Luxury brand Hermès is celebrating 175 years since its inception and to mark the occasion, a new exhibition honoring the brand’s history is opening in London on May 8. As one of the world’s most recognized and highly-regarded luxury brands, Hermès performance is equally as impressive as its products, with profits rising 41% last year to £495 million.
Though undoubtedly known for their printed silk scarves, Hermès’ iconic handbags, such as the Kelly and the most famous and most collected Birkin bag, are what really stand out in the luxury industry.
Cousins Pierre-Alexis Dumas and Axel Dumas serve as the Hermès creative director and chief operating officer respectively. Pierre-Alexis said of his father, Jean-Louis Dumas’ creation of the Birkin bag, “I don’t think he was being clever, he was just someone you could talk to. He loved drawing, he talked to her [lady on plane], and she told him what would be her ideal bag. He drew it and made it. I don’t think he expected it to be such a huge success.”
On May 8, a London exhibition called Leather Forever will showcase how every Hermès-made leather good is created from a tradition dating back to the founding of the company in 1837. Pierre-Alexis said, “We want to share our culture. We are tenants of a culture that is age-old. We used our tools and know-how from our link to horse equipment, and we applied it to accessories and handbags. It is a long, beautiful, human tradition.”
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