Hermes of Paris, the leader in ultimate luxury was established in 1837 by Thierry Hermes. Initially, a harness workshop that produced some of the most coveted harnesses and bridles in Europe, Hermes moved into its current location – 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore – in 1880 and began retail sales. The company expanded its product line into accessories and clothing in the early 1900’s and introduced its first leather handbags in the 1920s. In 1935, it introduced the Sac a Depeches, which was to be renamed the “Kelly” bag in 1956, when a photo of Grace Kelly, the new Princess of Monaco, was shown carrying the bag in a photograph in Life Magazine.
Hermes’ product line grew in the mid-1900’s and many of the products popular today were introduced during that time, including the scarves, ties, perfume, Chaine d’Ancre bracelet, etc. In the 1950s, the company adopted its present logo of a Duc carriage with horse and its signature orange boxes. Watches and tableware were added in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The Birkin, named after Jane Birkin, was introduced in 1984. Today, the company has 14 product categories.
The most coveted Hermes products are its handbags, all hand made by skilled craftspersons, many employed by the company for decades. It is estimated that a single handbag requires 18 to 24 hours to be completed. Today, Hermes’ handbags are made in a variety of exotic skins and leathers sourced by the company from around the world. With demand far exceeding supply, the value of these bags far exceeds their retail price.
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