Historic handbags and their muses: why Launer is the Queen’s favorite handbag brand

Becky Donaldson

Throughout her 70-year reign, Launer London handbags have been a constant companion to the Queen during her countless service engagements. Invariably worn in the crook of her arm, her majesty has remained loyal to the iconic British brand, choosing exclusively from its various shapes and hues since the 1960s.


The Queen is always seen carrying her classic black Launer handbag

“The Queen is a style icon and always looks remarkable, so we are proud and delighted that she has used Launer bags so extensively for over 50 years,” says Gerald Bodmer, CEO of Launer London. .


Launer London is Her Majesty’s go-to handbag brand

This month, to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Launer produced The Jubilee Collection. Based on a classic archival design, this legendary handbag is now updated with contemporary tweaks such as replacing the original suede interiors with retro fabric – where the Launer name is woven repeatedly in lower case letters.


Launer updated the classic bag with modern details for the Queen’s Jubilee


The Jubilee bag is a limited edition and collector’s status

The bag, which also features the brand’s signature double handles and knotted rope emblem, is available in Tangerine, Cloud Blue, Tan, Monarch Purple and Ebony Black – the shade Her Majesty chose when it was created in 1972 .


The ‘Jubilee’ is also available in mandarin

Giving the first collection (available now) collector status, until the end of June, the Jubilee bag will carry a limited-edition leather plaque on the inside, with an embossed gold foil “Jubilee and Platinum” plaque. Edition” – thereafter it will simply declare “Jubilee”.

“Her Majesty is a wonderful advocate of British manufacturing and the Platinum Edition Jubilee Bag is a fitting celebration of her historic 70-year reign,” adds Bodmer.

While it’s widely accepted that no one is as iconic as the Queen, fashion houses have played that ultimate compliment on style luminaries for decades. Here we explore historic handbags and their eponymous muses.

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Gucci – Le Jacky

jackie kennedy

Jackie Kennedy Onassis was Alessandro Michele’s muse in the revival of the Jackie bag

Originally named ’50s Constance, this curved, half-moon shaped bag with plunger hardware, was renamed when former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis was photographed holding one to shield her face from paparazzi. (She reportedly bought six of the bags on a shopping trip in 1964). Constantly reinvented over the decades, the most recent reincarnation was that of current Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, who unveiled a revitalized version of the bag during his AW20 menswear show (yes for men), renaming it: Jackie 1961.

Hermès – The Kelly and The Birkin


The Kelly was renamed after becoming Grace Kelly’s favorite accessory

The Kelly dates back to 1852 and was originally developed to hold saddles for horse riders – the HAC. The 1930s reinterpretation (the Bag of Dispatches) has become a favorite of Grace Kelly, who will use it as an impromptu shield to hide her pregnancy from the paparazzi (you can see a trend here). Naturally, it was quickly renamed in his honor.


Grace Kelly is the inspiration behind The Kelly by Hermès

The Birkin is a shopping bag created in 1984 by the general manager of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas, after being seated next to Jane Birkin on a Paris-London flight. When the contents fell out of the straw bag as she placed it in the overhead locker, Jane explained how she struggled to find a leather duffel bag. Rumor has it that during this flight, the pair proceeded to sketch out a first design using an adjacent pencil and a sick bag… And that’s how this chic bag was born.

Dior-Lady Dior


Princess Diana wearing her Lady Dior

In 1994, Gianfranco Ferré, creative director of Christian Dior at the time, designed a distinctive square bag with two rounded top handles. He unofficially named it Chouchou, which means favorite in French. A year later, the then First Lady of France enlisted Gianfranco’s help in finding a gift for Princess Diana, who was landing in Paris to attend the opening of the art exhibition. of Cézanne at the Grand Palais. This architectural bag was chosen and in turn, she carried it to the event. On her return to London, the princess ordered said bag in several colors. Of course, it has now officially become Lady Dior.

Other bags that have taken their nickname from celebrities include “Ines” (de la Fressange) and “Carlalala” (Bruni) by Roger Vivier, “Stam” by Marc Jacobs (Jessica) and “SC” by Louis Vuitton (Sofia Coppola ).

Not to mention the British luxury leather brand Mulberry, which has named bags after models and celebrities with whom they have a close affinity, such as “Alexa” (Chung), (Lana) “Del Rey” and “Cara (Delevingne).

Launer London’s Jubilee Collection is available now, prices start at £2500, launer.com.

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