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Fashion Insider: Putting the “H” in History

By 7 August 2018 No Comments

Here’s how Hermès, the world’s most luxurious brand, went from crafting horse saddles to the most iconic clothes, leather goods, watches and fragrances in the world, setting new heights for luxury through its iconic orange box and the letter H.





Luxury French brand Hermès was established over 170 years ago back in 1837 by Thierry Hermès. In 1837, he opened the original Hermès store located on rue Basse du Rempart in Paris, dedicated to serving European noblemen with high-quality wrought harnesses and bridles for the carriage trade. To ensure meticulous details, it takes two needles simultaneously passing through the same seam, and if done correctly, the saddle stitch will never unravel.

Thanks to this signature technique, in just a few years, Hermès became well-known among the elite of Europe, and the popularity continues to today. Theunique techniques and attention to perfection rather than profitability makes Hermès the true symbol of French luxury, loved by its devoted fans despite the sky-high price tags.

Its logo, since the 1950s, is of a Duc carriage with horse. The horse-drawn carriage is supposed to remind of the company’s origin as a saddlery manufacturer. It also symbolises the company’s value of balance and forward vision.

Undeniably, the Birkin and Kelly are coveted by women around the world. What makes Hermès bags stand out? There are three things. First is the high-quality materials: crocodile, ostrich, and togo leather. Second is the meticulous craftsmanship — a single worker takes 16 to 24 hours to make each bag by hand. Third is the timeless design.

In 1892, Hermès introduced the Haut à Courroies, later known as the Birkin, named after actress and singer Jane Birkin. It became the IT bag for women around the world. Then, in 1935, Hermès launched the Sac à Dépêches, which Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco carried to shield her pregnant belly, earning it the nickname the Kelly bag.

Undeniably, the Birkin and Kelly are coveted by women around the world. What makes Hermès bags stand out?

The Cape Cod features a case shape and dial font inspired by the Chaîne d’ancre motif.
Kelly lovers can also enjoy the beauty of the Kelly watch.

In 1937, the 70x70cm Hermès carrés (square scarves) were introduced, and the first design featured a group of ladies wearing white wigs. Later, the brand introduced the 90x90cm version, which weighs approximately 65 grammes and are woven from the silk of 250 mulberry moth cocoons. All hems are hand-stitched. Hermès introduces two collections a year, sometimes with a special collection in-between, and a remake from the archive every now and then. Every 25 seconds, a Hermès scarf is sold somewhere across the globe, and more than 1.1 million scarves had been sold worldwide. Iconic figures like Queen Elizabeth II own these scarves, and Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco did use the Hermès carrés as a sling for her broken arm in 1956. Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis also wore Hermès carrés.

Hermès timepieces are also worth a mention, fusing classic design with Swiss precision. Let us give you a few examples. The Heure H features the signature H-shaped case, available in two variations — decorated with diamonds, and plain. The Cape Cod features a case shape and dial font inspired by the Chaîne d’ancre motif. Kelly lovers can also enjoy the beauty of the Kelly watch. But the most talked about watch by Hermès would be the Apple Watch in 2015, a partnership between the tech giant Apple and the luxury brand. Customers don’t have to choose between luxury and technology — the watch puts both into one.

Hermès has branched out its offerings to neckties, scarves, clothes for men, women and children, fragrances, accessories, shoes, gloves, tableware, kitchenware, and home decor. Over the years, its attention to detail has never wavered, and Hermès never fails to make women’s heartbeat quicken just by catching a glimpse of the orange box and bag.