The history behind one of Princess Diana’s favorite handbags, the Lady Dior bag

Here's the story behind one of fashion's most enduring handbags...

princess diana lady dior
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Diana had a longstanding relationship with Christian Dior - in fact, they were so close that he named one of his handbags after her while she was still alive. Here's the history behind the Lady Dior bag, and why the brand is revamping it for a modern wardrobe. 

Some of the best designer bags in history have been named after influential women - one of the best Gucci bags, the Gucci Jackie (named after Jackie Kennedy) or the Hermès Birkin bag (named after Jane Birkin) spring to mind. Another handbag that has continued to outlive its inspiration with sartorial popularity is the beloved Lady Dior bag, aptly named after the late Princess Diana.  

princess diana

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Diana has undoubtedly made many lasting impacts on modern style, from her incredible "revenge dress" to her biker shorts and crewneck combos - but her Lady Dior bag continues to inspire with its versatility and chic design. 

Those "in the know," if you will, have been aware of this bag's sartorial lasting power for decades. However, the most recent season of The Crown, which primarily depicted the downfall of now King Charles and Princess Diana's marriage, let a whole new generation of style seekers onto the secret of the Lady Dior. 

After this rise in popularity, creative director of Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri, spoke with W Magazine about her decision to revamp the classic carryall. "I wanted to do a sort of evolution of this project, like a new object of desire... Nothing can be invented, but everything can be revisited with fresh eyes," she said.


Black Cannage Lambskin Lady Dior bag, $5,600 | Dior

Black Cannage Lambskin Lady Dior bag, $5,600 | Dior

Sleek and refined, the timeless style is crafted in black lambskin with Cannage stitching, creating the instantly recognizable quilted texture - and perfectly pays tribute to the late Princess Diana. 

The original Lady Dior handbag was conceived specifically by the previous creative director of Dior, Gianfranco Ferré, who was reportedly a major confidant and trusted colleague of Christian's. 

princess diana

(Image credit: Getty Images)

To modernize the boxy, chic bag, Maria noted that she wanted to soften the bag's architectural shape. She also aimed to extend the curvature of the handle to make the bag easier to carry, perhaps even on a shoulder, seeing as the original could only really be held by in your hand on account of the small handles - they do, of course, come with a crossbody strap for carrying comfort and customization.

The bag also now comes in three different sizes, as well as various colorways. The most notable part of the bag's original and new design, however, is the "cannage" pattern that remains to be displayed on the leather.

dior bag princess diana

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Diana was seen wearing the original bag quite frequently after its conception in 1995 - just two years before her death in August of 1997. 

As seen above, she often paired the bag with more formal outfits such as skirt suits and tailored dresses. Today, however, the Lady Dior is seen to be quite versatile, with the likes of Jennifer Lawrence even daring to pair the quintessential bag with a sweater and wide-leg jeans. 

As Marie told W, "It’s an empathetic bag that reflects the desires of any woman carrying it," - which is to be expected, seeing as Jennifer (pictured above), Anya-Taylor Joy, and even feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are among the women who were chosen to partake in the new bag's advertising campaign.

Madeline Merinuk
US Lifestyle News Writer

Madeline Merinuk is woman&home's US lifestyle news writer, covering celebrity, entertainment, fashion, and beauty news.

She graduated in 2021 with a B.A. in Journalism from Hofstra University, winning multiple student journalism awards, including a National Hearst Award, during her time there. After graduating, she worked at today.com, the digital site for the Today Show, where she wrote pop culture news and interviewed big-name personalities like Emily Ratajkowski, Haley Lu Richardson, Emma Corrin, and more.

Her personal interests, in no particular order, are: cheese, Joni Mitchell, reading, hot yoga, traveling, having multiple chapsticks in every handbag at all times, and dancing to ABBA songs as if she were in the Mamma Mia movies.