history of handbags, part 1

Like every aspect of human life, fashion has a long and interesting history. A & E (or History Channel?) did a whole 3 hour show on the bra and its accompanying unmentionables! The handbag is no different. I came upon an interesting tidbit the other day and I thought I’d share it with you here. Hopefully this can become a regular feature of insatiable need, provided I don’t run out of interesting handbag facts.

You don’t have to know anything about fashion to have heard of Hermes, the legendary French label. At the very least you’ve seen their distinctive silk scarves printed with saddles and other horsey gear, and you’ve seen the frenzy whipped up over the “Kelly” and the “Birkin” bags. Hermes is also responsible for this very familiar silhouette, which has been imitated and copied endless times since it’s debut in 1923. Behold, the Hermes Bolide:

A precursor to even the Louis Vuitton Alma (which looks very similar but came out in the 1930s), the Bolide intrigues me because apparently it is the very first bag in the world to use a zipper. Imagine never seeing a bag with a zipper before and then being presented with a lovely like this (or very similar to this) in some chic little store, wearing your little flapper outfit and ropes of pearls. I wonder how much they cost back then? Anyway I thought this was fun because of course, all of my Holland Cox bags have zippers (so far!) so it’s nice to know there was a beginning for such a feature.


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