Often sidelined by its more iconic cousins, the Hermès Birkin and Kelly, the Hermès Bolide bag is making a comeback and one that is truly deserving of its illustratous 100-year-old history.
The story of the Bolide bag can be linked back to the transition of Hermès from an equestrian goods company to a luxury leather label. With the advent of the motor car and transatlantic travel, Hermès met society’s needs by shifting its focus from saddlery and harnesses to leather goods. It did so by introducing new creations such as the Haut à courroies (the first Hermès bag), the Bolide and the Kelly bags. This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the Hermès Bolide bag and therefore the perfect occasion to revisit the journey of the bag.
The Hermès Bolide, like many of the brand’s iconic creations was designed to serve a functional purpose for a woman. The lady in question was Julie Hollande, the wife of Emile-Maurice Hermès. He created the bag for his wife to carry to an automobile event in Paris and was originally dubbed ‘le sac pour l’auto’. It later earned the monicker, Bolide which loosely translates to comet, another nickname for a sports car at the time. Even the shape of the bag was designed to keep the motor vehicles of that time so that they could easily slip into the rounded car boot. At the same time, it stays true to its roots with its handles inspired by that of rolled bridles.
The iconic versions of the Hermès Bolide bag:
This practical and functional bag soon became a must-have travel and fashion accessory and has seen a steady rise since then. To mark the 100th anniversary, the brand released ‘The Century of The Bolide’ bag co-designed with Greek artist, Elias Kafouros. This travel journal-inspired design consists of several patches, each with its own unique details and story done in Kafouros’ instantly recognisable felt-tip art.
This iconic bag has undergone various versions and as it hits the 100 mark we look back at some of the styles that have made it a fun yet functional classic. Starting with the ‘Bolide Shark 45’ which bared its jaws for the AW16 Men’s Leather Goods collection. The miniature version of the bag is just as functional but with a twist to its size and design for fun.
The ‘Bolide On Wheels’ is another great example of how the French luxury house likes to add a touch of whimsy and history to its creation. Crafted in Epsom calfskin, this Bolide mini bag comes complete with skateboard wheels and multiple colour schemes.
Lastly, we pay ode to the ‘Bolide Skate’, a bag we spoke previously about when we spotted it at the Hermès Men’s Summer 2022 runway. An ode to the streetwear culture, the bag borrows codes from skateboarding and with an actual skateboard positioned at its bottom. The bag is truly a marvel of the maison.