Fashion

Live from Paris: Hermès Fall 2017 Men’s Show

A master mix of luxurious skins and other materials comes to life.
IMAGE Hermès
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Park your eyes here: Hermès, one of the most coveted luxury brands in the world, is about to unleash another collection of skins, silks, and fabrics, all rendered in unusual ways. But before the show begins at 3 a.m. on January 22, Sunday, brush up on your knowledge of all things Hermès here.

1| It’s a very old house. Chez Hermès was established in, oh, 1837 when founder Thierry Hermès opened a workshop of top-quality harnesses, saddles, and other equestrian equipment. Naturally, their clientele were European nobles.

2| Behind the clothes is a woman. Véronique Nichanian, the artistic director of Hermès’ Men’s Universe, was appointed men’s wear designer in 1988, which makes her one of the longest serving designers for a brand (at 29 years now!).

3| All that time spent at Hermès means Nichanian has been able to create a specific language of luxury. Everything is anchored on a mix of materials, including, of course, the many ingenious ways to present their house leathers. The pieces also possess a sense of loucheness, as if the man who wears them is on perpetual vacation. Which he probably is if he can afford these clothes.

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4| And here’s how you say Hermès: er-mez.

5| It’s an entire lifestyle. Aside from clothes, shoes, and silks, there are furniture, jewelry, watches, plates, perfumes, paper drawer liners, baby things, and more. Hermès even elevates the most mundane items into extraordinary things. Would you like a basketball, a bicycle, or a pen made in their signature leathers?

6| Their most iconic piece is this wonderful creation called the Birkin (named after actress Jane Birkin). So wanted is this bag that there are years-long waiting lists just to get one. But here’s a secret: If you visit a boutique in some far-flung place in the world (or just a store with a lot of them in stock), you can probably walk out with a Birkin for your wife. She will be overjoyed.

7| Fun fact: There are over 180 sizes of their hard-to-miss orange boxes. How many have you had the pleasure of opening?

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Clifford Olanday
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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