I am always on the hunt for the perfect wallet because my wallet is the most important item in my bag (sometimes more than the bag itself)! I actually spend more time choosing my wallets than my handbags because there are so many conditions to be met, but today, the hunt for THE wallet is finally over. The latest style from Hermes, the Kelly Long Money Holder or Ligne Kelly (I prefer to call it the Kelly Wallet/Clutch) is the answer to my dreams! It is 7 inches wide (18cm, half the length of a 35cm birkin) and may also be used as a clutch, nothing like a two for one to get me excited! (More after the jump!)
I went through my list of requirements: chic style (it's Hermes, it's a Kelly, need I say more?), a color that will endure daily abuse (etoupe is the perfect shade of taupe gray that won't show dirt or stains), adequate credit card/ID slots(12- I only use two credit cards but seem to have a dozen of other 'cards'- ID cards for my son and I, insurance card, prescription card, membership cards, VIP cards to clubs, Gym card, Yoga card- the list is endless!), space for cash (two slots, you can fit a passport in one of them!), foreign currency/checks/receipts (there are two pockets behind the credit card slots which will fit everything from Chinese RMB to the Euro), and functional coin pocket (with an adorable miniature Hermes lock as the zipper pull which actually cinched the deal for me, who else but me would buy a wallet purely because the zipper pull is so cute!?!?).
Made of ultra durable and lightweight Chevre Mysore (Goatskin), the Ligne Kelly is the best Hermes wallet I have ever owned. My Hermes Dogon and Bearn wallets lack sufficient card slots and they do not close properly when the coin pockets are full. The Kelly clasp allows me to stuff as much as I want without worrying about closing it! Plus I love being able to open it and look down to see everything I have in there at one glance. The best part, though, is its double function as a clutch (I put my cell in there and it fits!) and you don't have to worry about a wallet for your credit cards or cash because it's already built in! There is a wait list for the Kelly Ligne wallet so you must call your Hermes SA immediately. It is available in multiple colors but I absolutely love the etoupe, it is so chic and sophisticated. At Hermes Boutiques worldwide.
Each year, Hermes changes the leather and exotic skins you may order from depending on availability. Here are the skins available this year if you are one of the lucky ones to be on a permanent list.
Porosus crocodile from Australia- Most commonly found on Northern shores of Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia. Hermes does not glaze the Porosus croc skins so they will never peel. This skin is polished with an agate stone and the skin has to lay flat under the machine so once it is made into a bag, you will never be able to polish it again! I've ordered mine in Graphite (it turns gray, black or brown depending on the light) and am anxiously waiting it's arrival. The Rouge 95 is also amazing and gorgeous!
Niloticus crocodile from Africa- the ever popular matte croc is rich and sumptuous. (All crocs have to be at least 10 years old to meet Hermes standards)
Mississippi Alligator- the best 'gator skin in the world is from the US.
Lizard from Africa- Available in size 25cm or smaller due to the small size of lizards.
Ostrich from South Africa - Hermes uses the most incredible ostrich skins with flat quills. My White ostrich Kelly is from the '60s, older than me, and is still flawless.
Veau Swift- Veau means calf in French, the word after it is usually the way the calf skin has been treated and/or stamped. This is a soft and sturdy calf skin.
Veau Togo - One of the most popular skins from female calf skin, tumbled and printed. I was told it is being phased out, what a shame as I just love Togo!
Veau Box - A stiff calf skin that wears to a beautiful patina but scratches easily.
Veau Epsom - Calf skin that has a smoother grain and is very stiff, I like this for the white Hermes bags.
Troika Calf hair- A delicate and gorgeous skin but it will wear around the edges. Not the most durable.
Vache Liege- Vache means cow in French- you'll see that cow skin is also thicker than calf skin. Liege is the way it is treated and stamped.
Vachette Crispee Fjord - Cow skin in a heavy and looser texture.
Chevre Mysore- Goatskin is becoming increasingly difficult to find at Hermes quality so chances are you won't be able to order one this year so if you see one ready made at the boutique, grab it!
Taurillon Clemence - The softest and most durable of skins made of Bull leather. The grain is looser than the Veau skins.
Buffle- Buffalo skin is as tough as you can get. This is usually used for luggage.
This is it for orders made in 2008. I told myself I would not order any more leather Hermes bags and would focus on exotics but couldn't resist ordering the Taurillon Clemence in Olive. The color is so urban and cool! If I have time later, I will post another entry on the colors available in each skin.
A serious Hermes collector does not merely buy birkins. There are so many delectable items to be had and treasured. I bought a photo album and journal in Blue Jean Veau togo when my son was born, I've been keeping the journal and album with all of his "firsts" and will give both to him when he has his own child. My own Hermes bag collection consists of Birkins, Kelly bags , mini Kelly pochettes, the Lindy, several wallets, and a couple of vintage bags in a mix of exotics and leathers. I also collect Hermes enamel bangles, belts and scarves. Yes, I am sick and my obsession runs deep but Hermes is the only luxury brand that does not lose its value (even Chanel does not hold its value once it's left the boutique), in fact Hermes bags increase in value with time so at least I am not squandering away my child's inheritance! In fact, I view my Hermes collection as heirlooms to be passed down to my future daughter or granddaughters.