What does the Hermès logo hide? The story of a company linked to the exquisite work of saddlery leathers and the love of the horse.
The History of Hermès
1837 – Thierry Hermès founded an eponymous boutique in Paris, specializing in the making and production of saddles and harnesses. Located in the Grands Boulevards district, Hermès was not yet a luxury boutique renowned for the finesse of its cuts and its timeless elegance.
In the 19th century full of upheavals, Hermès was aimed at the demanding professionals and individuals wanting quality equipment for horse riding! We must be remembered that the era was for horse transport – and Thierry Hermès lived by it. He even excelled at it. Its initial successes rest on the manufacture of harnesses adapted to a car and its coupling, custom-made, beautiful and functional.
In 1867, the company obtained the first class medal at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. A few years later in 1880, the saddlery was established at 24, Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré. The district was not yet the most chic in Paris, but it was close to the Champs-Elysées stables. At the time, Tsar Nicolas II of Russia was one of the customers of the house of Hermès.
Hermès and Textile
While the reputation of Hermès begins to go beyond the simple circle of initiates, the founder died. He left the company to his son, Charles-Emile, to succeed him – he and all his descendants. Hermès then extended its range and somewhat abandoned the manufacture of only saddles.
Soon, blankets for horses and other textile equipment decorated the windows of the company. But the end of the century brought with it the obsolete use of the horse. As a visionary man, Charles-Emile intensified the diversification of Hermès’ production, particularly towards the automobile.
While the 20th century definitively ratified horse transport, the Hermès house decided to keep this symbolism. The idea? Identify yourself in this elegant world, close to the Jockey Club and its social events.
The Hermès Carriage
Then, in the 1920s, Emile-Maurice Hermès acquired to enrich his cabinet of curiosity, a drawing made with graphite, enhanced with white gouache: a work by Alfred de Dreux, titled ‘Le Duc Attelé’. This design marks the genesis of the Hermès logo – a historical perspective merged with that of racing to build the imagination of luxury.
Officially introduced in 1945, the carriage became the signature of the house. “The first client is the horse; the second, the rider” declared Jean-Louis Dumas.
With the disappearance of the horse from everyday life, Hermès chose the carriage to allude to its original quest for perfection – in bridles, saddles, harnesses and rider boots.
Today, Hermès is known for its iconic bags, the Birkin, the Kelly , the Constance. Exquisite leatherwork, but this logo is far from appearing in each of the house’s creations. The absence of a warning logo plays in favor of the saddler – Hermès is exclusive, discreet, noble in sum.
Buying a Hermès piece means entering a club because of the rarity, the discretion and the artisanal care brought to the manufacture of these same pieces.
Allure Hermès In 3 Words?
Racy, nomadic and timeless. Still today, the horse is at the heart of the brand – constantly honored by the organization of show jumping or cavalry competitions, such as the Saut Hermès which is held each year under the nave of the Grand Palais, Paris.
A spirit, a logo, an imagination that the Calèche perfume also captures. Composed by Guy Robert in 1961, it echoes the carriage of a house imbued with poetry. A poetry distilled around a floral heart embroidered with ylang-ylang, rose and jasmine; a poetry that ends with a woody wake, underlined by the nobility of the iris. Duke Aillé d’Hermès watched over this heritage.
Hermès And Horse Riding
If the horse is a totem animal for Hermès who likes to stage it in its advertising campaigns, it has been since 2010, at the heart of the most popular equestrian event in France.
Since 2010, Hermès has organized the Saut Hermès. Under the large glass roof of the Grand Palais in Paris, riders and horses from around the world compete for three days. 6 show jumping events, at the highest international level (CSI5 *).
In this showcase, the Saut d’Hermès remains a formidable journey. We find Hermès’ love for poetry and facetiousness.
A giant H, giant Arceau watches as a clock, the rider of a chess game… So many obstacles which contribute to making the Saut d’Hermès competition one of the most difficult courses on the international circuit. That and, its final obstacle, high of 1m60…
But the forty or so riders who participate each year can count on the saddles signed Hermès. Laetitia du Couëdic, partner rider Hermès tells.
“The whole team spends a lot of time adapting each saddle to each horse and each rider, so that they are saddles that help us to perform, which will never hinder or hit the horse. There is a real work of production, reflection and discussion between the rider and the Hermès team. This is what I like, and this is what makes these the best saddles I have ever had so far.” The date is set on March 20, 21 and 22, 2020.