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Hermés

HERMÉS

French design house

Founded: in Paris by Thierry Hermés in 1837 to manufacture bridles, saddles, and riding boots for the carriage trade. Company History: Company moved to rue de Faubourg in Paris, 1879; began accessories, including silk scarves, 1926; founder's grandson, Emile Hermés, established luggage and couture clothing in 1930s; Hermés scarf introduced, 1937; silk ties first sold, 1949; first fragrances, 1950 (later including Caleche, 1961; 24, Faubourg, 1995, and Hermés Rouge, 2001); glassware, tableware introduced, 1980s; initial public offering, 1993; Martin Margiela appointed ready-to-wear designer, 1997; purchases 35-percent stake in Jean-Paul Gaultier's design business, 1999; opened Madison Avenue store, New York, 2000. Company Address: 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris, France.

Publications

By HERMÉS:

Books

Hermés Handbook, New York, n.d.

How to Wear Your Hermés Scarf, Paris, 1986, 1988, 1994.

Baseman, Andrew, The Scarf, New York, 1989.

Hermés: Le Monde d'Hermés 1992, Paris, 1991.

On HERMÉS:

Books

Hermés Handbook, New York n.d.

Keller-Krische, Christiane, The Book of Scarves: Scarves, Shawls, and Ties Dressed with Imagination, 2000.

Articles

"A Boutique Where You Don't Just BuyYou Invest," in Vogue, October 1974.

Van Dyke, Grace, "Hermés: Old World Luxury in the New World," in USA Today, July 1984.

Dryansky, G.Y., "Hermés: Quality with a Kick," in Harper's Bazaar, April 1986.

"Scarves Everywhere," in the New Yorker, 30 January 1989.

Aillaud, Charlotte, "The Hermés Museum: Inspiration for the Celebrated Family Firm," in Architectural Digest, January 1989.

Beckett-Young, Kathleen, "Signature in the Social Register," in Connoisseur, June 1989.

Tompkins, Mimi, "Sweatshop of the Stars," in U.S. News & World Report, 12 February 1990.

Gandee, Charles, "Jean-Louis DumasHermés is Flying High," in House & Garden, August 1990.

Hornblower, Margaret, "As Luxe as It Gets," in Time, 6 August 1990.

"Hermés: Still in the Saddle," in WWD, 25 September 1991.

"Hermés of Paris, Inc.," in the New York Times, 5 October 1991.

Andrieu, Frederic, "European Accents: A Gold Brooch Here, a Quilted Bag There, and Hermés Scarves Everywhere," in Lear's (New York), January 1992.

Slesin, Susan, "Ah, the Horse: Hermés Introduces New Porcelain Pattern," in the New York Times, 21 May 1992.

Rotenier, Nancy, "Tie Man Meets Queen of England," in Forbes, 13September 1993.

Morris, Bernadine, "Five Designers Reveal a Sense of Calm in Paris," in the New York Times, 10 March 1994.

White, Constance C.R., "Hermés Seeks a New Image," in the New York Times, 20 March 1995.

Mead, Rebecca, "The Crazy Professor: Why was Paris Persuaded that the Radical Martin Margiela was Right for the Venerable House of Hermés?" in the New Yorker, 30 March 1998.

Strom, Stephanie, "Luxury in Recession Land; the Hermés of the World Find New Ways to Prosper in Japan's Weak Economy," in the New York Times, 29 October 1998.

Thomas, Dana, "Gaultier Goes for Growth," in the Newsweek International, 19 July 1999.

"Time and Again: Hermés Opens Boutique on Madison Avenue," in Elle, December 2000.

Taber, Andrew, "Hermés," [profile] available online at Fashion Live, www.fashionlive.com, 19 March 2001.

***

Emile-Maurice Hermés, grandson of founder Thierry Hermés, summed up the philosophy of his family's celebrated firm in the 1920s as "Leather, sport, and a tradition of refined elegance." Passed down over generations, the House of Hermés has been committed to quality in design and production for more than 160 years. At the dawn of the 21th century, the name Hermés continues to represent the ultimate in French luxury.

Hermés began as a Parisian leather goods shop in 1837, making finely wrought harnesses, bridles, and riding boots for the carriage trade. As early as 1855 Hermés was earning accolades, winning first prize in its class at the 1855 Paris Exposition. Thierry's son Emile-Charles established the current flagship store at 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, where he introduced saddlery and began retail sales. Emile-Charles sold his stake in the company to his brother, Emile Maurice, who in turn was the true visionary of the Hermés family.

