Meet the Kellys: The Ultimate Hermès Kelly Dictionary

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Unlock history and luxury with the Hermès Kelly family – an illustrious lineage of handcrafted masterpieces. Formerly known as the Sac à Dépêches, the Kelly bag made its grand debut in 1935. Its popularity soared in the 1950s, propelled by the association with Grace Kelly, leading to the official renaming of the bag to the ‘Kelly’ in 1977.

Today, Hermès continues to weave innovation into tradition, crafting an ever-evolving collection of Kelly styles. In our curated dictionary of the Kelly, we explore the rich history of this legendary handbag family. From the discontinued style icons to the fresh iterations, each bag offers its own statement, while encapsulating the essence of Hermès craftsmanship and style. 

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Kelly Ado

Meet the Kelly Ado, a chic backpack style that stands out within the Kelly family. Crafted by Rena Dumas, the Kelly Ado debuted in 1996, in two distinctive variations: a larger edition featuring a top handle (26cm) and a more compact version (22cm) without. Although initially discontinued, Hermès reintroduced this iconic style in 2018 as the Kelly Ado II, now available in a single size. Remaining true to the slouchy Retourné construction of its predecessor, this contemporary iteration incorporates a dedicated pocket for your smartphone.

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Kelly Cut

Introduced in 2008 after the discontinuation of the Kelly Longue (see later discussion), the Kelly Cut stands as a shrunken-down version of its predecessor. Recognized for its elongated silhouette of 31cm, the inclusion of a top handle offers an alternate carrying option, while its length and slim profile ensure comfortable underarm carry. The expandable sides create a surprisingly spacious interior, accentuating the Kelly Cut’s unique and functional design, making it suitable for both day and night. 

Read also: Official Battle of the Clutches: Kelly Cut vs. Kelly Pochette

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Kelly Danse

Designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier and initially launched in 2008, the Hermès Kelly Danse underwent a brief hiatus, being discontinued in 2013, only to resurface in the Fall of 2019 as the revamped Kelly Danse II. This casual iteration of the iconic Kelly bag stands out for its adaptability, offering six distinctive ways to wear it. The Kelly Danse effortlessly transforms into a clutch, crossbody, shoulder bag, wristlet, waist bag, or even a backpack, all thanks to its adjustable strap. Petite and sleek, the Danse just feels lightweight and carefree. It’s one of the most versatile members of the Kelly family.

Read also: 5 Ways to Wear the Hermès Kelly Danse

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Kelly Dépechês Pouch

Perhaps one of the more under-the-radar offerings within the Kelly lineup – the Kelly Dépêches Pouch. With its clean lines, this 25cm clutch seamlessly blends Kelly’s iconic clasp with beveled corners, drawing inspiration from the construction codes of Hermès menswear. This lightweight pouch with a removable wrist strap provides a more casual look, combining practicality with an ‘if you know, you know’ approach.

Kelly Doll

In 2000, the visionary Jean-Louis Dumas unveiled the original Hermès Kelly Doll, a vintage gem that radiated whimsical charm. This character design featured the iconic Hermès Touret closure serving as the nose and came complete with arms, allowing for a playful array of animated poses. The Kelly Doll initially didn’t receive the acclaim it deserved, leading to its discontinuation in 2005. However, its resurgence in 2008, often tied to the inauguration of new Hermès boutiques worldwide, marked a triumphant return for the little character.

Kelly Doll Picto

In Spring/Summer 2022, the original Kelly Doll was reborn as the Kelly Doll Picto, boasting a fresh design with a shoulder strap and a pixel art style. This contemporary character, complete with a miniature backpack, is now highly coveted, commanding a retail price of approximately $15,600. Whether opting for the vintage iteration or fresh, both versions of this petite Hermès icon fetch staggering prices on the secondary market.

Kelly en Désorde

Debuting in the Hermès Fall/Winter 2022 runway show, the Kelly en Désorde from the ‘Disorder’ series offers a unique twist to the classic Kelly Sellier design. Maintaining the structured silhouette, this variation features exterior openings on both sides, creating a unique and dynamic aesthetic. The front showcases a plain flap secured by one sangle and a touret, while the other side unveils an outer pocket reminiscent of a Kelly Pochette.  Measuring 25cm wide at the bottom, it comes complete with a non-detachable shoulder strap for added functionality and four feet on the bottom.

Read also: Hermès Introduces 6 New Handbags for Fall/Winter 2022

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Kelly en Désorde

Kelly Elan

Hermès recently reintroduced the Kelly Elan on its Spring 2023 runway, reigniting the fascination with the collectible piece originally produced from 2000 to 2002. The new iteration maintains the allure of the classic design while enhancing the versatility, omitting the small strap on the back but adding a removable shoulder strap. With an elongated silhouette that sits comfortably under the arm, the Kelly Elan is offered in Chèvre, Epsom, Madame Calfskin, and exotic leathers, providing a sleek shoulder bag style that seamlessly transforms into an elegant clutch. 

