Top Shelf: A Skateboard By Hermès, for When You've Truly Arrived
French luxury house Hermès has a knack for remaking everyday objects in its image. There was the basketball and the bike and, if you want something even more mundane and also available right here and right now, a bucket, gift wrappers, and a set of many placemats (printed on both sides, comes in a big box—a bargain, if you ask us).
Now available in Manila is this luxury personal cruiser. It's officially called the Boucleries Modernes Long Board, but you can just ask for the skateboard in the backroom. There's only one. And, as with very, very special things, it won't be on the floor, so you'll have to muster up the courage to command one of the associates to please and kindly retrieve this from the vault for your personal inspection.
A print from the archive
That geometric pattern on the maple deck is inspired by an Hermès silk scarf designed by Françoise de La Perrière. We're pretty sure that the bouclerie or buckle design refers to hardware relating to the horse, the spirit animal of the company that started out as equestrian equipment makers.
Those crazy rich colors
Look at those vivid colors, a combo of orange and blue with a touch of racing stripe green. The richness is achieved through a sublimation printing technique that lets “pigments penetrate into the material to create a hand-painted effect.” The underside of the board is also decorated with seven mediallions, each holding a rendition of a bouclerie. It's almost a shame to plant your (Hermès) sneakers on this.
Not just a pretty thing
We didn't take this for a spin, because we are not skaters and we, uh, don't need a luxed-up skateboard right now (a sign in the store instructs shoppers to touch objects with les yeux), but insiders point out that a longboard is suited for pleasant meandering (or cruising). Also, know that, because this is made by Hermès, it will be as functional as it is beautiful.
This is fun, really
One of the biggest misconceptions about Hermès is that it is stiff and traditional when it's really a big ball of fun. In fact, its theme for 2018 is exactly that: “Let's play!” Artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas poses this question: “Could we create, could we invent, could we even just imagine if we didn’t play? Certainly not at Hermès in any case, where our first comrade in play was the horse.... For 180 years, this house has never stopped playing.” It is but natural that this skateboard rolled into the scene.
The law of luxury
Hermès introduced skateboards a year ago. That it arrives just now says something about the local luxury market: It took a while, but it's growing. Objects like this reflect confidence in Filipinos' appetite for fine things. In other words, someone will most likely buy it.
Now, do you need this particular skateboard? Is it too much? We're not going to join the handwringing about overconsumption in this space. If the idea of ultra premium things offends, look away.