Kelly- structure or leather?

biorin

Member
Dec 26, 2012
191
1
Connecticut
I hope no one has done a thread on this before, but I wasn't able to find one!

I'm looking to nab a Kelly, and wanted to firm up an idea of exactly what I want before I ask. Every time I see a Sellier, my heart goes pitter patter--I think it is the ultimate Kelly, and so incredibly beautiful! However, for the most part, it seems really only available in Epsom right now, and I'm not a big Box person (too high maintenance, and probably too formal) anyway.

I don't abhor Epsom, but I am a.) nervous about long-term and corner wear, and b.) thinking I might be disappointed if the bag isn't one of the soft, luxurious leathers Hermes is known for so I can sit there and pet it like an evil villain and his cat. The Retourne is still a lovely bag, of course, but I can't help but feel like the Sellier is the ultimate Kelly.

So after that long rant, assuming I'm not given another option (I'm no VIP), would you pick the style you want, or the leather you want?? Thoughts and opinions enormously appreciated!
 

QuelleFromage

Member
Jan 15, 2011
8,019
15,592
LA and Dubai
I would go pre-owned. The classic selliers are especially findable in a pristine state. That way you can get both a great leather and a great shape.
That said, the sellier shape is arguably most classic and best realized in box, which you don't want, and the "smooshy" H leathers tend to be used for retourné bags. Also, a sellier is vulnerable to corner wear.
There are services (some of the authenticators) who will consult you on a bag purchase and advise on the best bag for your lifestyle. Good luck!
 
Mar 26, 2009
18,192
15,647
I hope it's OK to add to this thread. To OP's original question, I chose structure over leather. I can't deal with box either. And I don't care for the retourne look on a Kelly. So I went for epsom sellier Kelly and I am mostly very very happy with it. If you go with a smaller size, (mine is 28) the corner wear would not be as problematic. I have used mine often for about a year and it's as good as new, not a single sign of scruffs but I do take care of my bags. (But not as bad as "baby" them.) Having said that, for other bags, I much prefer Togo over Epsom.

Another choice would be finding a Kelly Sellier Mou which is super duper rare, only possible on the resell market. I have seen it in togo and chevre and it has a softer look compared to box or epsom.
 

Couture Coco

Forever Vintage
Dec 3, 2009
1,206
188
Vintage Villa
www.silkpathdiary.com
This is always a difficult choice to make! Let me first put in a good word for Box leather - it's easy to home treat to make waterproof and this can be repeated twice or so a year depending on how much you use it and the climate you live in. Yes, it does scratch but if one is reasonably careful, these will be minimal and over time, they will blend into a beautiful patina. Box responds very well to a spa treatment at Hermes and be refurbed more successfully than some other leathers. It's a very light leather and as xianxiang0731 says, in a smaller size, the potential risk to corners will be minimal depending on how you use your bags of course!
All that said and out of the way, I would go with the structure over leather IF it suits your lifestyle as well your aesthetics. And there are other options for (textured) leather which may be more readily found in the reseller market such as Ardennes - correct me if I'm wrong but I'm sure I saw someone with a sellier in this discontinued leather on here - or Peau de Porc?
Good luck with deciding!
 

biorin

Member
Dec 26, 2012
191
1
Connecticut
Have you had a look in this thread?
I have, thank you! I suppose my question is more of whether other people would prioritize the leather or the shape, though.

I hope it's OK to add to this thread. To OP's original question, I chose structure over leather. I can't deal with box either. And I don't care for the retourne look on a Kelly. So I went for epsom sellier Kelly and I am mostly very very happy with it. If you go with a smaller size, (mine is 28) the corner wear would not be as problematic. I have used mine often for about a year and it's as good as new, not a single sign of scruffs but I do take care of my bags. (But not as bad as "baby" them.) Having said that, for other bags, I much prefer Togo over Epsom.

Another choice would be finding a Kelly Sellier Mou which is super duper rare, only possible on the resell market. I have seen it in togo and chevre and it has a softer look compared to box or epsom.
This is really helpful--thank you!

I saw a lady with a 32 sellier who was actually kind enough to let me try it on for size, and while it was a brief touch, it was definitely a grained leather--maybe chevre? I don't recall seeing a horseshoe stamp though, and it wasn't a mou, so perhaps there is an incredibly elusive chance of not having to choose.
 

