How the Mini Kelly Bag Speaks to Modern Woman

Black and Craie Kelly 20CM

An iconic “It bag” since 1956, the Hermès Kelly bag first found international acclaim at a time when women of a certain class could not wear pants in public. Presenting a ladylike image was of utmost importance, and the highly-structured Kelly bag perfectly conformed to this vision. Originally offered in just a few colors and sizes, the Kelly bag reflected traditional class and simplicity. Today, it’s a whole new world for women, and the mini Kelly bag is one of the hottest bags in the world. Available now in a kaleidoscope of colors, leathers, and styles, the mini Kelly speaks to the modern woman.

A Closer Look at the Hermès Mini Kelly Bag

Hermès released the first mini Kelly 20 in 1957, just months after legendary Hollywood beauty and Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, was photographed carrying her beloved Sac à Dépêches. Kelly used the bag to shield her pregnancy bump from the paparazzi. Her photo on the cover of Life magazine was a sensation. Suddenly, fashionable women around the world were clamoring for “the Kelly bag.” This is how the Hermès Sac à Dépêches became the Kelly bag. To this day, the bag remains synonymous with understated elegance.

The details of the mini Kelly bag have evolved over the decades. In recognition of those changes, the Kelly 20 bag is now known as the mini Kelly II. Today’s mini Kelly is a structured trapezoid-shaped handbag measuring just over 7.5” across the base and 4.5” in height. A single rolled handle and a detachable shoulder strap make the smallest Kelly bag highly versatile, able to meet the many roles women fulfill. Wear it crossbody during a busy day on the go. Slide it over your shoulder when heading to the office or brunch with friends, and carry it in your hand for evening events. 

What Fits Inside the Hermès Mini Kelly Bag?

The mini Kelly bag holds your essentials — smartphone, credit cards, lipstick, and pair of earbuds. Many businesswomen now opt to store makeup and toiletries at the office, keeping them handy without weighing down their handbags. 

The mini bag trend is a welcome change for women who have endured back and shoulder pain from carrying enormous, overloaded bags. It embraces the contemporary appreciation for streamlining and a minimalist style. Of course, you still need to have your bare essentials with you, making the mini Kelly an ideal bag for the modern woman. So, it’s no surprise that we’re now seeing the baby Birkin and mini Kelly bags outselling the larger sizes particularly with small framed women.. 

Hermès Mini Kelly Handbag Anatomy

The Hermès mini Kelly is crafted just like the larger Kelly bags but on a petite scale. The crisp, trapezoidal shape is enhanced by the single rolled handle. Unlike larger Kelly bags, the mini Kelly handle does not fit over the wrist or arm and should be carried in hand if not by the shoulder strap. Comparing the Birkin to the Kelly bag, the latter must always be carried with the flap securely closed. The sangles, the leather straps that meet and latch at the bag’s toggle (touret) can be fastened over the flap or under it for a more casual look. 

The mini Kelly also features the following:

  • Touret (toggle)

  • Plaque (plate)

  • Lock

  • Pontet (trigger guard)

  • D-Ring

  • 4 Clous (metal feet)

A small, interior slip pocket holds your credit cards and ID.

Mini Kelly Leathers and Colors

The smallest Kelly bag has come into its own. It is now offered primarily in Hermès leathers Chevre Mysore, Box and Epsom, which are particularly durable. The bags are also offered in exotic skins like ostrich, crocodile, lizard and alligator. A mini Kelly in shiny or matte crocodile is an exquisite evening bag ideal for any red-carpet event in the world. 

Each of these leathers and skins also displays colors beautifully, and the mini Kelly is produced in a rainbow of sophisticated hues. Choose from bright shades, delicate pastels, and chic neutrals. Some bags even sport two colors. These are examples of the bespoke Hermès special order bags customized for brand VIPs who often select the smallest Kelly bag to personalize.

The mini Kelly bag has grown in popularity since its introduction and, due to demand, Hermès has downsized or is planning to downsize some of its most popular limited edition pieces.  The mini Picnic Kelly was introduced in 2019, followed by the mini Ombre Lizard Kelly.  The mini Himalaya Kelly is expected to be released in 2023, as well as a mini version of the famous “Teddy” Kelly.  

Kelly bags

How to Style the Hermès Mini Kelly Bag

When the mini Kelly bag was introduced, the petite size was considered most suitable for evening events and cocktail parties. But today, the tiny bag and the women who wear it fulfill many more roles. Fashionable women worldwide are choosing the mini Kelly as their everyday bag. Worn crossbody with the sangles underneath the flap, it becomes the perfect accessory for a day in the city.

To customize your mini Kelly further, consider wrapping a brightly-hued Twilly around the handle. The silk scarf protects the handle from the oils in your skin while imparting a whole new look to your bag. Finally, add a mini Kelly bag charm for a meta-fashion win.

Hermès Mini Kelly Price and How to Get it

The 2023 Hermès price increase has the mini Kelly starting at $8,450 in epsom and $9,450 in chevre. The mini Kelly has proven an excellent investment bag, reliably growing in value. But the challenge of how to buy an Hermès bag continues especially for a mini Kelly. There remain two primary paths to mini Kelly ownership. One option is to cultivate a relationship with your SA at an Hermès boutique, buy a significant amount of merchandise, and hope to be allowed to buy a mini Kelly someday. Or you can shop with a respected reseller like Madison Avenue Couture

At Madison Avenue Couture, you can choose the specific mini Kelly of your choice, knowing it is in stock and will be shipped within one to two business days. If we do not have the color you desire, our concierge service will try and source it for you.

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