Hermes of Paris – Designer Brand Information

Hermes, a timeless and exclusive brand worn by the elite

Hermes – Designer Brand Information

Hermes of Paris or simply Hermes is a French Fashion House, specialising in leather, lifestyle, accessories, ready-to-wear and perfumes. It was founded by Thierry Hermes.

Early career

  • Thierry Hermes founded Hermes in 1837 in the Grand Boulevard quarter of Paris , which is now more than 178 years ago.
  • The store was a harness workshop and focused on creating high quality functional harnesses and bridles for the carriage trade.
  • In 1835, Thierry son Emile-Charles Hermes took over management from his father
  • In 1880, Emile moved the shop to 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, where it is till located today.
  • Thierry and his three sons, Adolphe, Emile-Maurice and Charles-Emile together came up with the saddlery and started selling products in retail.
  • The company catered to the elite of Europe, America, North Africa, Russia and Asia.
  • In 1900, the store started offering Haute Courroies bags, which was specially designed for riders to carry their saddles on them.


  • Charles-Emile retired from Hermes and subsequently Adolphe and Emile-Maurice took over.
  • Emile-Maurice started furnishing the Czar of Russia with saddles and by 1918, over 80 saddle craftsmen were hired.
  • Emile was granted the exclusive rights to use the zipper for Hermes‘ leather goods.
  • And thus became the first to introduce the device in France.
  • In 1918, the Fashion House introduced the first leather golf jacket with a zipper, which was made for Edward, Prince of Wales.
  • Due to its exclusive rights, the zipper became known in France as fermeture, the Hermes fastener.
  • In the 1920’s, Emile-Maurice was the head of the brand, and added an accessory line and clothing line to the firm.
  • In 1922, the first leather bags were introduced by Hermes, Emile-Maurice designed the collection himself.
  • In 1924, the Fashion House had created its brand presence in the United states and opened two shops in French resorts.
  • In 1929, the brand presented its first women’s apparel collection in Paris.
  • Throughout the 1930’s, the company introduced some of its most memorable goods, like the leather sac and the Hermes carres scarves.
  • In 1935, the leather sac was renamed to the Kelly bag after Grace Kelly.
  • The Hermes scarves became part of the French couture culture.
  • In 1938, the Chaine d’ancre bracelet and riding jacket joined the brands collections.
  • The brand also started to offer it original goods in a Neiman Marcus, an upscale store in New York, America.
  • The company then started working with Swiss watchmaker, Universal Geneve as the brands designer of timepieces.
  • In 1949, we saw the introduction of the Hermes silk tie and a perfume launch called Eau d’hermes.
  • In 1951, Emile-Maurice passed away, he time at the brand was described as “leather, sport and a tradition of refine elegance.”
  • Emile-Maurice’s son-in-law, Robert Dumas then took over the brand following his death.
  • Dumas was the first person to lead the company that was not directly from the Hermes bloodline and thus he renamed his surname to Dumas-Hermes.
  • Dumas during his time had introduced accessories, jewellery, original handbags and silk scarves.
  • In the 1970’s, shops were being opened worldwide.
  • Despite the expansion the brands sales was declining and Robert Dumas now had to revive the brand.
  • In 1978, he brought on his son Jean-Louis Dumas, as chairman of the company.
  • His son introduced designers Eric Bergere and Bernard Sanz to help him revamp the brand.
  • During the 1980’s, the company focused on strengthening its brand name, and through their efforts the company began getting its momentum back.
  • In the 1990’s,the brand was reduces its numerous franchises to rather open stores in exclusive areas and bought 35% in Jean-Paul Gaultier fashion house.
  • In 2003, highly controversial Jean-Paul Gaultier became head designer for the brand
  • In 2006, Jean-Louis Dumas after 28 years retired, CEO from the company.



The brand Hermes is best known for its High fashion clothing and accessories, specialising in luxury leather goods, perfumery and ready-to-wear fashion. The brand is also known for its scarves, Kelly bag, Birkin bag, and the belts with their famous H symbol.

Present Day

  • Today the fashion house is run by CEO Axel Dumas.
  • Other key members include Mireille Maury (CFO), Emile Hermes SARL (Chairman of the supervisory board) and Pierre-Alexis Dumas (artistic director).
  • The company’s Headquarter is situated in Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoroe, Paris, France.

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