SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWSLETTER

Browse all

10 iconic bags inspired by famous women

From Lady Diana to Kaia Gerber, here are the muses behind the it-bags of the last century

10 iconic bags inspired by famous women From Lady Diana to Kaia Gerber, here are the muses behind the it-bags of the last century

Fashion has its muses. Personalities imbued with charm and sacredness that inspired the couturiers for creations that have made the history of fashion. Celebrities, first ladies, top models, members of royal families, who through a deep and synergistic bond with the designers of their time have personified the artistic vision of the most important Maison. First of all through bags, an accessory par excellence, which, not surprisingly, has often been chosen as the seal of the partnership with these fashion icons on both sides of the ocean.

Stories of fashion, esteem and admiration, which in the last 70 years have helped shape a real myth: that of the it-bags. From the extraordinary Jackie Kennedy, to the unforgettable Lady D passing through the divas Jane Birkin, Grace Kelly, and the most recent Cara Delevingne and Alexa Chung, nss G-club has decided to reveal the stories behind the 10 most iconic bags dedicated to famous women.

 

Jackie Kennedy - Jackie by Gucci

Conceived in 1961 under the name of G1244, the crescent-shaped hobo bag was introduced at Gucci as a unisex piece, soon becoming a hit among the brand's connoisseur audience. When Jackie Kennedy, America's most glamorous first lady, was spotted several times with the model under her arm, the bag's popularity increased to such an extent that the fashion company decided to rename her accessory in honor of her. The Gucci Jackie bag is today among the Maison's most iconic models, especially after the reinterpretation by the current creative director Alessandro Michele, who brought the archive piece back to life starting from the Fall / Winter 2020 collection. the Jackie 1961 is back to being talked about, thanks also to the different mini, small and medium iterations and the new pop colors.

 

Grace Kelly - Kelly by Hermès

Perhaps among the most coveted bags in the world, the Kelly bag by Hermès has appeared in the fashion industry since the 1950s. But contrary to what one might think, the bag was not initially named in honor of the famous actress and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly. Legend has it that the Hollywood star saw the model on the set of Alfred Hitchcock's How To Catch a Thief, thanks to costume designer Edith Head, and from there she fell in love with him, ordering a dozen in every available color. Known for her great style, the actress contributed to increasing the fame of the bag she wore in numerous public outings, including the announcement of her engagement to the Prince of Monaco and during her pregnancy. The peak came in fact in 1956 when the star surrounded by paparazzi, used the bag to cover her pregnancy ending up on the cover of Life magazine. Although everyone associated the bag with Kelly, the official baptism by the Maison of the pony came only in 1977, and since then the iconic Hermès Kelly has remained the protagonist of the desires of millions of women around the world.

 

Jane Birkin - Birkin by Hermès

It's not a bag, it's a Birkin. This is what a Hermès salesman said in the famous episode of the cult series Sex and the City, to a Samantha Jones indignant at having to wait five years before having the bag in her hands. Because the Birkin is not just an accessory, but a symbol of exclusivity even more than its sister Kelly, thanks to the long waiting list and the very limited stock. The model takes its name from the famous British actress Jane Birkin, who according to legend inspired the then former head of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas, during a chance meeting. It was 1984, the two found themselves close together on a Paris-London flight starting a conversation about the ideal bag according to the star. Jane complained that women's bags weren't versatile enough to hold all a business woman's essentials. With Dumas' intuition about adding pockets and Birkin's desire for a comfortable model that bent to his essential needs, the magical duo sketched a design that is still the soul of the mythological Birkin by Hermès today.

