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Since 1956, when Hermès baptized one of his handbags “Kelly” as a tribute to Grace Kelly, a select number of women have had the privilege of being immortalized in fashion with a handbag named after them.
The friendship between Louis Vuitton’s artistic director Marc Jacobs and film director Sofia Coppola is well known. Jacobs has said that Sofia is not only his muse, but also the utopic woman of his dreams. It is not surprising, then, that on top of naming one of his handbags “SC”, he turned to her as a collaborator for an accessory collection for Louis Vuitton. Coppola has also appeared in several ad campaigns from the French label.
During the seventies, when Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was working as an editor for Doubleday, she was photographed on several occasions leaving her office with a Gucci bag. Gucci christened the piece after the former First Lady, and four decades later, the company still produces the item.
Bulgari, on the other hand, turned to actress Isabella Rossellini, daughter of Angelo Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman, to create one of its leather jewels. The collaboration with Rossellini was an added value at the time when the LVMH Empire acquired Bulgari in 2011. Isabella had already produced a best seller for the firm and traveled to Florence to work directly with Cristina Cortesi, Bulgari’s creative director of accessories. The result was the “Rossellini” bag, a timeless piece of classic lines that reveals the influence Ingrid Bergman had on her daughter Isabella.
Younger celebrities are also joining this exclusive list. Mulberry recently selected singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey as the muse for one of its bags. Del Rey is not necessarily a household name, but for Emma Hill, creative director of Mulberry, she has the poise and demeanor of the glamorous movie stars of Hollywood’s golden age.
The muses who have lent their moniker to these luxurious accessories are all examples of enduring, classic elegance, and their influence in fashion history is unquestionable. ■