From its beginnings in a humble workshop in 1837 to its creation of the most exclusive handbag in the world; we put the spotlight on Hermès.
Thierry Hermès established Hermès in a workshop in Paris in 1837 and specialised in finely made horse saddles and equestrian accessories. In 1855 Hermès won first prize in its class at the 1855 Exposition Universèlle in Paris; an arts exhibition where millions attended to see the works of the some of the world’s finest.
By 1880 Thierry’s son Charles-Emile Hermès moved the workshop to 24 rue Fabourg Saint-Honorè and whilst he continued with the saddler artisan, he chose to focus more on international sales.
In 1900 Hermès launches the “Haut à Courroies” a large bag intended to carry saddles and in 1922 they released a smaller version of this design – which was also the first leather bag made by the brand. From the picture below, you can see aspects of Hermès design that are still used today.
Following the success of the “Haut à Courroies” bag; in 1935 Hermès launched the “Sac à dèpechês” which was later renamed as the “Kelly” bag after it was used by Princess Grace Kelly to stylishly hide her pregnancy!
With a successful handbag business emerging, the brand branched into other accessories and 1937 saw the first Hermès silk scarf created. Designs stayed true to Hermès’ equestrian roots but incorporated a fashion twist and you can read more about the scarves here, on another G&T blog.
In 1950 Hermès introduced its calèche logo and the now iconic orange box – it is thought that there are 188 different sized boxes suitable for expertly packaging any Hermès purchase!
By the 1970’s the fashion house launched its first women’s shoe collection and a complete men’s ready-to-wear collection and the brand was further catapulted into the fashion spotlight when Jane Birkin replaced her straw bag with a leather Hermès bag. The bag was to later be renamed the Birkin – now known as the world’s most exclusive handbag with a waiting list of 6 years!
Widely considered one of the world’s most luxury brands, Hermès is synonymous with quality, style and timeless appeal. One of the few designer brands that holds its value; it has previously been reported that a Birkin bag is a safer investment than the stock market! Keep an eye on the Grace & Ted shop for Hermès pieces so you too can own a piece of fashion history.