Female: Legendary French goods house Hermes began as a saddle maker in Paris in the 1800’s and now specializes in leather and ready-to- wear.
The company has renowned in the fashion world and its products are considered to be prestigious by virtue of workmanship, reputation and high price.
Established in 1837, the saddle shop of Terry Hermes in Paris quickly became an international success. The look of Hermes was simple, the height of luxury with a nod to the house as equestrian heritage.
By the 1920’s, Hermes introduced the first lady’s bag with zip closures. Gradually, the company expanded into riding gloves, belts and designed the now famous travel trunks to meet the needs of the new automobile drivers.
The infamous Kelly bag debuted in 1956 after Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco used the classic Hermes crocodile handbag to hide her pregnancy from the paparazzi. At a price of roughly ten to $60,000.00 as well as a minimum three-year wait list, it is an accessory that most women can only aspire to attain.
Actress Jane Birkin began carrying a leather Hermes number in 1984 and started the rage that is the Birkin bag. Today, the Birkin remains to have the longest waiting list of any luxury accessory, about six years.
In the 1970s’, the first women shoe collection and the first complete men’s ready-to-wear collection were introduced.
Catwalks in the early 90’s showed classic designs in bold colors. The French fashion house teemed bright, tartan, tapered trousers with excitingly colored jackets. Vibrant duffle coats and quilted coat warmers printed on one side and plain on the other completed the look.
A 5th generation member of the Hermes family is Designer Jean- Louis Dumas Hermes talk his collections to the catwalk. His designs revealed the determined elegance with models turned out in leather jackets with matching slim pants or long skirts with Hermes accessories. Evening wear was brightened with an array of ball gowns
Jean-Louis was also on hand at the extravagant opening of the fashion house’s first Flagship Store in Rome with acrobats and dancers taking to the streets to celebrate the unveiling.
Hermes menswear designer Veronique Nichanian unveiled a 1999 spring-summer collection that appeared natural and simple and with no excess.
Shirts were crisp and white while evening suits and jackets were sharp navy and black. A large array of casual wear was featured in beiges, grays and browns.
In 2003, French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier joined the house as the women’s ready-to-wear designer and debut his first collection in 2004. He took his inspiration for color from the skins of horses and evening dresses in rich shades were inspired by the traditional Hermes scarf.
Female: It was a very -- I think at times, unexpected marriage but I think that Jean-Paul Gaultier galloped away with the first prize. I think without a doubt, he has found a true home. And I think that the collection he showed for Hermes today was probably one of the best collections he has ever done in his entire career.
Female: The fashion house is a favorite with celebrities as well. Angelina Jolie was seen at the 2008 SAG Awards wearing a strapless vintage Hermes gown inspiring many women to adapt the strapless look on the red carpet.
Hermes continues to be one of the most luxurious fashion houses in the business.