History lesson for the day
Most people don’t know that Hermes was founded on the principle of making the finest equestrian accouterment’s, and NOT on what Grace Kelly or Jane Birkin selected as their handbag of choice…. Hence the duc carriage logo and repetitive horse design.
It began with Thierry Hermès, the sixth child of an innkeeper. He was born a French citizen in the German town of Krefeld, land that in 1801 was part of Napoleon’s empire. Having lost all of his family to disease and war, Hermès went to Paris an orphan, proved gifted in leatherwork, and opened a shop in 1837, the same year Charles Lewis Tiffany opened his doors in New York. Today the two companies have the most distinctive color signatures in retail—Hermès orange and Tiffany robin’s-egg blue—but there the similarity ends. Where Tiffany began in stationery and costume jewelry, Hermès specialized in the horse harnesses required by society traps, calèches, and carriages. The dynamics of animal power and grace, movement and travel, energy controlled and the outdoors enjoyed, are deep in the lifeline of Hermès. It was a business built on the strength of a stitch that can only be done by hand, the saddle stitch, which has two needles working two waxed linen threads in tensile opposition. It is a handsome, graphic stitch, and done properly it will never come loose.
Beginning in the 19th century, the Hermès family, originally Protestant Germans, settled in France in 1828. In 1837, Thierry Hermès (1801–1878) first established Hermès as a harness workshop (on the Grands Boulevards quarter of Paris) dedicated to purveying to European noblemen. His goal was to create the finest wrought harnesses and bridles for the carriage trade. The company earned acclaim in 1855, winning first prize in its class at the 1855 Paris Exposition. Monsieur Hermès won the First Class Medal of the 1867 Exposition Universelle as well.
Hermès son, Charles-Emile Hermes (1835–1919), took management from his father, and moved the shop in 1880 to a location near the Palais de l’Elysée at 24 Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré. It is at this location where the new leader introduced saddlery and began retail sales. With the aid of his sons (Adolphe and Émile-Maurice Hermès), the company catered to the elite of Europe, North Africa, Russia, Asia, and the Americas. In 1900, the company offered the haut à courroies bag specially designed so that riders could carry their saddles with them.
Hermès Frères era
After Charles-Emile Hermes retired from the company, his sons Adolphe and Émile-Maurice took leadership and renamed the company Hermès Frères. Shortly after, Émile-Maurice furnished the czar of Russia with saddles. By 1914, up to 80 saddle craftsmen became employed under the company. Émile-Maurice later obtained exclusive the rights to use the zipper for leather goods and clothing. He thus became the first to introduce the device in France. The first leather golf jacket with zipper, made by Hermès, was introduced in 1918.
Original Corlandus saddle
Handcrafted in Paris in Hermes’ original saddle workshop
Hermes and top European dressage riders, Margit Otto Crepin and Dominique Brieussel, spent several years in the development of the Corlandus. It combines the best technical aspects of German dressage saddles with the refined aesthetic and comfort for which Hermes is famous.
Built on a beechwood spring tree.
Natural latex panels are covered in Hermes calfskin.
V-Form billets for even solid, contact with horse.
All collages were made by me, and if used must be linked back to The Daily Truffle