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7 Iconic designer handbags and the women who inspired them.

Preowned Christian Dior Lady Dior handbag

Handbags, a thing of beauty for some, a practical holdall for others, or maybe it’s the best of both. At Dress Cheshire we see so many second-hand, preowned, designer handbags coming into the shop, and it brings us so much joy when we see a classic land. Here are 7 of our favourites that have been inspired by amazing women.

The Hermès Birkin. Inspired by Jane Birkin.

Now age 75, Jane is an English-French singer and actress, she also became a famous fashion icon. It was only when Jane happened to be sitting on a plane next to Jean-Louis Dumas (billionaire and Chairman of Hermès Group 1978-2006) on a flight from London to Paris in 1983, when the contents of her handbag fell all over the floor of the aircraft. Noting the swell of items in her bag, Dumas adjusted one of his styles from the Hermès house to allow it to carry everything Jane required. Today, the Birkin is one of the luxury sector’s prized possessions often seen on the arms of A-List celebs and those who can afford one. A future investment piece (if you can get one) at an eye watering price, but worth every penny and guaranteed to turn heads!

The Lady Dior. Inspired by Diana, Princess of Wales.

Christian Dior Lady Dior
Lady Dior

The Lady Dior bag was formerly known as the Chouchou, was given as a gift to the Princess from Bernadette Chirac (wife of the former French President) in 1995. After that Princess Diana was rarely seen without the style carrying it everywhere from children’s homes to the Met Gala in NYC. To pay homage to the princess, Christian Dior changed the name of the bag to The Lady Dior bag.

The Gucci Jackie. Inspired by Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

Gucci Jackie Handbag
Gucci Jackie

This handbag started life under a different name – the Fifties Constance. By 1970 Jackie O complimented her style with this piece. As a result the bag soared in popularity. It’s been reissued over the years and seen on the arm of Kate Moss (2014), as well as Harry Styles! Now available in an array of colours including baby pink, lilac, turquoise, lemon and of course classic black.

The Sophia Bag. Inspired by Sophia Loren.

Salvatore Ferragammo Sophia
Sophia

Along-side Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, Italian actress Sophia Loren was a huge loyalist of the fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo, as she called upon their custom-made heels for her film and real life wardrobes. Mr Ferragamo passed away in 1960, but in 2009 the luxury house introduced the Sophia bag as a tribute to Sophia Loren’s loyalty.

The Eva. Inspired by Eva Longoria.

Victoria Beckham Eva handbag
The Eva

The ultimate BFF tribute! Victoria Beckham did just that in 2018 when she launched the Eva Crossbody bag and named it after her best friend. Victoria met Eva in Los Angeles when the Beckhams moved in 2007 and they have shared many of life’s milestones together since, Eva is also Harper Beckham’s Godmother, whilst Victoria designed Eva’s wedding gown

The Louis Vuitton Speed 25. Inspired by Audrey Hepburn.

Louis Vuitton Speedy 25
LV Speedy 25

It was in 1961, shortly after the release of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, that Audrey requested a smaller version of the Speedy handbag by the house (previously only available in 30, 35 and 40cm). 60 years on and the Speedy 25 remains as popular today and has seen many makeovers courtesy of Steven Sprouse, Richard Prince and Takashi Murakami.

The Hermès Kelly. Inspired by Grace Kelly.

The American actress who married into the Monegasque royal family in 1956, thus becoming Princess Grace, was carrying her namesake bag long before it became renamed in her honour. She was first spotted carrying it on the set of Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief. During her pregnancy she used the bag to cover up her bump from prying photographers. It wasn’t until 1977 that the bag was formerly christened as the Hermès Kelly.

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