The Story Behind Luxury Fashion Brand Hermès


The brand ‘Hermès ’ has been around for more than 200 years now. Thierry Hermes started operations way back in the 18th century by making saddles, leather harnesses etc. In 1880 Charles-Emile, son of Hermès, took over the reins of the management and moved the store to 24 Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honore (it still remains there). His sons Adolphe and Emile-Maurice began to sell the products in retail. At that point of time the company catered to elite clientele in Europe, Russia, Asia and North Africa. In 1900 the company developed specially designed bags for the riders wherein they could carry their saddles.

In 1914 Emile Hermes earned the sole exclusive rights to the zipper and he began to use it for clothing and leather goods. He was the first designer to introduce the zipper feature in clothes. Among the first set of products was the leather gold jacket with a zipper that was made for Edward, the Prince of Wales. After the success of zipper, Emile Maurice headed the company single-handedly throughout the 1920s.

Eventually he added accessories and clothing to his collection and first leather handbags were introduced to the market in 1922. He then established an overseas presence by opening stores in the US in 1924. In the mid-1930s Universal Geneve, a famous Swiss watchmaker was employed as the official timepiece designer for Hermès. This partnership lasted until the 1950s.

Emile-Maurice died in 1951 and Robert Dumas-Hermes succeeded him as the head of the company. He was the one to introduce original handbags, accessories and jewelry. Later the company entered the fragrance business in 1961. During the 1970s the company established a number of stores across the world. Over the years, Hermes introduced itself into new markets and in the 1980s the company introduced tableware. By 1993 the company went public at the Paris Stock Exchange. The family still retains majority of the stocks (80%) and the entire family of Hermès is in the Forbes list of BILLIONAIRES. Today the products of the company are known for its sophistication, class and for setting new fashion trends in the industry.

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