The History Of Hermes

Known as the 3rd biggest fashion brand in the world, Hermès is a French luxury design house established in 1837. According to FashionUnited, it has been valued as the 5th most valuable fashion brand in the world, just under Louis Vuitton.

Hermes is renowned as the epitome of luxury, which has been achieved through its impeccable craftsmanship, wealthy heritage, and its high level of professionalism it has maintained for years.

Who was the founder of Hermes?

Hermès was founded by Thierry Hermès in 1837. He was born on 10th January, 1801, and founded Hermes when he was 36. Although, he endured some hardship prior to starting his business. He was one of six children to parents who worked as innkeepers.

He moved to France after he lost his entire family due to war and disease, making him an orphan in 1821. He opened his saddle and leather harness in a Parisian neighbourhood known as Grands Boulevard.

image via. Newsline

What did Hermes specialise in?

Hermès originally established his business as a saddle company in 1837, where he specialised in the horse harnesses required by society traps, caleches, and carriages. The selling point of his business was the strength of a stitch that could only be handmade. ‘The saddle stitch’ was done when two needles worked two waxed linen threads in tensile opposition.

His purpose for Hermès was to serve the needs of European noblemen by providing saddles and leather riding gear.

The location of his shop served him well, as his clients were the rich, like the European royalty, the emperor & empress of Napoleon III, the Parisian beau monde, and more, thus his business went from horse harnesses and saddles, to leather handbags and trunks.

Through generations, Hermès product offerings expanded which grew the company tremendously. After Hermès started his company, his son Charles-Emelie (who he had with this wife Christine Pétronille Pierrart (1805 – 1896), took over the family business and moved the store to 24 Rue Du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Till this day, this is the company’s current headquarters.

Moving the store to this location meant that it was in close proximity to wealthy clients. Emelie-Maurice, one of the sons of Charles-Emelie, returned to Paris after obtaining an European 2 year patent for the zipper which was then known as the ‘Hermes fastener’. Thus, this formed the clothing era of Hermes.


Emelie-Maurice was perturbed that Hermes would plummet into the age of ‘automobiles’, meaning that it would no longer require leather accessories, so the introduction of the ‘Hermes fastener’ shifted the company leather goods & clothing, which had more longevity for the business.

When was the Hermes zipper introduced?

The Hermes zipper was founded in 1923, and till this day, is still used in many of its products.

The zipper opened and closed in rapid fashion, which was a great mechanism used secure a purse or jacket against high speeds. This revolutionised clothing, as the first leather jacket with a zip was worn by Duke of Windsor.

Due to this fascinating manipulation in how it made its clothing, the Hermès workroom drew so much attention that other fashion business like Coco Chanel wanted to learn from them.

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