Skip to content
Home » Blog » Hermes History

Hermes History


Hermes is a high brand famous for its bags, perfumes, watches, and other items. Among them, the Birkin has been loved for a long time since it was first sold as a woman’s dream. What kind of history is behind Hermes’ popularity around the world? In this article, I’ll explain it.

The Founding of Hermes
Hermès was founded in 1937. The company was founded in 1937 by Thierry Hermès, who opened a store in Paris as a harness workshop. Due to its high quality, it was heavily used by powerful people such as Napoleon III and the Czar of Russia at that time.

Later, Thierry’s son, Charles Hermès, opened a store specializing in custom-made products. He earned the trust of his customers by handcrafting his products upon receiving orders. Since the products were made by hand by artisans, users began to feel that they wanted to buy their harnesses from Hermes.

Charles’ son, Emile, then started displaying gloves and hats for women. Emile, Charles’s son, started displaying women’s gloves and hats, and these products became popular among Parisians as products that added color to their lives. This is how Hermes established its value as a brand that enriches people’s lives.

The secret of the brand concept and logo
The Hermès brand concept is to “pass down the art of craftsmanship” and “the joy of movement and travel.
Each and every product is made by the hands of craftsmen and boasts high quality. In addition, the items that combine brilliant design and durability can withstand long-distance travel. The value of moving around with Hermes products in your hands is itself a value that has been marketed.

Also, are you familiar with the Hermes brand logo?
It is a logo that depicts a horse, a carriage (duc), and a follower (tiger). The carriage depicted in the logo is the type that was popular at the time. The master steers the horse, and the servant supports him. This was the standard style of carriage.

However, there is something missing in the Hermes logo. It’s “master”. What this means is that the main character is the “master (owner).
To explain the logo in simple terms

 Squire = craftsman
 Carriage = branded item
 Master = owner

The reason why there is no master is because The reason why there is no owner is

“The reason why there is no master is because it means, “Hermes prepares the best quality carriages, but it is up to you to control them.

The reason why there is no owner is because the meaning is “Hermes prepares the best quality carriage, but it is up to you to control it.

The Decline of the Horse-Drawn Carriage and Hermes’ Strategy
As we entered the 20th century, people’s means of transportation changed from horse carriages to automobiles. In the 20th century, people’s means of transportation shifted from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles, partly due to the impact of World War I, which led to the rapid spread of automobiles. It was obvious that the number of people using horse-drawn carriages would drastically decrease in the future.

“It was obvious that the number of people using horse-drawn carriages would decrease dramatically. Horse-drawn carriages will decline, but the number of people traveling long distances by train or car will increase.

Emile Hermès thought this way, and used the technology he had developed to create new products.

In 1892, he created the first Hermes bag, the “Ota Croix”. This product was originally created as a saddle bag for horses. It was appreciated for its good looks and practicality, and became highly popular as a travel bag in the 1900s.

In 1922, the company acquired the exclusive rights to the zipper, which was invented in the United States. In 1922, the company acquired exclusive rights to the zipper, which was invented in the United States, and produced bags with zippers attached. This was revolutionary at the time, and it was a product that was born thanks to Hermès’ advanced technology and ability to look ahead.
Hermès’ strategy was to create products with an awareness of the customer’s lifestyle and the spirit to challenge new products in response to changes in society.

During this period (1920s-1940s), Hermès introduced a variety of items. During this period (1920s-1940s), Hermès introduced various items such as menswear, jewelry, watches, and sandals.
The silk scarf, which is now synonymous with Hermes, was also born. When these items were put on display in stores, they became very popular with the women of Paris. They became even more popular when celebrities such as Coco Chanel wore them.

In the 1920s, Annie Beaumont introduced window displays. This was the origin of the current Hermes Theater, a way to display products that expresses the Hermes worldview.
This was an ingenious way to entertain everyone who passed by, regardless of whether or not they were buying a product. It is said that this is the reason why more and more people come to Hermes stores.

The birth of the symbol of Hermes
In 1951, Robert Dumas, who had married Emile’s daughter, became the head of the company and focused on the development of the scarf. This is how the iconic Hermes scarf, the “Carre Hermes” was born. The word “Carré” means “square”.

Dumas was looking for a technician who could accurately express the intricate patterns of the scarf. He met Maxell Gandy and succeeded in developing the Carré. The scarf was born with beautiful patterns printed on it by “silk screen technology” that can print accurately on anything.

There are two main characteristics of Calais.
The first is “high quality. It is said that it takes two years from planning to sales to carefully select the silk used as material.
The designs are also deeply thought out, one by one, and you can see the dedication of Hermes.

