Hermès Kelly Giveaway: Celebrating Iconic Women, Iconic Bags

This Women’s History Month we celebrate the ladies behind our favorite handbags. Whether designer, wearer, or muse, these women play a role in elevating bags from the top luxury brands. Here, we focus on Dior, Chanel, Hermès, and Gucci. You likely won’t be surprised to learn that Princess Diana inspired quite a few. 

Perhaps most encouraging is that, at the moment, the lead designers for three of these women’s collections are, in fact, women. Women designing for women. Might we say, it’s about time to honor them.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the live shopping platform Whatnot will be giving away iconic bags named after iconic women, for free. Yes, you read that correctly – a Chanel Bag, Lady Dior and Hermès Kelly Pochette for $0. 


You can shop Whatnot’s Women’s History Month Handbags curation HERE on Thursday, March 7th starting at 1PM EST. 


To enter to win a Chanel, Dior, or Hermès bag for free, 

  • Download the Whatnot app + bookmark the WHM curation HERE
  • Use our referral code at checkout: PURSEBOP for up to $200 off your first purchase*
  • Tune in Thursday, March 7th to the below livestreams
  • 1PM ET with MyGemma – Chanel Caviar Belt Bag Giveaway 
  • 5PM ET with AnthologyofStyle – Lady Dior Giveaway 
  • 7PM ET with Fashionica – Kelly Pochette Giveaway 


Now, back to our favorite female luxury houses and their amazing female designers…


Let’s begin with Chanel, the one brand started by a woman, Coco Chanel. Currently, it is also helmed by a woman – Leena Nair became CEO of Chanel in 2022. 

Coco Chanel

Image courtesy: Wall Street Journel

However, many associate Chanel’s Classic Flap design with Karl Lagerfeld, who took the helm in the 1970s. He is credited with re-designing her original fabric flap bag with a turn lock (essentially the Reissue or 2.55 style) to include the now hallmark double CC logo. After all, nowadays what’s a Chanel item without that CC?

Virginie Viard took over the head designer spot from Lagerfeld around the time of his 2019 passing. Indeed, the now classic Chanel 19 flap bag was the last bag designed by him. Which means that the Chanel 22 is her baby, along with the myriad of alternative flaps, hobos, and vanity cases, as well as the reinvented Chanel Kelly, known as the Nano. 

Image courtesy: WWD

But long before Viard’s designs, Princess Diana was a fan of one particular bag style. This rectangular flap bag with the CC turn lock, though not what is now known as the Classic or Iconic, graced her shoulder many times and was ultimately renamed the Diana. It was a single flap style with a long leather enlaced chain strap long enough for cross-body wear, created in both small and medium sizes. This bag was discontinued around 1995, but remains highly sought after in the vintage market. 

Princess Diana with her Chanel bag

Of note is the fact that Diana carried this bag at all, given its CC logo. As reported, Diana associated these initials with Charles and Camilla and their (to her) devastating affair and refused to wear many items with the Chanel logo. Which segues to our discussion about Christian Dior bags  . . . with a CD logo, perhaps indicative of Charles and Diana.

Pop in MyGemma’s livestream on Whatnot on Thursday, March 7th at 1PM ET to WIN a Chanel belt bag for $0 HERE! Remember to use code PURSEBOP for up to $200 off your first purchase!

Image courtesy: MyGemma


Like Chanel, Dior has a bag named for Princess Diana – the Lady Dior. Unlike Chanel’s, this bag remains in the current handbag lineup along with derivative styles such as the Lady D-Lite and the Lady D-Joy.

Image courtesy: @deimantekazenaite

The Lady Dior was released in 1995 with no official name, only the nickname Chouchou (which is French for “favorite”). Princess Diana received the bag as a gift from the then first lady of France and it quickly became one of her favorites. And it rose to “It” bag status as it frequently accompanied Lady Di. In 1996 the style was renamed in her honor. 

