Hermès: Why Colour really matters

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Reviewed on 10/22/2010 | 1 Review

The name is synonym for the utmost luxury, the boutique itself is a temple of quality, where, just once in your life, you should make a pilgrimage. Here we are: Hermès, nothing less. Take a deep breath and walk right in.

Hermès is the dream of every woman and probably the (financial) nightmare of most of their men. Everything is beautiful here and the atmosphere is very special, always busy; it feels a bit like a beehive where even the clients seem to be completely absorbed in a very important activity. I mean, if you order a Kelly bag for several thousands Euros, colour really matters, no?

Hermès is special because it is one of the last traditional houses that’s have never been sold to one of the big luxury groups: it still belongs to the founding family who have an emporium today. The house was actually created in 1873 by Thierry Hermès, a protestant who fled his home country Germany and settled in Paris. He started producing harnesses and saddles of such quality that he was soon providing the European monarchies with his products.

Blankets, belts and Birkin bags

In case you're travelling on horseback...

When horse riding was no longer the most appropriate way to cross Paris, Hermes quickly adapted, and started doing more leather goods. Today you can get almost everything at Hermes: bags, like the famous Kelly or ever-coveted Birkin, splendid silk scarves called carré d’Hermes, the ready-to-wear collection, blankets, belts, jewelleries, perfumes, candles, sophisticated little etuis for visiting cards and even today: saddles.

Their scarves are just about the most beautiful things in the world: Look at them, and it’s a blaze of colour, touch them and you can feel the quality. Apparently each scarft requires two years of work and over 140 manipulations before ending up in store. I don’t know if that’s really true, but it certainly feels like it.

The other day, when I flirted with the idea of making a lifelong investment, a lady beside me was choosing within two minutes a scarf she wanted to give as a present. You could feel she was an expert. She confessed to having a collection of 230 carrés at home. Multiply that by 280 euros (the price of a scarf today) – and be a bit jealous.

24, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
75008 Paris
+33 (0)1 40 17 47 17
Métro: Madeleine  
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