With the advent of the automobile, the firm adapted its careful saddle stitching techniques to the production of wallets, luggage, handbags, watchbands, and accessories for golfing, hunting, and polo playing, and began to design couture sportswear. All were made with the same fine materials and attention to detail as the original leather wares, and the firm continued to build on its reputation for quality. Hermés made fashion news in the 1920s by designing one of the first leather garments of the 20th century, a zippered golfing jacket, for the Prince of Wales. For a time the zipper was called the fermature Hermés, because of its European impact (Emile-Maurice had bought a two-year patent on the unusual Canadian invention).

The fourth generation of proprietors were two sons-in-law, Jean Guerrand and Robert Dumas. Guerrand and Dumas added scarves and perfume to the line, while the leather artisans remained loyal, often staying on for decades. Into the 1960s the company continued to expand, with the introduction of new styles and fragrances. Jean-Louis Dumas, the son of Robert Dumas, became président-directeur général in 1978.

The 1980s were a period of unprecedented growth for the firm. Hermés benefitted from the revival of status dressing. Women sported the crocodile-skin Kelly bag (named for Grace Kelly), the Constance clutch, brightly colored leathers, sensuous cashmeres, bold jewelry, tricolored spectator shoes, and silk ballet slippers. For men, Hermés made leather jackets with sherpa lining and trim, gabardine blazers and dashing greatcoats, and richly patterned silk ties. Dumas introduced new materials like porcelain and crystal, expanding the line to some 30,000 items. It is to the firm's credit that they have never licensed any of their products, but keep tight control over the design and manufacture of this vast range of goods. Thus every leather-bound datebook, porcelain teapot, silk waistcoat, scarf, and handbag is made under a watchful Hermés eye.

One of the most visible and bestselling items in the Hermés line is the scarf, or carré as they are called. The carefully printed, heavy silk scarves are coveted for the air of Parisian style they impart. Many of the carrés feature equestrian motifs, as well as other symbols of prestige, like coats of arms, banners, and military insignia. Women boast of how many they own, and hand them down through generations; some of the scarves end up as framed wall-hangings or are made into pillows. The firm corresponds regularly with Hermés addicts trying to collect every scarf on the books, and reports that during the holiday season in the Paris store, a scarf is sold every 20 seconds. Queen Elizabeth II was pictured on an English postage stamp with an Hermés scarf wrapped around her royal head. Each scarf could be considered a small symbol of all of the carefully made luxury goods Hermés has produced for generations.

Hermés, rarely one to keep pace with trends, astonished the fashion world with the appointment of decontructionist Martin Margiela as its ready-to-wear designer in 1997. The Dutch eccentric, known for his savage avant-garde designsoften literally ripping the seams of garments and haphazardly stitching them back togetherproved an excellent albeit bizarre fit. The first Margiela collection debuted in March 1998 and was well received. Andrew Taber, writing for Fashion Live, found the collection "quietly subversive" and further commented, "Margiela's sweeping camel coats and unstructured layers of cashmere and deerskin were timeless, serene, and utterly luxurious in their lack of ostentation."

Though many had their doubts when Jean-Louis Dumas brought Margiela into the Hermés fold, the designer brought a hint of radicalism into the lap of conservative luxury. Another move into the fashion left came with the purchase in 1999 of a 35-percent stake in Gaultier Couture, the company of fashion bad boy Jean-Paul Gaultier. Gaultier got funds for expansion; Hermés extended its empire to keep up with luxe conglomerates like LVMH. Yet the recent additions of Gaultier and Margiela far from tarnished the Hermés name; the company's clothing and accessories have continued to transcend fashion. The Hermés look relies not on trends but on the finest materials, exquisite construction, and the instinctively casual chic of French style.

Over the course of the 20th century and into the 21st, the cut of the clothing and the palettes may have changed, but the classic quality of Hermés designs have remained constant. Beyond mere status symbols, the firm's goods are the embodiment of simplicity and elegance in extremely well made and durable products. Whether it be a jacket of meltingly soft leather, a paisley silk dressing gown, a Kelly bag, a valise, or a carré, an Hermés purchase comes with the assurance that it will be stylish and appropriate for a lifetime. With more than 215 Hermés stores around the world and countless boutiques in high-end department stores in Europe, Asia, and the U.S., the Hermés name has certainly gained more prominence, but its goods land not in the hands of the masses but in the chosen few.

Kathleen Paton;

updated by Nelly Rhodes

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Hermes (in Greek religion and mythology)

Hermes, in Greek religion and mythology, son of Zeus and Maia. His functions were many, but he was primarily the messenger of the gods, particularly of Zeus, and conductor of souls to Hades. He was god of travelers and roads, of luck, of music and eloquence, of merchants and commerce, of young men, and of cheats and thieves. He was credited with having invented the lyre and the shepherd's flute. His most typical monument, the herma or herm, was a stone pillar which usually had a carved head on top and a phallus in the center, probably representing the god in his original role as the giver of fertility. The Hermaea, a riotous festival, was celebrated in his honor. In art, as exemplified by the statue The Flying Mercury by Giovanni Bologna (Bargello, Florence) Hermes is represented as a graceful youth, wearing a wide-brimmed winged hat and winged sandals and carrying the caduceus. A famous statue by Praxiteles, which is located in the Heraeum at Olympia, Greece, shows Hermes with the child Dionysus. The Romans identified Hermes with Mercury.

