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Founded in 1837, Hermès International S.A. is one of the world’s most prestigious luxury design houses. The company specializes in leather goods, lifestyle accessories, home furnishings, perfumery, jewelry, watches, and ready-to-wear, and its logo has been a horse-drawn carriage since the 1950s.
Designers of Hermes
As part of the company’s history, many designers have been involved, including Lola Prusac, Jacques Delahaye, Catherine de Karolyi, Monsieur Levaillant, Nicole de Vesian, Eric Bergère, Claude Brouet, Tan Giudicelli, Marc Audibet, Mariot Chane, Bernard Sanz, Martin Margiela, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Christophe Lemaire, Véronique Nichanian (men’s fashion designer since 1988) and Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski (since 2014, succeeding Lemaire).
Goods and products of Hermes
Hermès is known for its luxury goods, and by 2008, the company had 14 product divisions which included leather, scarves, ties, men’s and women’s wear, perfume, watches, stationery, footwear, gloves, enamelware, decorative arts, tableware, and jewellery.
It is estimated that Hermès sells about 30% leather goods, 15% clothes, 12% scarves, and 43% other goods. The company does not license any of its products and has tight control over the design and manufacture of its massive inventory.
There is a strong attachment to the company’s traditional business model, which rejects mass production, assembly lines, and automation. The majority of Hermès’s goods are made by hand in middle-sized workshops known as Les Ateliers Hermès, which are committed to producing high-quality goods. Despite the fact that Hermès claims that most of its items are manufactured by just one individual, which should guarantee the quality and uniqueness of its goods from beginning to end.
As of 2012, Hermès retail outlets changed their policy regarding the exchange and return of products, requiring consumers to return items within ten days of purchasing and exchange items for another color variation of their original purchase. No other post-purchase exchanges are permitted, and refunds are never offered, regardless of whether the consumer has a receipt.
It was in 1937 that the scarf or carré (square) became popular. As a first example, Hermès created a custom-made accessory containing a print of white-wigged females playing a popular period game, entitled “Jeu des Omnibus et Dames Blanches”, which measures 70 cm x 70 cm. Throughout the entire production process of its scarves, Hermès oversaw all aspects of the production process, which included purchasing raw Chinese silk, spinning it into yarn, and weaving it into fabric twice the strength and weight of any scarve in the world at that time.
It takes years for the company’s scarf designers to come up with new print patterns that are
hand screen-printed individually. Currently, there are more than 70,000 colors available to designers. In the year of Hermès’ 100th anniversary, they built a dedicated factory in Lyon, France, the same year that production first began.
There are two contemporary Hermès squares available in the form of silks woven from the silks of 250 mulberry moth cocoons. Each square measures 90 centimeters by 90 centimeters and weighs 65 grams. All hems are hand
stitched. The themes of the silk scarves are broad ranging. There are two silk scarves
released per year as well as some reprints and limited editions. A cashmere/silk blend is
introduced two times per year. Since 1937, Hermès has produced over 2,000 unique designs; the horse motif has been particularly popular. As a result of the ubiquitous “Brides de Gala” version, which was
introduced in 1957, it has been
produced more than 70,000 times. According to Hermès, a scarf is
sold somewhere in the world every 25 seconds, and by the late 1970s, more than 1.1 million scarves had been
It was in 1946 that the brand began manufacturing silk neckties for men that were available in a variety of motifs and widths. Neckties today account for 10% of the company’s annual sales.
Partnership with the Tuareg
There has been a long partnership between Hermès and Tuareg tribesmen over the past few years with the intention of producing silver jewelry. The traditional motifs displayed in Tuareg jewelry often appear in a variety of Hermès products, such as scarves.
Leather Goods of Hermes
Handcrafted luggage and handbags are one of the best-known qualities of Hermes. Hermès is well
known for its signature bag, the Kelly bag. Each Kelly bag, for example, takes 18 hours to fully complete. Leathers from all over the world are
used in the construction of Hermes bags. There is currently a wait of six to one year for customers to receive one of the house’s signature bags. Aside from that, should an item from Hermès’s leather goods require repair, owners may bring the item to any Hermès store and the item will be
shipped to Les Ateliers Hermès in Pantin for repair or reconditioning, should it be necessary.
One of Hermès’ most famous handbags, the Birkin bag, is
named after British actress Jane Birkin. Upon meeting Jean-Louis Dumas by chance in 1984, she complained that her bag was not practical for everyday use, and he invited her to visit France so that they could co-design the bag together. Since then, Birkin has stopped carrying the bag because of her tendonitis, resulting in the bag becoming too heavy and large for her to carry.
She asked that her name be
removed, and there was a great deal of back-and-forth discussion about various issues, such as removing her name. It has been
reported in Vogue that Jane Birkin is
satisfied with the measures Hermès took, according to the brand. Following an investigation conducted by the fashion house [that refuted] PETA’s claim that its famous Birkin bags were made with skins from factory-farmed and cruelly slaughtered crocodiles, Hermès replied that the brand was
satisfied with the measures that the fashion house had taken.
Hermès’ most famous handbags include the Kelly and Birkin, however the house has a wide selection of other famous handbags as well. One of the most popular of these is the bolide, a dome shaped carry-all with leather straps that comes in a variety of sizes. In addition, the bolide is widely
regarded as the first handbag built with zippers, and it is available in both stiff leathers, such as Epsom and relaxed leathers, such as Clemence. Evelyne is another popular bag from the Hermès house that’s comparatively affordable.
It can be
worn crossbody and comes with a traditional fabric strap, making it an attractive crossbody bag. In general, the Evelyne has 4 different sizes available: the TPM (16 cm), PM (29 cm), GM (33 cm) and TGM (40 cm) and is
made of relaxed leathers such as clemence. Its perforated “H” motif is
intended to be
hidden and worn towards the body, so that it is easily accessible at the top of the bag.
Perfumery of Hermes
Founded in 1951, the company has developed numerous scents, including unisex fragrances, for men and women. In addition to classic perfumes like Calèche, which was
introduced in 1961, the Hermès perfume line includes more recent creations like Terre d’Hermès. The Hermès perfumes are
designed by Jean-Claude Ellena, who is mainly responsible for creating the perfumes.
Hermes Crystal lighting and glass
A member of the group is Saint-Louis Crystal Glass, the oldest crystal manufacturer in the world. Since its foundation in 1586, Saint-Louis has been
influenced by a variety of decorative periods from the 19th and 20th centuries, from the Restoration to Modern styles, through Napoléon III, Art Nouveau and Art Déco, to name a few. The Saint-Louis brand became an integral part of the Hermès Group Métiers in 1989.
estimated that by the end of December 2016, the Hermès family owned 65.1% of the share capital of Hermès International S.A., as both partners of Émile Hermès SARL and their family members. Through a number of asset holding companies as well as direct ownership, the family was able to earn 74.8% of the vote regarding the allocation of net income and 77.2% of the voting rights on all other matters. As of the end of 2010, the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH held a total of 20.21 % of its shares, as well as 13.08% of its votes, of which 0.39% was
held by the company’s treasury and 16.61% were
held by the company freely.
Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH, has repeatedly denied speculations that the company is planning on bidding for Hermès. Some industry insiders have been in doubt, such as René Weber, an analyst at Zürich’s Vontobel Investment Banking, who has claimed: “Arnault is not afraid of a fight and a lot of his battles have been successful for him and his shareholders. Whether he can eventually succeed with [a takeover of] Hermès is still an open question.” Bertrand Puech, who chairs the main Hermès family holding company, has criticised LVMH’s acquisition of Hermès shares and called on the company to reduce its stake by half.
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