This iconic fashion house started back in the 1800's of simple background. Family-owned for five generations, the French label is a symbol of class worldwide with their range of luxury handbags and other items.
Thierry Hermes, born in 1801 to French father and German mother in the German town of Krefeld, best known as 'City of Velvet and Silk'. After having move to Pont Audemer just north of Paris and learning the trade of leather making, in 1837, Thierry opens the French house of Hermes as a harness workshop. His workshop in Paris served the noblemen of Europe creating both leather and wrought iron harnesses and bridles for carriage trade. 30 years later, Hermes wins the First Class medal for the second time at the Expositions Universelles in Paris.
In 1880, after the death of Thierry, his son, Charles-Emile Hermes, takes over his father's workshop and move the store to the now iconic and still standing 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore. Charles continues with the saddles artisan and focuses on international retail catering to the elite of Europe, Asia, North Africa, and the Americas.
In 1900, Charles designs the 'Haut a Courroies' bag, intended to allow raiders to carry their saddles with them. Just two years later, Charles retires leaving the business to his sons, Adolphe and Emile-Maurice, who rename the business to Hermes Brothers. In 1914, Emile- Maurice introduces zippers to leather goods and clothing, becoming the first person in France to introduce this device and have exclusive rights to use it. Because of Hermes' exclusive rights to the zipper, it becomes known throughout as the 'fermeture Hermes', or the 'Hermes fastener'.
In 1922, after having bought out his brother, Emile-Maurice introduces Hermes' first handbag after his wife complained that she couldn't find one to her liking. The bag is a smaller version of the 'Haut a Courroies' created 20 years earlier by his father Charles. Several years later, Hermes establishes a US presence and introduces the first women's couture apparel collection which included bathing suits previewed for the first time in Paris. 1935, Hermes launches one of their most recognizable original goods, the 'Sac a Depeches' bag, most commonly known as the Kelly bag as well as introducing the silk scarf which instantly becomes a huge hit with celebrities.
1950, Hermes establishes a perfume division and just a year later, Emile-Maurice Hermes passes away leaving Robert Duman Hermes, husband of Jacqueline Hermes, to take over the company with Jean Rene Guerrand, husband of Aline Hermes, both of whom are great-granddaughters of Thierry Hermes. Soon after, Hermes began to use a caliche logo based on a drawing by a French painter as well as using their iconic orange boxes.
1956, a year that propelled Hermes. That was the year that famous Hollywood actress, Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, was photographed carrying a Hermes 'Sac a Depeches' to cover her pregnant belly. This photo was published on the cover of Life Magazine and suddenly women are flooding into Hermes store asking for the famous bag. Hermes renamed the 'Sac' as the 'Kelly'.
In 1978, great-great-great-grandson of Thierry Hermes, Jean Louis Dumas took over the company. Shortly thereafter, in 1981, the iconic, holy grail bag was created, The Birkin, named after the British actress, Jane Birkin. Jean Louise Dumas retires in 2003, leaving the empire to Patrick Thomas. Partick was not at Hermes for long as in 2012, the sixth generation Hermes family member Axel Dumas is named CEO.
There you have it, the entire history of the world famous Hermes! Today it is said that Hermes handbags hold more investment value than gold and the waiting list for a Birkin is the longest in the world, holding out at just around six years!
But with all that being said, when searching for authentic pre-loved and new Birkins and Kellys, take a look at our collection today to see just how many handbags we have for you to choose from. We at The Jewels of Beverly Hills can provide you with our personal shopping service to help you source your dream handbag as well as our consignment and upscale collateral loan abilities.