biorin

Member
Dec 26, 2012
191
1
Connecticut
This is always a difficult choice to make! Let me first put in a good word for Box leather - it's easy to home treat to make waterproof and this can be repeated twice or so a year depending on how much you use it and the climate you live in. Yes, it does scratch but if one is reasonably careful, these will be minimal and over time, they will blend into a beautiful patina. Box responds very well to a spa treatment at Hermes and be refurbed more successfully than some other leathers. It's a very light leather and as xianxiang0731 says, in a smaller size, the potential risk to corners will be minimal depending on how you use your bags of course!
All that said and out of the way, I would go with the structure over leather IF it suits your lifestyle as well your aesthetics. And there are other options for (textured) leather which may be more readily found in the reseller market such as Ardennes - correct me if I'm wrong but I'm sure I saw someone with a sellier in this discontinued leather on here - or Peau de Porc?
Good luck with deciding!
Thank you for your advice! I guess I won't rule out box completely, and I will have to consider the reseller route as well.
 

kat99

O.G.
Jun 20, 2006
3,282
845
I have always intended on getting a sellier Kelly - but whenever the time comes, I always end up picking the retourne! I'm quite clumsy and am very afraid of bashing the corners. I've seen a sellier with a bashed corner (it was a concrete wall, ouch) on a friend and she had taken it to the spa, but you could still see the "scars". So I've never been able to do it - but maybe on an evening bag size, it would be lovely (25!).
 

Fabfashion

O.G.
Feb 18, 2010
5,175
97
Canada
If you're open to pre-loved ones, then H used to make them in chamonix as well (I think discontinued in the mid-2000s). It's like box but not shiny and a little less easy to scratch.
 

chincac

Member
Jun 17, 2011
11,823
5,471
you will know the answer when you actually see one (or more if you are lucky!) in front of you
 

arabesques

O.G.
Oct 27, 2008
2,255
352
NYC
Given the reasons for your deliberations and the fact you're initially thinking to purchase from the boutique, I would recommend the opposite of everyone else and suggest buying for the leather, at least for your first Kelly. Then you can see how much you might knock the bag around. The softer retourne Kelly of Clemence or Togo is very lovely.

Box can be restored and protected—but it's not without its headaches (especially the fear and reality of scratches); I say that as the owner of many box bags. Epsom is heartier than people say, but still, corner and edge wear will happen and it's not attractive; I have an Epsom bag that I've worn extensively, and it takes an artful hand (which fortunately I have) to restore the edge wear.

If willing to go pre-owned, I very much recommend Peau de Porc (pigskin); I have a sellier porc Kelly that is my go-to Kelly and easy to use freely. Chamonix, as mentioned above, is less prone to scratches and may be the most beautiful leather Hermès uses IMHO.

Good luck with your decision.
 

biorin

Member
Dec 26, 2012
191
1
Connecticut
I have always intended on getting a sellier Kelly - but whenever the time comes, I always end up picking the retourne! I'm quite clumsy and am very afraid of bashing the corners. I've seen a sellier with a bashed corner (it was a concrete wall, ouch) on a friend and she had taken it to the spa, but you could still see the "scars". So I've never been able to do it - but maybe on an evening bag size, it would be lovely (25!).
Given the reasons for your deliberations and the fact you're initially thinking to purchase from the boutique, I would recommend the opposite of everyone else and suggest buying for the leather, at least for your first Kelly. Then you can see how much you might knock the bag around. The softer retourne Kelly of Clemence or Togo is very lovely.

Box can be restored and protected—but it's not without its headaches (especially the fear and reality of scratches); I say that as the owner of many box bags. Epsom is heartier than people say, but still, corner and edge wear will happen and it's not attractive; I have an Epsom bag that I've worn extensively, and it takes an artful hand (which fortunately I have) to restore the edge wear.

If willing to go pre-owned, I very much recommend Peau de Porc (pigskin); I have a sellier porc Kelly that is my go-to Kelly and easy to use freely. Chamonix, as mentioned above, is less prone to scratches and may be the most beautiful leather Hermès uses IMHO.

Good luck with your decision.
Thank you both! I guess I didn't really consider how much more corner wear there might be on a sellier due to its shape, regardless of the leather. As much as I prefer elegant shapes, I have kids, so that might not be the most realistic route. Sigh, I suppose reality has to step in once again and prevent me from shopping for my "fantasy" life rather than my actual one!

That being said, I will see what is available and how it goes, and hopefully the perfect bag will be meant to be!
 

purselover888

Because yay!
Mar 2, 2012
3,600
17
I think you said it yourself. Sellier kelly is "the ultimate." Life is too short to settle, so I would go for sellier in epsom! (That would be my choice too. I only like box on others so far.)
 

baby_g

Member
Oct 10, 2010
209
0
Buy TWO. Problem solved :graucho:
I almost thought you were describing me with the evil villain/petting picture... Don't forget to sniff it, it's more addicting than opiates.

Honestly, I'd say go with the sellier epsom for a more modern look, or sellier box for a vintagey look. I'm a fan of buttery leather too, but having had real-life test-drives of retourne togo/clemence Kelly's, I've come to the realization that the Kelly was made originally as a formal bag, and fares better in its original purpose.

Save the buttery leather for your Birkin ;)
 
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