Parisienne Haute Couture Brand unveils the hands behind their craftmanship legacy with an exposition in the Danish capital
It was only a fortnight ago that Hermès Paris presented their Spring 2022 collection at the Paris Fashion Week. With their odd choice of an airport hanger for a fashion venue they took off the month of October in the traditional Hermès way, introducing an array of wondrous leather goods that the brand is synonymous with. Crops tops, handbags, sandals, you name it and Hermès delivered.
But that was just the opening act for the Parisienne “marché du luxe”, tearing their metaphorical boarding pass they headed for Copenhagen to hold an exposition on the historical artisanship associated with the house of Hermès.
A Hermès History
To understand the significance of the Hermès brand it is necessary to go back to the turn of the 19th century. It was a rather tumultuous period in French history, after the Revolution the populace was divided upon the route that would best see the country forward. With the establishment of the Consulate and himself as the first, Napoleon Bonaparte would be the one to lead France to its destiny. Eastwards, not far from the river Rhine, was the city of Kresfeld. In the city, currently under the banner of Napoleon’s empire, was born a young boy. Son to a German mother and French father, Thierry Hermès was born. His parents had been innkeepers and for much his Hermès’ early years he had a humble upbringing. Being a very different time period from today, the 19 th century came with its own unique challenges. After losing his parents to disease, a now orphaned Hermes moved to the French capital in 1921.
19th century Parisienne society like in many parts of Europe was strictly divided into a class system. Being skilled in leatherworking placed young Hermès into the middle class of skilled workers mainly of which were craftsmen, barbers, bakers or of similar skilled professions. In 1837 Hermès had established, Hermès International, a business specialised in making leather goods for equestrian use. Although the early 1800s had seen the dismantlement of the French aristocracy with the failure of the Bourbon Restoration, the French noblesse had not entirely been eradicated. There were still remnants of the nobility, albeit weakened in their political influence, whom the past-times of fencing and horse riding had still remained relatively popular. This coupled with the modern car still being far off as a regular form of travel which would only begin to rise in the 20 th century, enabled Hermès to find a gap in the market that remained to be highly sought after.
Two centuries on the brand’s has shown no signs of reining in its influence in its cultural sphere, extending its reach to jewellery, apparel and watch-making. The Hermès’ story is one of the culminations of talent from all facets of society from the proletariat’s hard-working values, to the high institutions of the elite. A tradition that has endured the test of time.
Not convinced? Well make up your mind fast. The Hermès in the Making event exhibition will be held from the 15 th to 24 th October in the Danish Architecture Center in the capital. It will be open to the general public with free admission for all. So, if you want to get a look at 200 hundred years of design tradition, ready up that plane ticket and green pass combo before the end of next week. It’ll be well worth it!