LEATHER WEATHER: Hermès has created four one-off versions of its Passe-Guide handbag to celebrate its London exhibition “Leather Forever,” which bows in May. The four handbags are to be auctioned by Christie’s online from May 14 through May 31. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to London’s Royal Academy of Arts.


The handbags have each been designed to represent England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The English bag is fashioned from red box calfskin with silver fittings and sports a black fur charm, in tribute to the bearskin hats that the Queen’s Guards wear. Meanwhile, the Scottish bag is done in an orange tartan created by the weavers Johnstons of Elgin, while the Irish bag is crafted in a green crocodile skin with a four-leaf clover charm. The Welsh design is done in dark green box calfskin with a Welsh dragon charm.


They will go to the highest bidders in the online auction, when it ends May 31 at 5 p.m. London time. Alongside being shown on the Web site, the bags will also be on display at the “Leather Forever” exhibition, which will be held at 6 Burlington Gardens in Mayfair from May 8 through 27. The exhibition, to mark Hermès’ 175th anniversary year, will celebrate Hermès’ long relationship with leather.


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