Read also: The Re-released Hermès Kelly Elan – The Bag that Every Collector Wants

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Kelly Elan

Kelly Lakis

Introduced in 2006 during Jean Paul Gaultier’s reign as creative director, the Kelly Lakis originated from the vision of Hermès collector Lakis Zavala. A distinct departure from the traditional Kelly, this sportier sibling retains all the classic features while incorporating additional zippered pockets.  Positioned strategically, the design showcases two front pockets just below the flap and a larger zippered pocket spanning the entire width of the back. Due to the nature of its intricate pocket detailing, Kelly Lakis demands more time in construction compared to its classic counterpart. Initially available in Box or canvas with leather trims, the Kelly Lakis is now exclusively made in Swift leather. 

Read also: The Hermès Kelly With Pockets: Meet the Kelly Lakis

Kelly Longue

Distinguished by its trapezoidal shape, the Kelly Longue closely mirrors the structure of the classic Kelly. In contrast to the more compact Kelly Cut, this variant boasts a wider and taller profile, accompanied by a collapsible top handle that adds an extra touch of practicality. Interestingly, Hermès discontinued the Kelly Longue in 2008, with the Kelly Cut stepping in as its successor. However, if you’re eager to introduce this timeless piece to your collection, you can find this design on the vintage and preloved market.

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Kelly Longue with Mini Kelly 20

Maxi Kelly

Boasting buckets of oversized appeal and measuring a generous 42cm, the Maxi Kelly stands as one of the largest variants within the Kelly family. It incorporates all of the classic design elements of the traditional Kelly, utilizing a Retourne construction to enhance its relaxed feel. Diverging from the standard leather shoulder strap, the Maxi Kelly opts for a wider webbing shoulder strap, accentuating its laid-back vibe. The  Maxi Kelly also is equipped with a convenient back zippered pocket, mirroring the style seen on the Kelly Lakis.

Kelly Messenger

Debuting at the Men’s Fall/Winter 2023 show, the Hermès Kelly Messenger bag captures attention as a natural evolution of the iconic Kelly Danse. While maintaining a silhouette reminiscent of the Danse, the slouchy structure of the Kelly Messenger adds a relaxed feel. Additionally, this messenger bag showcases enlarged sangles, plaque, and touret for a modern appeal. Designed for practicality, it features a wider, adjustable shoulder strap, allowing for comfortable crossbody wear., Available in two sizes and crafted from Togo or Barenia Faubourg leathers, the Kelly Messenger has unisex appeal. 

Read also: The New Hermès Kelly Messenger Bag is Here

Micro Kelly

Hermès produced two limited runs of the Micro Kelly, first from 1984-1985 and later from 1991-1992. Crafted mainly in Courcheval, Box, Lizard, and Crocodile, these unique Micro Kelly bags boast a delicately thin shoulder strap and smaller hardware. Resembling the design of today’s Mini Kelly 20, the vintage Micro Kelly measures 5.75” x 4” x 1.9”. These now ultra-rare miniature marvels can be found on the secondary market, showcasing highly collectible colorways and leathers.

Mini Kelly II

In the Fall of 2016, Hermès reintroduced the modernized Mini Kelly II, instantly capturing the hearts of collectors and handbag enthusiasts alike. Measuring a compact 5” x 7.87” x 2.24”, this petite wonder, exclusively crafted in the Sellier cut, showcases a trapezoid silhouette. The curved top handle adds an elegant touch, however, unlike its larger siblings, it won’t fit the wrist or arm. Not to worry, as the Mini Kelly II comes complete with a removable shoulder strap, offering a stylish solution for convenient crossbody wear.

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Kelly Moove

The Kelly Moove pays homage to the vintage Kelly Banana bag from the 1990s, known for its distinctive belt-style strap and iconic Hermès buckle. This modern reinterpretation is crafted in Swift leather with an added detachable petite pouch on the strap. The Kelly Moove sets itself apart with an adjustable shoulder strap, allowing versatile wear as a crossbody, on the shoulder, or as a chic belt bag. 

Read also: The New Hermès Kelly Moove is Here

Kelly Multi-Pochette to Go

Unveiled as part of the Men’s Summer 2024 collection, the Kelly Multi-Pochette to Go presents a dynamic unisex choice infused with modern allure. Its unique boxy structure is complemented by three external pockets adorning the front, each elegantly fastened with the iconic Kelly buckle detail. Crafted in heritage Box leather, this Multi-Pochette exudes contemporary cool and offers effortless crossbody wear thanks to its long shoulder strap. 

