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Spotlight On: Hermès Kelly Danse in "Havane" Evergrain Leather

A closer look at one of the rarer Kelly cuts out there, the multi-functional Kelly Danse.

Let me just start off by saying that in this post I’m not going to tell you what put the Hermès Kelly in the handbag hall of fame, if you want to read about the Kelly try my previous posts Kelly Sellier VS Kelly Retourne and Kelly VS Birkin, which go deep into all the detail you need. Instead, I’m going to focus on the Kelly Danse, which is by all means its own bag and one I’m flirting with buying at the moment. Here’s what I like about it.

hermes evergrain leather kelly danse

OK so the original Kelly shape is still there. That iconic trapezoid body and fold over flap secured with the Hermès lock and straps that’s also used on the Birkin. And it’s still the same exquisite, clean-cut, manually stitched hide that gave Hermès its first class reputation, but the similarities end there. The Danse is a smaller version without the top handle, which is carried either as a clutch or via its multi-function strap. Said strap is really the absolute winner here. It can be used off-the-shoulder, cross-body, backpack (yes!) or you can even take it off and use it as a belt. It has one other dimension though, it can be used as a “waist-bag”, which is, basically, if anyone remembers the nineties, a bum bag! Don’t laugh because it’s totally back in and everyone is doing it!

hermes evergrain leather kelly danse

Whether you’re brave enough to follow Kendall Jenner and go for the bum bag look doesn’t matter. Having the option to do it or go crossbody is fantastic and it makes this bag so versatile and gives it a lot more personal value. The waste-bag style has only recently come back in but the Danse was actually made back in 2007 (this one is a 2009). It’s also actually discontinued which is its other main selling point—getting a Danse is harder than getting a Birkin. By a long shot. In fact, they are so rare that a pre-loved Danse in good condition now goes for three times the original price.

This one is made from Evergrain leather which is just like the super-popular Evercalf but it’s faintly embossed. This gives it the effect of being deliciously soft to touch—much softer than almost all other embossed leathers! It’s one downside is that it can scratch quite easily, but light scratches can be buffed out by rubbing them with your fingers while deeper ones can be fixed by a reputable handbag restorer. The colour is Havane brown which is basically a deep brown with a soft red undertone. Finally, it’s light and petite, but it can still fit all your daily essentials and a little more.

hermes evergrain leather kelly danse

Will I get one? I really want to try the waist-bag look and given the sell-on potential of this it makes it good value. I’m tempted, but I find the colour a little conservative for my taste. Maybe I'll shop around a little first!

hermes evergrain leather kelly danse

For more information, visit our dedicated pre-loved and vintage Hermès handbags page.