In sports, it's hard to overstate the value of a deep bench. If you're not a sports person, a "deep bench" refers to the quality of a team's non-starting players—when the second- and third-string lineups are stronger than those of an opponent, you have a real competitive advantage over the length of a game or a season, when starters can get tired or hurt and the team's fortunes increasingly depend on players who might not be as well-known to fans. In a slightly different way, that's also true in the high-end accessories world, where a popular design or two might sustain you for a few seasons, but it does not a long-term business make. On the Spring 2019 runway, Hermès looked down its lineup to demonstrate it understanding of exactly that concept.
Like Resort 2019, the Herbag figured prominently on this runway, with its stripped-down (but still quintessentially Hermès) feel and casual, lightweight canvas body. The traditional Birkins and Kellys were conspicuously absent, and instead, the rest of the collection was filled out with bags that felt largely less formal than those two ultra-famous pieces, including slouchy fold-over totes and minimalist folded flap bags on chains.
For me, the standout piece of the collection—and the best representative of its sporty, functional, everyday feel—was a new version of the formerly ultra-formal Verrou Bag, which is a sharply tailored flap shape fastened with a sliding lock not unlike a much richer-looking version of those commonly found on bathroom stalls. (I say that with affection, I swear.) For spring, Hermès paired it with a wide, thick, brightly colored web strap instead of the delicate chain it now comes with, which gave the bag a new context in which it might be a fun daytime mini option. Check out the full collection below.
[Photos via Vogue Runway]