Read also: More New Hermès Bags, Ready-to-Wear, and SLGs to Expect in Spring/Summer 2024

Kelly Multi-Pochette to Go

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Kelly Pochette

Introduced in 2004, the Kelly Pochette is likely the most coveted alternative to the Hermès Mini Kelly. Measuring a compact 8.75” x 5.5” x 3”, it boasts a more rectangular silhouette and comes without feet, designed exclusively for hand-held carry with its top handle. Despite its size, the Kelly Pochette accommodates much more than a Mini Kelly, delivering practicality without compromising style. Its versatility seamlessly transitions from day to night, making it a go-to choice for various occasions. The rising popularity of this sought-after accessory has made securing it in Hermès boutiques increasingly challenging. 

Read also: Hermès Reveal & Review: Would You Choose a Kelly Pochette or Kelly 25?

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Image courtesy: @worldocasaharris

Kelly Relax Voyage

Meet the Kelly Relax Voyage, the largest offering in the family measuring in at an impressive 50cm. This luxurious travel bag features rounded edges and an unstructured Retourne silhouette. Ideal for travel, the Kelly Relax features an elongated shoulder strap, allowing the bag to be worn comfortably on the shoulder. Furthermore, the bag offers versatility with its removable shoulder strap, allowing it to be worn crossbody or on the shoulder.

Kelly Retourne

Within the Kelly spectrum, the Retourne style is characterized by the inside-out transformation (‘retourne’ in French). This construction demands flexibility to facilitate the inversion process, making it commonly found in leathers like Togo, Swift, Clemence, and Evercolor. Unlike its Sellier counterpart, Retourne Kelly conceals its stitching, maintaining a seamless exterior. Currently available in sizes 25cm to 40cm, these bags offer a more laid-back Kelly style. 

Read also: Hermès Kelly: Retourne or Sellier?

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Kelly Sellier

The Hermès Kelly in Sellier construction showcases a distinctive craftsmanship style characterized by external stitching. Not only does this technique impart the bag with crisp, clean lines and a highly structured form, the visible stitching can be tonal or contrasting. Due to the construction, Sellier Kelly bags are most often crafted from Hermès’ most durable and structured leathers such as Epsom, Tadelakt, Box, and Sombrero, as well as exotics. This refined construction is not limited to specific sizes – it can be found across the entire Kelly range, from the Mini Kelly to the 35cm design.

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Shoulder Kelly (JPG)

Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Shoulder Kelly – a playful variation characterized by an elongated silhouette and a distinctive lengthened top handle. Gaultier’s adaptation added a fresh perspective to the timeless Kelly but also introduced an extra layer of versatility, allowing the Kelly to be worn as a chic shoulder bag. 

Read also: The Hermès Shoulder Birkin is Back: A Resurgence of a Classic

So Kelly 

The So Kelly stands out from the crowd with its laid-back bucket bag silhouette and hobo style. Originating from the Fall/Winter 2008 collection, this distinctive piece features a wider adjustable shoulder strap, ensuring a comfortable fit on the shoulder. Discontinued by Hermès in 2016, the So Kelly can be found on the preloved market.

Kelly Sport

Launched in 1987, the Hermès Kelly Sport offers a casual vibe with a trapezoid Sellier construction and open-top design. Retaining the unmistakable Kelly identity with its sangles and touret fastening, the Kelly Sport can be worn as a shoulder or crossbody bag. The Kelly Sport was available in two sizes, the PM, and GM, however has since been discontinued. 

Read also: 5 Hermès Bags We Wish They Would Bring Back

Kelly to Go

While classified as a small leather good at Hermès, the Kelly to Go is anything but a wallet. Unveiled in 2020, this wallet effortlessly transforms into a mini bag with its detachable strap, opening up several style possibilities, whether worn over the shoulder or crossbody. The iconic touret closure conceals a practical wallet interior with a zippered coin purse, four credit card slots, and two pockets. Measuring just 20cm, you can use the Kelly to Go within your bigger Kelly’s or wear it alone for a chic yet carefree option. 

Read also: A Close-Up Interview with The New Hermès Kelly Wallet to Go


Something a little unexpected, the Hermès Kellywood Perspective Cavaliere Kelly 22 offers a unique twist on the iconic Kelly bag. Crafted from a sturdy beechwood body, its exterior boasts a vibrant “Perspective Cavalier” design meticulously crafted by the art collective Anamorphée. An extremely coveted piece for collectors, this Kelly showcases Hermès’ unparalleled expertise in  marquetry, incorporating six leather types in eleven vibrant hyes, comprising a total of 60 individual pieces. The flap, fashioned from Fauve Barenia leather with white stitching, underscores the brand’s commitment to precision.

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Which of these Hermès Kelly styles is at the top of your wishlist? Are you looking for a vintage gem or a newer model? Let us know your thoughts. 

Published: March 17th, 2024
Updated: April 4th, 2024

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