A few weeks ago, I received a postcard in the mail from Hermes inviting me to their Festival des Metiers exhibit showing at the Design Exchange (it was an open invitation sent to everyone living in my condo, but I like to imagine it otherwise). I promptly forgot about until my friend J asked me to catch it with her on the last day of its showing. We made our rounds to each artisan, soaking up informational tidbits about the French luxury brand.
10 Things I learned about Hermes at the Festival Des Metiers Exhibit1. All HERMES product is made in Lyon, France. Not Paris, not Marseille, but LYON.
2. Lyon is top silk producer - their scarves are made of silk (makes sense).
3. Although Hermes uses some machinery and tools to create their products, by no means is it manufactured - everything is handcrafted by the various artisans.
4. Their signature scarves take (on average) a whopping TWO YEARS to create. Here is why:
5. Each design must tell a story - from concept to creation of the pattern takes 6 months.
6. In the silk-screening process, each colour is applied in a separate step, with its' own silk screen outlining the area of colour. The demonstration scarf was a simple design of 14 colours, which took the craftsman approximately 45 minutes to silk-screen. Some scarves have such detailed patterns that it can have over 50 unique colours - imagine how long that would take!
7. When finishing the edges of the scarf, the outside edge is rolled from the back to the front - if you are in France. Italian made scarves are rolled from the front side to the back.
8. If there is a single mistake that compromises the quality, (no matter how miniscule it may be), the product is discarded.
9. Back in the day, discarded = burned (Picture a warehouse full of colourful, thousand dollar scarves going up in flames). Today, discarded = recycled... sometimes.
10. I cannot afford an Hermes scarf.
Still wafting on a French high, we decided to stop by Nadege for some macarons. J chose pumpkin, matcha green tea, and rose, while I tried the chocolate-cherry, salted caramel, and the matcha green tea as well.
Love it or leave it,