The story of Hermès is poetic, lived like a voyage. As the epitome of refined luxury, Hermès has navigated its way through two hundred years of tradition, the cult of savoir-faire, and the celebration of aesthetic appeal. Famed for its exquisite craftsmanship and noble inspirations, Hermès shines French elegance across the four corners of the globe.
Although its name could be taken from Greek mythology, the Maison at 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré carries, in fact, one from its Founders. Its history starts in 1837, when Thierry Hermès opened his Saddle Atelier on Rue Basse-du-Rempart. There, he made acquaintance with his first clients and understood the importance of paying attention to the needs of his contemporaries and the evolution of society. His intellect and visionary traits enabled the young saddler to raise his business to the highest of ranks.
The attachment to the savoir-faire was passed on through generations, and Charles-Émile joined his father in the family business in 1880. Émile moved the Atelier to 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the emblematic address where the Maison took root and became a legend. The quality and the fineness of Hermès became iconic in all of Europe, and within its loyal clients sat the crowned, the aristocrats and the wealthy. Therein lies the art of Hermès: to instigate desire and transcend it.
To the saddles, leather goods and luggage were added thanks to the innovation of Émile Hermès, Thierry’s grandson. On a trip to Canada in 1922, the ingrained and ingenious collector brought back the first zip device, enriching the Hermès Ready to Wear collections, shoes and the famous ‘Carré’ silks. He also produced the incredible incentive of selling ties in the store adjoining the casino in Cannes, where they refuse entrance to the men with bare necks. Today, this accessory now sits within the essentials of men’s wardrobes.
At the heart of this dynasty of men, the women are muses, and the iconic bags of the Maison carry their names. The Kelly (known originally under the name of Haut à courroies) allowed Princess Grace of Monaco to hide her pregnancy by placing the bag in front of her stomach while stepping off the plane. The Birkin was designed by Jean-Louis Dumas (grandson of Émile Hermès) for the English actress Jane Birkin after she criticized him on a flight from Paris-London, for never putting closed pockets on the bags! As for the Evelyne and Constance models, they pay homage to personalities that contributed to the success of the Maison with their creativity and elegance.
Audacious and loyal to its identity, the Hermès Maison is reinventing itself, perpetually setting the tone for its time.
Copyright Arlettie 2021