Hermès: 10 Things To Know About The Iconic Constance Bag



Hermès might be synonymous with the Birkin and Kelly handbags, but there’s another elusive number that remains a highly coveted choice amongst fans and collectors. Easily identifiable by its signature H front clasp, the Constance is actually one of Hermès’ most sought-after bags.

If this is your first acquaintance with the Constance (since the Birkin and Kelly are all you ever see on Instagram), here are 10 things to know about the easy-to-carry style.

01 - In 1967, then-executive chairman Jean-Louis Dumas asked a designer to create a bag for Hermès. The young woman, who was pregnant at the time, eventually named her design after her new daughter. Henceforth, the new bag became the now-iconic Constance.

02 - The Constance mainly comes in three sizes, with numbers reflecting the width of the bag in centimetres. Firstly, there’s the 18, which many refer to as the mini. Then comes the 24. Finally, at 25 cm wide, the Constance Elan recently made a comeback with a slimmer east-west silhouette and accompanying pocket mirror.

03 - Aside from the standard sizes, you’ll also find rare instances at either end of the size spectrum. Measuring just 14 cm wide is the dainty micro. On the other hand, the Constance Cartable, which comes with a short leather strap, is the biggest at 29 cm.

04 - There have also been re-editions in recent years that are available alongside existing versions. This includes the Constance 1-24, a fresh take on the beloved icon. Notable differences include a slimmer profile with a single main interior compartment, a handy new back pocket and the inclusion of a pocket mirror within.

05 - There’s also the Constance III Mini that remains true to the original, with minute changes to the interior. It still features two main compartments, but now features the addition of a mirror in its own interior pocket. It also does not come with an exterior back pocket, a detail more commonly appearing on exotic Minis.

06 - Unlike the Birkin and Kelly, the Constance does not come with a top handle. Instead, you usually sling the single long strap casually across the body or over the shoulder. Alternatively, fold it up for a shorter under-the-arm or tote-on-the-palm look.

07 - The bag’s iconic H clasp comes in standard options such as palladium, gold-plating or enamel. Other variations include a leather inlay, as well as exotic skins like crocodile or lizard embedded within the H. Another rarity that’s part of the Hermès Extraordinary collection boasts full diamond-paved hardware.

08 - The Constance typically comes in Box, Swift (smooth) and Epsom (grained) leathers. For those who want something different, there are also special suede, canvas and marble silk editions to indulge in. And of course, the Constance comes in exotics like crocodile, lizard and ostrich.

09 - On the Constance 24, the interior features a compartment for valuables that seals with a diamond-shape zipper pull. If you’re purchasing one from the resale market, do a check on the zipper pull for authenticity. It should always remain parallel with the zipper teeth – a testament to Hermès’ assurance of quality and craftsmanship.

10 - Like other Hermès counterparts, the Constance gets her fair share of seasonal updates. Take, for example, the Constance Marble Silk that showcases the marvellous technique of silk marbling. Created in Japan by several generations of the same family, the technique requires great dexterity to harmonise shimmering pigments with luxe material.

For more information, do visit HERMES.com