Hermès Haut À Courroies

One of the holy grails of bags as far as I’m concerned, the Hermès Haut À Courroies (or HAC for short) has been in existence (and production) since 1892, created by Émile-Maurice Hermès who modelled it after the totes used by Argentinian cowboys while on a trip to South America. Since then, other bags have been created with the original as the muse, including the Kelly in 1956 and the Birkin in 1984, which was modified from the HAC to be shorter and smaller, but with handles made a tad longer for toting over the arm.

Traditionally made in sizes from 40 cm through to 55 cm (which refers to the width of the bag), it has stayed true to its original form, large and imposing, which also happens to be its Achilles’ heel. Being so huge also means it is a less popular option as far as the guys are concerned. Sometimes, trying to spot one on the streets is like trying to find a unicorn, but when you do, you’ll drop everything you’re doing just to stare at it a little longer, taking in its magnificence and basking in its glory.

The one shown above, in Togo calfskin, is a HAC50. A gorgeous hue of golden cocoa brown, it is priced at SGD19,000, which while out of reach to most mere mortals does also makes it all the more covetable as well.

There are newer sizes which include the smaller 28 cm, 32 cm and 36 cm (though I think they are only made when special orders are received), catered specially to ladies who like its vertical shape as opposed to the Birkin‘s more squarish proportions, but that’s irrelevant as far as this post is concerned, since I’m still on the fence as to whether a HAC50 (or a HAC45 for that matter) is one of the bags I should be seriously considering, even if I will only probably use it as a carry on when I travel. What do you think?

Image: Hermès

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  • JON says:

    Finally got a HAC 40 from Hermes London. It is really a beautiful and well-made bag, and I was lucky to get it in bleu nuit verso rouge with the contours in rouge as well. But the downside is the bag is awfully heavy!

  • Pierre says:

    I had the chance to own a HAC 40 in black Clemence leather. I can say it is very suitable for daily use.
    For your information, no need for a special order of HAC 28/32/36 (at least in Paris). Enjoy your H bags guys!

  • […] I don’t know who started this baffling and idiotic rumour, but get ready for a history lesson on Hermès bags. Yes the Birkin was officially introduced in 1984, but the design is modified from the Hermès Haut à Courroies, a bag first produced in 1892 […]

  • […] fairytale behind it. First designed in 1892 as a saddle-bag, it was referred to as Haut à Courroies (HAC) due to its high handle […]

  • Luci~ says:

    It’s more expensive than a Birkin. I got my HAC40 early this year AUD16,800.

  • berkley says:

    I have a 45cm and a 50cm HAC – they are both beautiful, but I have hardly ever used them because they are so heavy even without anything in them. And I don’t want to sound patronising, but I have not yet met a female who could carry one for more than 5 yards before wanting to get rid of it. I am male, and it’s pointless to think you’ll only ever use them for travel because you’ll simply break your back trying to pick either of them up. The truth is they are a nightmare, and I’m seriously thinking of selling them. I will now only consider a 40cm, but I still doubt it will be much fun to carry around.

  • ChrissyHK says:

    Hi Jim, I concur. A shop assistant who works in the Hermes boutique in LA told me the same thing about there being a lighter HAC 50 this year.

  • jim says:

    I believe there is a new version of the HAC 50 coming out for 2012. This one (H2) will have a fabric interior and some other changes which will bring the weight down. It’s on display at the H men’s store on Madison ave. It’s big.

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