Next is “artistry”.
Each scarf has its own title and story, expressing its individuality and artistry.
Each scarf has its own title and story, expressing its individuality and artistry. The titles are based on the concept of “short, precise, and shining.

A Walk to Longchamp
A Letter of Flowers
Dance in the Amazon

In all of them, you can imagine the scene from the title. These are excellent titles that allow us to imagine the scene from the title and the emotion from the scene.

Why does Calais have these titles?
At that time, World War II had just ended, and people were hoping for a change from an unhappy era to a happy one. As if to express this, they adopted gorgeous colors and set up a cheerful story.

In 1953, the Kelly bag was born, and in 1983, the Birkin was born. Did you know that these bags were named after people?

The Kelly bag was named after Grace Kelly, the then Princess of Monaco. A photo of Kelly hiding her pregnant belly with this bag was published in a magazine, and the product became famous. Hermes took advantage of this trend, and with the permission of the Principality of Monaco, changed its name to the “Kelly Bag”.

The Birkin is based on Jane Birkin, a female singer from England.
The then president of Hermes happened to be sitting next to her on an airplane. When he looked next to her, he saw that she was haphazardly putting her luggage into a tattered bag. Seeing this, the president offered to give her a bag that could hold anything.
This is how the “Birkin” was created.

There are other models named after people.
There are other models named after people, such as the “Elle” ordered by the model Elle Macpherson, and the “Mallet Tanaka”, a large travel bag ordered by a Japanese man.
You may be able to find a Hermes model with a name you are familiar with.

The Hermes of today
In the 80’s and 90’s, Hermès acquired various companies, but unlike the acquisition strategy of LMVH Group, Hermès’ goal is to maintain the craftsmanship. Therefore, the main targets of the acquisitions were small companies.
The company’s capital tie-ups include Saint-Louis (tableware) and John Lobb (shoes).
“We only work with brands that share the same values as Hermès and have high technology.

When Jean-Louis Dumas took over as Chairman in 1987, he focused on advertising.
He renewed the brand image through advertisements to promote the “new Hermes”. He tried to combine novelty and craftsmanship, such as adding more colors and variations to scarves.

From 1987, the brand established an annual theme. This year, the theme was “Feux d’Artifice – Fireworks.
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Hermès, fireworks were set off on the Seine River. Hermès also released items with fireworks as a motif, and a firework maker is depicted on the calf.
Incidentally, the theme for 2021 is “ODYSSEE: A Long Adventure Trip. The theme is also reflected in this year’s collection. I am looking forward to seeing what themes will be presented next year and beyond.

In the 21st century, Hermès began its global expansion. It opened flagship stores in New York, Tokyo, and Seoul. We now have more than 300 stores around the world.

Hermès is also involved in international social contributions. For example, it participates in UN-led initiatives and supports the protection of endangered species.
In addition, the company is actively trying to reduce waste by producing items using scraps of leather. The scraps generated during the production process are not only arranged into card cases, door stoppers, etc., but are also used for the creative artistic activities of the artisans. The unique and one-of-a-kind items created in this way are also highly popular.

Hermes in Japan
Hermes opened its flagship store in Ginza in 2001. In 2001, Hermes opened its flagship store in Ginza, which was named “Ginza Maison Hermes”, meaning “Maison (house) to welcome Japanese people”. The name “Ginza Maison Hermès” was also a way of saying “thank you” to Japan, which at the time ranked second in the world in sales.
The 11-story building, about 45 meters high, is wrapped with about 13,000 glass blocks.
Its concept is that of a lantern. In the daytime, it glitters in the sunlight, and at night it gently illuminates the streets of Ginza. The entire building is like one big lantern.
The building is designed to escape the shaking of earthquakes, which shows that it was made with Japan in mind.

The basement floor to the fourth floor is the Hermès floor, the eighth floor is the Forum, a gallery hosted by Hermès, and the tenth floor is the Le Studio, a theater for reservations only. Of course, the window displays, also known as the Hermes Theater, are still intact. Each year, designers and artists express their own unique world based on a theme.
Currently, the concept is “Ananke (Greek goddess)”. The Hermès tradition of adding color to life can be felt even in Japan, far away from France.

Hermes has been focusing on craftsmanship and high quality for about 180 years since its establishment. The flexibility to produce products that match the times while inheriting the traditional techniques is probably the reason why the company has been loved for so long. The trust that has been built up through this process has made fans all over the world want to buy from Hermès.
The exquisite balance between the unique elegance that we have possessed since the beginning of our business and the modern sensibility. This is the reason why the value of the Hermes brand is so high.

Leave a Reply