The Hermès Kelly is one of the most iconic bags out there. First introduced in 1892 as the Haut à Courroies, the bag was originally intended to carry a horse saddle. In the1930s, Robert Dumas, son-in-law of Émile Hermès, re created the women’s bag with straps. However, it wasn’t until the late 1950s, when Grace Kelly, a Hollywood star was photographed holding the bag over her stomach to conceal the early signs of her pregnancy. This photo launched the bag into international fame and was renamed the Kelly.
The Price History
Throughout the years the Kelly, has also seen some hefty price increases. In the 1950’s the bag was around $900 USD, today the bag is over $10,700 USD in stores (if you can get your hands on one) and sells for over $20,000 USD in the resale market. The chart below shows the price increase over the last 70 years.
So what exactly does the new prices mean? Well let’s do some math and compare. Over the past 70 years the price has gone from $900 to $10,700, that is a 1089% increase. Now I know the past 70 years is a long time so let’s look at the past decade which is more realistic. To put things into better perspective I want to look into real estate increases and compare the two. In 2010 the average sale price for a home in the USA was $272,900. In 2020 the average home sale was $389,400. In the past 10 years the price increase was 42.7%. In the UK the average house price in 2010 was £173,417, and in 2020 it was £239,315. That means the average house price increase has gone up 38%. In the past decade the Kelly has gone up 35.4%. Just like the house market the Luxury handbag industry has also seen some crazy price increases.
This means just by owning a Hermes Kelly bag and keeping it in good condition (yes you can still wear it) you could have made 35% if not more depending on your color way. Who doesn’t love a wearable investment!