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"Hermes (in Greek religion and mythology)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Hermes

Hermes in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Maia, the messenger of the gods, and god of merchants, thieves, and oratory. He was portrayed as a herald equipped for travelling, with broad-brimmed hat, winged shoes, and a winged rod. His Roman equivalent is Mercury.

He was also associated with fertility, and from early times was represented by a stock or stone (a Herm), generally having a human head carved at the top and a phallus halfway up it. As patron of flocks and herds, he may be shown carrying a lamb or a calf, and thus may be taken as the equivalent of Christ as the Good Shepherd.
Hermes Trismegistus a legendary figure regarded by Neoplatonists and others as the author of certain works on astrology, magic, and alchemy. Latin Trismegistus means ‘thrice-greatest Hermes’, in reference to Thoth, identified with Hermes.

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Hermes

Hermes

In Greek mythology, Hermes was the fleet-footed messenger of the gods. His parents were Zeus, king of the gods, and Maia, one of the seven sisters known as the Pleiades. The Romans identified Hermes with Mercury, the god of merchants and trade, and they placed his main temple near the merchants' quarter in ancient Rome.

The Greeks looked upon Hermes as a patron of travelers, merchants, and thieves and as a bringer of good luck. Because of his reputation as a speedy messenger, the god became popular among athletes. Many ancient sports arenas had statues of the god. In later art, Hermes was usually depicted as a young man wearing winged sandals and a wide-brimmed hat with wings. He also carried a staff with two snakes known as a caduceus.

patron special guardian, protector, or supporter

While still an infant, Hermes killed a tortoise and used its shell to make a stringed instrument called a lyre. Soon afterward, he stole some cattle belonging to Apollo* and then returned to his cradle. When Apollo came looking for the animals, Hermes pretended to know nothing and told a cunning tale to prove his innocence. In the course of telling his tale, he stole Apollo's bow and arrows.

Zeus insisted that the cattle be returned, so Hermes brought Apollo to the place where they were hidden. There he took up his lyre and played so impressively that Apollo agreed to overlook the theft of the cattle if Hermes would give him the instrument. Hermes also handed back the bow and arrows he had stolen. Amused by the young god's antics, Apollo became his good friend and made Hermes the protector of herdsmen.

When Hermes grew up, he often came to the aid of other gods and mortals. He accompanied Zeus on many journeys and once helped him during a struggle with the monster Typhon. Another time, Hermes rescued Ares* when the god was imprisoned in a jar. He also played a role in arranging the return of Persephone* from the underworld. As a protector of travelers, Hermes escorted the spirits of dead mortals to the river Styx. Among the living mortals he assisted were King Priam of Troy*, Aeneas*, and Odysseus*.

underworld land of the dead

Hermes had love affairs with a number of goddesses and mortal women. The goddess he loved the most was Aphrodite*, with whom he had two children, Hermaphroditus and Priapus. Hermes was also the father of Pan, the god of shepherds and flocks who was half man and half goat.

See also Apollo; Caduceus; Hermaphroditus; Pan; Persephone; Pleiades; Priam; Styx; Underworld; Zeus.

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Hermes

Hermes In Greek mythology, god identified with the Roman Mercury. Represented with winged hat and sandals and carrying a golden wand, Hermes was the messenger of the gods and patron of travellers and commerce.

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Hermes (in astronomy)

Hermes, in astronomy: see asteroid.

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Hermes

Hermes •Andes •Hades, Mercedes •Archimedes • Thucydides • aphides •Eumenides, ParmenidesMaimonides, Simonides •Euripides • cantharides • Hesperides •Hebrides •Aristides, bona fides •Culdees •Alcibiades, Hyades, Pleiades •Cyclades • antipodes • Sporades •Ganges • Apelles •tales, ThalesAchilles, Antilles •Los Angeles • Ramillies • Pericles •isosceles • Praxiteles • Hercules •Empedocles • Sophocles • Damocles •Androcles • Heracles • Themistocles •Hermes • Menes • testudines •Diogenes • Cleisthenes •Demosthenes •Aristophanes, Xenophanes •manganese • Holofernes • editiones principes • herpes •lares, primus inter pares •Antares, Ares, Aries, caries •antifreeze • Ceres • Buenos Aires

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