When one thinks of Hermes bags, there’s almost no doubt that the first things that come to mind are either a Hermes Birkin or a Hermes Kelly. The two iconic Hermes bags are truly in a class of their own. However, the French luxury house has much more up its sleeve beyond the two highly coveted styles.

Another must-have design from the luxury house is the Hermes Evelyne. Far from just another seasonal handbag, Evelyne’s history is quite unique. Rooted in Hermes’ rich history and highly-acclaimed expertise in leather craftsmanship and equestrianism, the former head of the luxury house’s riding department was in need of a bag that she could use to care for their horses. She and her team came up with a design that could carry all the horse grooming tools and equipment that they needed to carry around, while of course, looking chic and luxurious. As with all things Hermes, design, quality, and attention to detail could only be the very best. Thus, the Evelyne was born. The former head of the riding department was none other than Evelyne Bertrand for whom the bag was named after.

So why is the Hermes Evelyne worth it? Well, for starters, its key design details make it not just another eye-catching It bag by Hermes but a practical one as well. The Hermes Evelyne features a crossbody, messenger style design with a single main interior compartment, a simple belt closure at the top, and a wide, detachable shoulder strap. Its most distinct detail, however, is the large perforated H design at the centre of the bag’s body. The perforations were actually positioned at the back of the bag and were meant to let air circulate to keep the horse grooming tools aerated while being carried around. Of course, today, you could say that the H design serves a more aesthetic purpose than a functional one, with the bag proudly worn showing the H design in front.

While the bag was first designed in 1978, it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that the style made its way from the Hermes equestrian department to the Hermes handbag shelves. Since then, it has become a favourite of not only well-heeled equestrians but also fashion lovers and Hermes bag collectors everywhere. It’s a subtler and more casual style but no less luxurious than the Hermes Birkin, Kelly or Constance. Another great thing about the Hermes Evelyne? It’s an inclusive and unisex design that can be worn and collected by all genders.

Since the very first Hermes Evelyne was crafted, there have been four versions of the style and four different sizes. The versions were subsequently named, Evelyn I, Evelyne II, Evelyne III, and finally, Evelyne Sellier. In terms of size, the smallest Evelyn is the 16cm (TPM). The second size is the 29cm (PM), which is closely followed by the slightly larger 33cm (GM). The last and largest Evelyne size is the 40cm (TGM).

Shop our selection of pre-owned Evelyne bags here

Regardless of size, the body of the Evelyne is constructed in leather. The leather that is typically used is the famous Hermes Clemence, which is scratch resistant leather that has a flat-grained surface and a matte finish. Second to this is another famous leather from the fashion house, which is the Hermes Epsom. Unlike the Clemence, the Epsom features an embossed calfskin leather surface and is particularly lightweight. Although not as highly selected, the Evelyne is also available in other Hermes leathers, including the Maurice and Hunter options.

The original version of the crossbody is the Evelyne I, which was, of course, the design conceptualized for Evelyne Bertrand and the Hermes equestrian department. This was followed by the Evelyne II, which has the additional design feature of an external pocket on all sizes except for the smallest TPM size. The third version or Evelyne III evolved to include both the external pocket and an adjustable shoulder strap made of canvas. Finally, the newest version is the Evelyne Sellier, which was launched in 2016. The biggest difference of the Evelyne Sellier is the exclusion of the external pocket and the embossed H design with a diamond shape that replaces the original perforated H design on the bag’s body.

The Evelyne is a wonderful entry-level piece into the world of Hermes. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to find and purchase one or that it comes cheap. As with all Hermes products, quality, craftsmanship, and the Hermes name come with a corresponding price tag. Of course, a great way to get your hands on one is by choosing a secondhand Evelyne bag. Whether it is brand new or secondhand, every Hermes Evelyne bag evokes the legendary craftmanship, long history, and storied tradition of the French fashion house. It’s a piece that’s wearable, collectible, and like other iconic Hermes styles, can be expected to increase in value with time.