Princess Diana with a Lady Dior

Princess Diana with a Lady Dior

In 2021, Dior celebrated 25 years of the Lady Dior bag, which also coincided with what would have been the Princess’s 60th birthday. Honoring the occasion, Dior reissued a blue satin mini version, akin to the one Diana famously brought to the Met Gala ball in 1996.

Princess Diana at the Met Gala

Image courtesy: DSCENE Magazine

Diana is not the only woman to inspire Dior fashion creations and handbags. Also important is Christian Dior’s sister Catherine, a force in her own right. Indeed, she was a French resistance fighter in WWII, working with Franco-Polish intelligence. She was arrested by the Gestapo, tortured, and sent to a concentration camp, before being forced to work in a military prison and factory. She was released in 1945 and awarded several medals for her bravery and acts. The rest of her life was spent among flowers – first as a trader and then as a farmer.

Dior was close to his sister and is rumored to have named his Lady Dior fragrance for her. She also kept his brand and legacy alive following his death in 1957. 

Dior’s Caro bag – released in 2021 – was named after Catherine, using the nickname by which she was known. The original Caro is a rectangular flap bag with leather Cannage print design, including a chain strap with leather detailing. Dior continues to issue versions of this handbag.

Image courtesy: Vogue Singapore

There’s another woman currently in Dior’s realm. Maria Grazia Chiuri serves as women’s creative director and fashion designer. Since taking the top spot in 2016, Chiuri has brought recurring themes of feminism and female power to her collections.

Image courtesy: Financial Times

Don’t miss Anthology of Style’s livestream on Whatnot on Thursday, March 7th at 5PM ET to WIN a Lady Dior for $0 HERE! Remember to use code PURSEBOP for up to $200 off your first purchase!


Hermès may be known for its equestrian roots, but fashionistas primarily think of its coveted and impossible to get bags – the Birkin and the Kelly. Both are named after famous women.

Jane Birkin

But first, let’s acknowledge that Hermès’ women’s line is also helmed by a woman. Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski became artistic director about a decade ago, during which time the chic factor of Hermès women’s RTW has risen to new heights. She is oft-quoted as referring to the Birkin as “democratic” despite its five-figure price tag because “Good taste is for everybody. You can say, ‘Okay, I’m buying this piece, and it’s a piece that is going to last.’ If you divide it by the years that it lasts, it’s actually a very good rate.”

Put another way,  the price per wear over decades is cost-effective. 

Image courtesy: Vanity Fair

Hermès owes the “It” bag status of the Birkin and Kelly, at least in part to two girls, women really, who themselves were icons of fashion. The elder of the two bags is the Kelly, first designed in the 1930s and sold under the name Sac à Dépêches. It might have remained a quiet little model had actress and real-life princess Grace Kelly not used the bag to conceal a pregnancy in 1956. Kelly apparently learned of the bag on the 1955 set of the movie To Catch a Thief. The fashion designer had bought several Hermès pieces as possibilities for wardrobe. Once Princess Grace was seen with the bag, demand surged, although it was not renamed the Kelly until 1977. 

Grace Kelly

This trapezoidal top-handle bag has a ladylike (or princess-like) vibe. Princess Grace’s bag was made in box leather, a 28cm size, in the retourne (or less structured) style. The original rests in the Monaco palace archives, although it occasionally comes out of hiding for museum exhibits. Now made in multiple sizes from tiny (mini Kelly) to large (35cm), leather choices are plentiful. The bag now comes with a detachable strap to allow shoulder wear.

Image courtesy: Vogue France

It is also the model that has spawned a series of Kelly-adjacent styles. There’s the Kelly Pochette, the Kelly Lakis (a Kelly with zippers), the Kelly Cut (a rectangular clutch), the Kelly Danse (a shoulder or crossbody bag), the Kelly Longue (a trapezoidal clutch), and many more. 

Image courtesy: @clairechanelle

Score the ultimate deal in Fashionica’s livestream on Whatnot on Thursday, March 7th at 7PM ET to win a Hermès Kelly Pochette for $0 HERE. Remember to use code PURSEBOP for up to $200 off your first purchase!

Image courtesy: @xofashionica

Published: March 1st, 2024
Updated: March 6th, 2024

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