By GRAZIA Singapore

The Story Behind The Iconic Lady Dior Handbag Named After Princess Diana

GRAZIA takes a deep dive into the iconic handbag
Courtesy of Getty Images

There are not many individuals that can boast they’ve had a designer handbag named after them. Jane Birkin, Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy are a few who come to mind.

But, arguably, the most famous of them all is the late Princess Diana and the Lady Dior bag which, interestingly, had two entirely different names prior to being dedicated to the late royal.

But how exactly did the Lady Dior’s moniker come about? Here, GRAZIA takes a deep dive into the renowned handbag and how its famous name was coined.

The Lady Dior Bag Origins

The iconic handbag was designed by Gianfranco Ferré, the former stylistic director of Dior, in 1994. However, the Lady Dior was not the bag’s original name. Initially known as the Chouchou, which translates to ‘favourite’ in English, and then Princesse for a short time, the bag was a top handle boxy design with quilted leather.

Courtesy of Dior

In September 1995, the then First Lady of France, Bernadette Chriac, had contacted the French luxury fashion house seeking a gift for Diana, Princess of Wales for her upcoming visit. While the Chouchou still hadn’t officially been released at the time, only to a select few Dior clients, the Maison suggested it as an option for the gift.

The bag was presented to Princess Diana at the inauguration of the Cézanne exhibition at the Grand Palais in September 1995.

A Staple Princess Diana Accessory

Two months later, Princess Diana was seen wearing her new black Chouchou for the first time. It was during an official trip to Argentina where she wore the black Dior bag on the crook of her arm, which complemented her white Versace suit.

Princess Diana with her black Lady Dior bag. Credit: Getty

From then on, it became a staple accessory for Princess Diana. She even went on to commission a second Chouchou in blue. In 1996, the Chouchou officially became known as the Lady Dior bag, a nod to Diana’s title prior to marrying Prince Charles. The late princess was seen wearing the bag on a number of occasions, including to the 1996 Met Gala.

However, tragically, just one year after the bag was named after her, Diana died in a car crash in Paris.

A Timeless Dior Design

Twenty seven years on, the bag has become a timeless design for the house of Dior, with many different iterations having been released over the years.

The Lady Dior has been reinvented season after season, making it popular. Above all, with the silky lambskin, the rounded handles and topstitched Cannage motif, a timeless elegance is emanated. Additionally, modern iterations of the Lady Dior bag come with fun charms to customize to your taste. Perhaps add an extended shoulder strap for a more casual touch. Dior promises a range of sizes, hardware options, and materials varying from leather to embroidery.

Most recently, a new design to join the Lady Dior family was the Lady D-Joy Bag, a smaller, rectangular version of the timeless staple that is the Lady Dior.

Take a look at the savoir-faire of the Lady Dior below.

This article originally appeared on Grazia International