 

Diana Spencer - Lady Dior by Dior

Not only divas and first ladies, high fashion also knocks on the door of royal residences. The muse par excellence in this case is Princess Diana Spencer, also known as Lady D, who conquered Dior with her charm. The Lady Dior is one of the most iconic bags of the French fashion house, but her story seems to have gaps. Some say that the bag was given to the princess by the French first lady Bernadette Chirac in 1995, and Lady D, struck by the elegance of the model, immediately adopted it by ordering all the available versions. According to other versions, the convict was on a trip to Paris where Diana fell in love with a Dior model named Choucou. In any case, it did not take much else to quickly transform the bag into a status symbol, with the royal as the most coveted and photographed woman of the time than she wore the accessory on the occasion of numerous public outings. To celebrate the charm of the princess and to thank her contribution to the popularity of the bag, the Maison finally decided to rename it after her. Thus was born the Lady Dior.

 

Diana Spencer - Diana by Gucci

But it was certainly not only the French company that was inspired by the incomparable Lady D, also Gucci dedicated a bag to the princess. Following the success of the reinterpretation of the Jackie, the Florentine fashion house has given new light to another of Lady D's favorite archival bags: the bamboo shopping bag. Today under the name Diana, the model was in fact often seen under the arm of the royal during the 90s, arousing numerous appreciation from fans of the brand. The iconic shot of Spencer as she left Chelsea's Harbor Gym wearing a collegiate oversized sweatshirt and biker shorts.

 

Nina Simone - Nina by Gabriela Hearst

However, as often happens, music is also of interest to the fashion industry. For Gabriela Hearst in particular, Nina Simone, the civil rights activist and musician known throughout the world for her talents, who was the inspiration behind the famous Nina bag by the Uruguayan designer. The bag, a favorite of the former royal family member, Meghan Markle, is distinguished by a small rounded case held by a structured handle, for a refined and timeless allure.

 

Ricky Anne Loew-Beer - Ricky by Ralph Lauren

Dante wrote «L'amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle», and sometimes it also works for fashion. The designer Ralph Lauren for the creation of the Ricky bag did not take inspiration from divas or celebrities, but created the bag in honor of his wife. "Ricky, she's my muse" the designer will say. "She is a splendid woman, a style icon. He has always been a source of inspiration, and I often think of her when I create». Two Italian artisans were hired for the accessory who spent over 12 hours of work to give life to the model. For the design, the designer drew on his wife's love for menswear and outdoor sports, later incorporating details from the 19th century Cooper bag. There are currently several iterations of the Ricky Bag, but for the US designer the message of the bag is always the same: to make the women who wear it feel good.

 

Sophia Loren - Sofia by Ferragamo

Queen of Italian cinema of the 1950s, Sophia Loren has often been the inspiring muse of various designers, bringing with her, at home and overseas, determination, verve and a unique beauty of its kind. No wonder she was not indifferent to the actress's charm, not even Salvatore Ferragamo, an Italian shoe designer and longtime friend of Loren. The Sofia Tote was introduced for the first time on the occasion of the Spring/Summer 2009 collection of the maison from Florence, as a tribute to this incredible woman, the essence of made in Italy in the world.

 

Cara Delevingne - Cara by Mulberry

Mulberry is no stranger to dedicating its bags to well-known personalities who have been part of the history of the more contemporary style. Just think of the Alexa Bag, inspired by the English it-girl Alexa Chung, or the Del Rey bag, in honor of the exceptional and namesake American singer Lana Del Rey. For the well-known model Cara Delevingne, there was no lack of an accessory as special as it is cool, designed in collaboration with the top model herself. The Cara bag is fresh and versatile, so much so that it can be worn in different ways: as a backpack, by hand or on the shoulder. There are numerous iterations of dimensions, materials and colors, the Cara is in effect an it-bag of the new millennium.

 

Kaia Gerber - Kaia by Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent closes the circle with a small, contemporary and very cool accessory. The Maison's Kaia Bag appears for the first time on the SS20 catwalk of the brand on the arm of its muse Kaia Gerber, and immediately seems to have all the credentials to become the next must-have of the fashion house. The model that inspired the item showed it in a brown leather version, combined with a minimal look in full 2000s vibe.