Hermès, a luxury goods company based in the heart of Paris, France, has a rich and storied history dating back to 1837 when it was founded as a saddle maker. Over the years, the company has expanded to include an extensive range of high-end products, including leather goods, fashion and clothing, jewelry, perfumes, and home furnishings.
Hermès has established itself as an emblem of excellence, expertise, and classic methods, garnering a standing as one of the most esteemed luxury brands globally. The company is renowned for its leather goods, particularly its iconic Birkin and Kelly handbags, as well as its silk scarves. Hermès also produces a range of luxury clothing and accessories and has a strong presence in the fragrance and beauty markets.
With a worldwide network of retail stores and a robust online presence, Hermès has established itself as a leader in the luxury goods industry. Despite its conservative, family-oriented approach to business, the company has embraced technology and new marketing techniques to maintain its position at the forefront of the industry.
Privately owned and highly valued, Hermès is widely regarded as a model for other luxury goods companies. The company's reputation for quality, exclusivity, and luxury has made it a highly coveted brand among consumers around the world. From its roots as a saddle maker to its position as a leading luxury goods company, Hermès has remained committed to its founding principles of craftsmanship and excellence, making it a true icon of the fashion world.
Hermès is a French luxury design house that was established in 1837 by Thierry Hermès. Initially, the company was a harness workshop catering to European noblemen. Over time, the company expanded its offerings and gained recognition for the high-quality harnesses and bridles they crafted. In 1855, Hermès won the First Class Medal of the Exposition of Paris for their work.
Charles-Emile Hermès, Thierry Hermès's son, took over the business in 1880 and moved the store to its current location at 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore. He began focusing on international retail sales, serving the elite of Europe, Russia, North Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
In 1902, Charles-Emile retired, and his sons, Adolphe and Emile-Maurice, took over the business. Emile-Maurice gained exclusive rights to use the zipper on leather goods and clothing after equipping the czars of Russia in 1914. In 1922, Hermès created its first leather handbag after Emile-Maurice's wife expressed dissatisfaction with the handbags available at the time.
In the early 1950s, Hermès began using its iconic caliche logo and orange boxes. Robert Dumas Hermès took over the company in 1951, and the famous Kelly bag was introduced in 1956 after a photograph of Grace Kelly carrying the Sac a Depeches bag to hide her pregnant belly was featured in Life Magazine.
In 1978, Jean Louis Dumas, a great-great-great-grandson of Thierry Hermès, became the head of the company and expanded the flagship store in Paris by purchasing the building next to it. The iconic Birkin bag was introduced in 1981, named after British actress Jane Birkin.
In 2003, Patrick Thomas became the new head of Hermès after Jean Louis Dumas retired. The company purchased 28 Rue Faubourg Saint-Honore in 2007 and expanded its flagship store in Paris once again. In 2012, Axel Dumas, a sixth-generation Hermès family member, became the CEO of the company and remains in the position today.
In 2018, Hermès International was included in the CAC 40, a decision made by the Conseil Scientifique des Indices and announced by Euronext, which recognized the company's success in both industry and stock market and demonstrated the strength of its entrepreneurial spirit, which has become a model for artisanal growth. The company's independence is sustained by its family-based shareholding structure, which is committed to maintaining the majority of its production in France and preserving its expertise to serve creativity.
Two years later, in 2020, Hermès expanded its business by creating its sixteenth métier, Beauty, with the introduction of its first collection, Rouge Hermès, focused on the beauty of lips. This new line of products is a result of five years of research and development, in line with the company's values of excellence and integration of its expertise, high standards, and aesthetics.
In 2021, Hermès continued its expansion by opening its nineteenth leather workshop, located in Guyenne (Gironde), and establishing the École Hermès des Savoir-Faire apprenticeship training school (CFA), which provides professional training leading to a national diploma in leatherwork (CAP Maroquinerie).
Hermes is dedicated to being a role model in the professional research services industry, striving to excel in methodology, innovation, and technical assistance. Their mission statement is not only a statement of purpose but also a source of inspiration that motivates employees and the workforce to give their best and achieve excellence in their work.
At the core of Hermes' vision is their aspiration to be a top-of-mind brand when it comes to luxury goods, not only because of their creativity and craftsmanship but also because of their unwavering dedication to preserving traditional techniques and using only the finest materials in their products. The company believes that in order to achieve this vision, they must always put their customers first and provide them with exceptional experiences, whether they are shopping in one of their physical stores or browsing through their website. To achieve this, Hermes places a high premium on the quality of their designs, the skill of their artisans, and the level of service they provide to their customers. All these factors work together to create a unique and unforgettable brand experience that sets Hermes apart from their competitors.
Axel Dumas (Executive Chairman)
Recognition and Awards
Products and Services
Hermès produces a variety of ready-to-wear clothing and accessories, such as blazers, jackets, coats, dresses, sweaters, skirts, and scarves. The company is also known for its high-end jewelry, watches, and fragrances. In addition to its iconic fashion pieces, Hermès also produces a variety of home decor items, such as furniture, tableware, bedding, and home accessories. Hermès also offers a range of services, including interior design, personal shopping, and private tours of its stores. Hermès also operates its own online store, where customers can purchase its products and services. The company also offers a variety of exclusive offers, such as limited-edition products and special discounts.
- Hermès – The Strategy Insights Behind The Iconic Luxury Brand | Martinroll
- Six generations of artisans | Hermes
- A Timeline of the Hermès Brand | Baghunter
- The secret economics of the Birkin bag | Economist
- Can the Birkin Bag Survive the Resale Market? | Nytimes
- Thierry Hermes | Fashionmodeldirectory
- Futurama Makes Hermes' Family Issues the Show's Most Grounded Story | CBR
- The History of the Hero: The Hermès Birkin | Harpersbazaar
- You'll Never Guess How a Humble Basket Inspired Hermès' Iconic Birkin Bag | Veranda
- Birkin Bag: The History Of Hermès' Staple Fashion Piece | Glam
- Inside the Orange Box: part III of a dazzling Hermès collection | Christies
- Hermès Hits €200 Billion Valuation On Surging Sales Thanks To China’s Ultra-Rich | Jingdaily
- Jane Birkin and the evolution of the iconic Hermes bag | Breakingnews
- Federated Hermes promotes Selman to international head of sales | Investmentweek
- Hermès impresses with 28% growth in Q2 | Voguebusiness
- Case Study | Inside Hermès’ Best-in-Class Leather Goods Strategy | Businessoffashion
- Hermes defies luxury slowdown with strong sales | Reuters
- Jane Birkin Bag status symbol best luxury investments | Businessinsider
- Hermès posts 28 percent Q2 sales growth | Fashionunited
- Adventum Group achieved BREEAM-In-Use V6 Excellent rating for Hermes Business Campus | Business Review
- REAL ESTATE Bucharest’s Hermes Business Campus receives Access4you certification for people with disabilities | Romania Insider
Axel Dumas (Executive Chairman)
Fashion and Textiles