Handbags & Accessories

All About the Hermès Constance

By Olivia Pennington
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Hermès Constance
Hermès Constance

A Brief History of the Hermès Constance

Hermès first introduced its iconic Constance handbag in 1959. This Hermès bag has captivated generation after generation of Hermès clients. Thanks to the success of the Hermès Constance, the Maison has been revisiting the style of their classic bag, reinterpreting it for a modern audience. The evolution of the Constance demonstrates Hermès commitment to weaving its traditional DNA into new creations for a modern clientele.

The Hermès Constance is part of Hermès’ “Big Three” handbags: the Kelly, the Constance, and the Birkin. The Constance proudly bears the Maison’s initial on its “H” clasp that secures the bag’s top flap. The Constance was designed by Hermès draftswoman Catherine Chaillet while she was pregnant with her fifth daughter. Chaillet considered the design process a true labor of love, and the artisan decided to bestow the handbag with her daughter’s name, Constance. The handbag has since been loved by many Hermès clients. First Lady Jacquline Kennedy was frequently seen sporting the bag, which helped grow the Constance’s popularity. It takes an Hermès artisan between 14 - 18 hours to create a Constance, demonstrating the care that is invested in the exquisite handbag.

Hermès Micro Constance 14 5P Bubblegum Pink Swift Palladium Hardware

Hermès Constance Sizing

The Hermès Constance’s standard size is 24 cm, which allows you to fit a wallet, phone, and other necessities with ease. The Hermès bag also comes in a Mini 18 cm size and a Micro 14 cm size as well as a rectangular model called the “Elan”, which was released in 2010. Hermès has discontinued Constance sizes 23 cm, 25 cm, and 29 cm, but if you are lucky, you may be able to find these sizes on the secondary market. The Micro Constance contains only one interior compartment, but the larger Constance sizes offer the choice of a single or double interior compartment. This handbag can be worn comfortably over the shoulder or across the body. The length of the bag’s strap can be adjusted according to the wearer’s preference.

Hermès Mini Constance 18 Ombré Salvator Lizard Palladium Hardware

Hermès Constance Materials

The Constance comes in many premium-quality leathers, exotics, and hardware combinations. The most common material for the Constance is Box leather, the material from which it was first constructed. Of course, it is now possible to find the Constance in bolder materials like Niloticus Crocodile, Rouge Alligator Mississippiensis, and Rose Tyrien Ostrich. Finding the right Constance for you depends on what you need in your Constance. If you are looking for a purse you can wear daily, go for an Hermès Constance in Naturelle Beige with Courchevel leather. Seeking a statement bag? Why not try the Constance in Purple Anemone Swift leather? Constance bags come in palladium-plated or gold-plated hardware most commonly; however, many limited edition Constances have special hardware. Take the Constance Cartable, for example, whose “H” clasp hardware is inlaid with enamel that matches the color of the bag’s leather.

But wait, there's more!

Hermès Constance Long Wallet Blue St. Cyr Matte Alligator Palladium Hardware

Hermès Constance Wallets

The Hermès Constance’s popularity inspired a line of wallets released in 2004 that retain the ethos of the original handbag. The most popular is the Constance Long To Go Wallet, but the Constance Slim Wallet and the Constance Compact Passant Wallet are also highly sought-after styles. The Constance Long To Go Wallet is an 8 cm rectangular clutch that houses four credit card slots, two interior pockets, a zipped coin purse, and an exterior pocket. The Long To Go also features a removable shoulder strap as of its 2020 redesign that transforms the clutch into a shoulder bag or crossbody. The Constance Slim Wallet is a 5 cm square wallet with rounded edges. The Slim features two credit card slots, a removable zippered coin purse, and a belt loop for added functionality. The Constance Compact Passant Wallet is the same 5 cm size as the Slim, but it lacks the belt loop and has sharper edges. The Passant has two credit card slots and a zippered coin purse in the interior. These Hermès wallets are commonly found in Epsom leather in a variety of colors. Hardware options include the standard palladium-plated or gold-plated options.

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