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Muses who gave birth to the most iconic bags of our time

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West

Every woman aspires to be beautiful, interesting and talented. There are definitely some who possess these traits and have left a legacy behind them. Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren are amongst the world’s most gorgeous and elegant ones. They inspired the creation of iconic designers handbags including Hermès KELLY and Ferragamo SOFIA. Most of these bags have stood the test of time to become the classic creation that fasionistas from all over the world highly sought after. So what are these bags and what are the stories behind them?

Hermès for KELLY

Hermès was founded in 1837 by German-born French-raised Thierry Hermès and began as a small harness workshop in Paris. It was committed to creating luxury harnesses and bridles for horse-drawn carriages for European noblemen. It was not till 1922 when Hermès introduced its first handbags and in 1930, the “Kelly Bag” was born.
Certainly, this bag would not have become the status symbol it is today without the influence of Grace Kelly in 1956.

The newly married Princess who had wanted to keep her baby bump away from the paparazzi was often photographed with the Sac à dépêches bag carried in front of her pregnant belly. Photos of Grace Kelly and her handy companion made the cover of Life Magazine and quickly elevated the status of this creation to one of equal standing to its owner. The growing adoration for this bag spread across the public and was later officially renamed by the company as the Kelly bag. Now synonymous with class and sophistication, this is one bag a refined lady like yourself will find hard to resist!


Hermès for BIRKIN

The inspiration behind this iconic bag began when Paris-based British actress Jane Birkin crossed paths with former Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas on a flight from Paris to London in the early ’80s.
Jane Birkin, who was given a seat upgrade, ended up sitting beside the executive; when the contents of her bag spilled out. Dumas, who had suggested she needed a bag with pockets, sparked a conversation about her ideal accessory. After many sketches and discussions, the Birkin bag was born.

Recognised worldwide as the holy grail of bags, it is now carried by celebrities and fashionistas alike, such as Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Kate Moss. A versatile carryall, you can rock the Birkin no matter what you wear. Be it a sheath dress or a crisp white shirt-and-jeans combo!

Mulberry for ALEXA

Alexa Chung is a muse to many fashion designers because of her distinctive personal style- she has the ability to put different looks together and, the end results never fail to impress. Alexa has been named best dressed by several magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Vogue etc. Renowned Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld described her as ‘’beautiful and clever… a modern girl.’’

Mulberry’s creative director, Emma Hill, was so inspired by how Alexa Chung wore a vintage Mulberry’s men briefcase that she decided to create a bag simply as a tribute to her. Tweaking the design of that briefcase, she also gives it some girlie and “Oh-so-Alexa” touches. The result? An ultra-chic satchel we all come to love known as the Alexa.

Mulberry for CARA

Few can claim to have collaborated a collection with one of the world’s renowned fashion brands at the age of 22, or for the fact that they boast a colourful and successful career as that of their background. Cara Delevingne for one, is one of the few.

With her heritage stemming from ancestors who have had served as Lord Mayor of London, Cara was spotted by Sarah Douka, founder of Storm Model Management, at the young age of 17. Taking the modelling industry by storm, Cara has since modelled for international fashion brands such as Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Burberry, Lanvin and Givenchy just to name a few. Yet none as significant as her collaboration with Mulberry.

It was at a discussion over a lunch conversation during a Tim Walker campaign shoot, that Cara’s passion for design and creation was uncovered. Thereon, working in depth with Mulberry’s design team through visiting archives, sketching ideas and discussions on practical needs, her ideas on balancing elegance with an ever-changing lifestyle came to life with the Mulberry Cara Delevingne Collection. The collection offers a versatile bag with an English attitude to functional beauty you will appreciate. Able to be styled in three different way – back, shoulder, or hand-held, this is the bag you need to add some spunk to your outfit.

Ferragamo SOFIA

Aside from being the first foreign-language speaking artiste to win an Oscar award, she holds the record of six David di Donatello Awards for Best Actress. If you are still not impressed with her accomplishments, she also holds a Grammy Award, five special Golden Globes, a BAFTA Award, a Laurel Award and not to mention an Honorary Academy Award which adds another feather to her already very fanciful hat. Finally, Sofia Villani Scicolone or better known as Sophia Loren, is also a recipient of the Ceil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievements.

No stranger to catering to the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age such as Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo and Lauren Bacall, Salvatore Ferragamo paid homage to Sophia Loren in 2009 with its Sofia collection. With its subtle sophistication depicting the strong and successful woman Sophia Loren was and still is, the Sofia collection is best suited for the corporate high-flyer who knows no boundaries. Arm yourself with one today and take on the boardroom with aplomb and confidence!

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