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CELEBRITY (and) OBJECTS

The history of fashion accounts for a number of emblematic accessories dedicated to celebrities; they often seem invested of some sort of magical power to retain the popularity of the person their name refers to – and in some cases exceed it.

Numerous are the example of objects whose creation was inspired by, or dedicated to celebrities; their stories do not cease to fascinate, enhancing their appeal as objects of everlasting desire. Not only objects, but also prints represent the relationship between brands and famous muses; this is the case of the ‘Flora’ print, made by Gucci especially for Grace Kelly during the 1960s.

one of the many reinterpretations of the Jackie O model designed by Gucci, 1975, Courtesy Les Arts Décoratifs, All Rights Reserved

Not always did these objects originate as an homage to the celebrity whose name they bear today; most times in fact, it was history itself that caused them to get renamed. This is the case for some of the most well-known bags, such as the infamous Kelly by Hermes, the Jackie O by Gucci and the Lady D by Dior. The Kelly bag originated at the end of nineteenth century as a large bag used for holding a saddle. It was thanks to Alfred Hitchcock and costume designer Edith Head that Grace Kelly was ‘introduced’ to the bag, and immediately fell in love with it. was photographed using the handbag to shield her growing belly from the paparazzi. When a photograph of the princess covering her belly was published on Life magazine in 1956, the bag instantly became known as the Kelly bag; however, it officially changed its name only in 1977.
The ‘Jackie O’’s original name was ‘Constance’, but the American first lady seemed to be so passionate about this bag, the fashion house officially dedicated the model to her. The Lady D was also renamed after the visit of Princess Diana to France in 1995. The bag was a present from Bernadette Chirac who wanted to gift the princess with a typically french design: she contacted the maison Dior and chose the Chouchou model, named which changed immediately after the princess of Wales was seen with the bag at the inauguration of the Cézanne exhibition at the Grand Palais.

Most of these iconic objects have been reinterpreted over and over again, in their design and materials, but always respecting their original shape, what made them iconic. When thinking about iconic accessories, one that comes straight to mind is the ‘Rainbow sandal’, created by Salvatore Ferragamo. Ferragamo himself used to say that the sandal was created for the actress Judy Garland, right after her appearance in the movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’, where she sings the emblematic song ‘Over The Rainbow’. The shoe, whose multicoloured wedge made it unforgettable, has been reinterpreted in 1988 by the Spanish fashion house ‘Menkes’, almost sticking accurately to the original design.

'Rainbow' Sandal, designed by Salvatore Ferragamo, 1938-1939, Courtesy Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, All Rights Reserved


reinterpretation of the Ferragamo 'Rainbow' sandal (from 1939) made by the Spanish Fashion House 'Menkes' in 1988, Courtesy Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, All Rights Reserved

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