Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 15:26:52 +0000

From: Jim Rader jrader[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]M-W.COM

Subject: Re: kelly bag

The earliest cite I turned up through a quick search of Nexis was New

York Times, May 8, 1982, where both Grace Kelly bag and Kelly bag

are used. Grace Kelly bag turns up earlier, in the Washington Post

for Nov. 11, 1979. Cites are in agreement that this was a handbag

sold by Hermes (grave accent on last e), the Paris-based chain of

shops selling very expensive women's accessories. There seem to be

various versions of how Grace Kelly's name came to be associated with

the handbag. According to the Atlanta Constitution (Oct. 16, 1994),

Hermes actually supplied Grace Kelly with such a handbag. Another

story is that " 1956, Princess Grace (nee Kelly) of Monaco, hid

one of her pregnancies behind that very bag on a cover of Life

magazine" (NYT Oct. 18, 1986); the fashion-conscious then requested

copies of the bag.

Merriam files have a picture of one version of the bag that appeared

in the New York Times magazine (Aug. 11, 1985, p. 56).

Jim Rader