes, including the 23, 25, and 29, however, these have been discontinued by Hermès.
Beyond its various sizes and design features, the Hermès Constance is offered in a vast array of leathers, colors, and even exotics. You’ll most commonly find vintage Constance bags in heritage box calfskin leather on the secondary market. Today, however, the most popular leathers are Epsom and Evercolor. Of course, Hermès still offers a variety of leather options, including Tadelakt, Swift, and Chevre Mysore.
The Modern Twist: Hermès Constance 1-24
Despite (or perhaps due to) the ongoing legacy of the Constance, Hermès also introduced a fresh take on this beloved icon. It’s labelled the Constance 1-24.
Read also: Introducing the New Hermès Constance 1-24
Unlike the original design with two gussets, this new rendition boasts a single gusset. Even more appealing is the return of the original single flap pocket on the back. It’s the perfect safe space for tickets and receipts. Both of these design changes harken back to the earlier Constance models.
However, what truly sets this variation apart is the inclusion of a compact mirror, complete with a matching leather tab. It’s a little secret as it is discreetly tucked into its own pocket inside the front of the bag.
The 1-24 isn’t intended to replace the original Constance 24, but rather is being produced alongside the classic. However, the release of this additional design may have been a hint to the resurgence of the beloved Constance style.
The Original Constance Elan
In 2010, Hermès again reimagined the classic Constance design, this time elongating its silhouette into a much more narrow and sleek, east-west configuration. This subtle yet impactful update introduced a contemporary twist to the Constance Elan, while retaining its elegance and timeless appeal.
The reimagined bag maintained the majority of the design elements that defined the classic Constance. This includes the signature ‘H” closure and the convertible and versatile shoulder strap.
Despite its popularity, Hermès stopped producing the original Constance Elan. However, it continued to reimagine other classic styles with the ‘Elan’ twist. The introduction of the re-released Kelly Elan in boutiques instantly sparkled hope among Hermès enthusiasts that the beloved Constance Elan might soon return to the spotlight…
The Revival of the Coveted Constance Elan
The Constance Elan was not center stage on the Hermès Spring-Summer 2024 runway show, nor did we anticipate its re-release. Nevertheless, its presence at the Objects presentation was warmly embraced by handbag enthusiasts and Hermès aficionados alike. As the Spring-Summer 2024 Hermès presentations unfolded, we couldn’t help but fall head over heels for the Constance Elan.
This new version on display was fabricated in luxurious black box calfskin leather and adorned with palladium hardware. It seamlessly blended contemporary flair with timeless elegance.
This “new” Constance Elan, much like its classic predecessor, is characterized by its clean lines, minimal design, and the iconic ‘H’ clasp. The craftsmanship of the brand is certainly in the spotlight when it comes to Constance Elan.
One of the noteworthy features of the Constance Elan is its versatility – this timeless classic is not a trend-led bag and can easily transition from day to night. Additionally, the strap of the latest Constance Elan feels slightly longer than that of the C18, ensuring comfortable crossbody wear, suitable for the majority of body types.
It’s worth noting that while admiring the Constance Elan in black box leather, there is more to anticipate. Hermès reports that this bag will be produced and offered in a variety of different leathers.
As the Hermès community eagerly awaits the re-release of the coveted Constance Elan, it’s safe to assume that substantial waitlists will form.
The long-awaited revival of the Constance Elan marks an exciting addition to Hermès’ already covetable offerings. Are you planning to get in touch with your SA regarding the Constance Elan?
Updated: November 4th, 2023