Hermès : The Art of Luxury

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Hermès : The Art of Luxury

Some people argue about the extortionate price of luxury goods. Others think you could buy similar products much cheaper just without the label. Well? Actually you can’t.

My visit to the Hermès craftsmanship exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, yesterday only confirmed my opinion. The famous French luxury house invited some of its own craftsmen to present their work, or should I say their art, for a limited time. Seeing how they worked gave me the answer to why customers need to wait perhaps six months to a year to be the proud owner of a Hermès Birkin handbag. It takes up to 20 hours to make just one of the house signature bags. So yes, luxury comes to a price.

But time is not the only trade secret – there is a unique ‘savoir-faire’. That same handbag will be put together by one person, hand-stitching individual pieces of leather with high precision.

Then, materials are carefully selected. For its now-legendary ‘carré’, Hermès uses silk from Brazil and traditionally produced it in its dedicated scarf factory in Lyon, France. This is another great example of the house’s exceptional expertise, for a product that is sold somewhere in the world every 25 seconds.

Bain and Company recently published a spring update of its ‘Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study’, stating that ‘Worldwide luxury goods market revenues will grow as much as 50 percent faster than global GDP, with an expectation of four to five percent growth in 2013 and five to six percent annual average through 2015’. They recognized that absolute luxury items (consisting of high-end products with no logo, highest quality materials, and exquisite craftsmanship) are leading the way. Well, the future of Hermès is bright as long as it relies on (and champions) its craftsmen…

Charlotte Fougères, Account Manager

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