hermes trunk

World famous brand, true icon of French luxury,

the Hermès brand is best known for its leather goods.


However, the brand has diversified since its creation.


Today hermès has 14 sectors:

  • Leather goods
  • Scarves
  • Ties
  • Men's clothes
  • Women fashion
  • Perfumes
  • Watches
  • Stationery store,
  • Footwear
  • Gloves
  • E-mail
  • Decorative arts
  • Table Arts
  • Jewelry 

It was in 1837 that Thierry Hermès founded a saddle and harness factory for horses which bore his family name.


It was a flourishing industry in the mid-19th century, as horses were still the most common form of transportation. The Maison Hermès will quickly stand out in the world of luxury saddlers, winning a title at the Universal Exhibition of 1867. This award will allow the brand to attract a wealthy and elitist clientele.



In 1878, Charles-Émile Hermès took over from his father at the head of Hermès. He will extend the activities of Hermès to leather goods, because from the end of the 19th century, Hermès offers bags, pouches and leather saddlebags for riders. The "High belt bag" which came out in 1892 and allowed riders to store their boots and saddles (Hermès of course) is a big success. This success means that many crowned heads or statesmen from Europe and the world want to buy Hermès.

In 1914, the grandchildren of the founder, Adolphe Hermès and Émile-Maurice Hermès, looked closely at the increasingly important development of the automobile. It could be a future market for Hermès. Émile-Maurice Hermès has confirmed this following a trip to the United States. People can travel more easily thanks to the democratization of the personal car, there is a market for the sale of luggage more adapted to the new means of locomotion. Émile-Maurice Hermès also brings back from the United States the zipper system (or zipper) invented in the USA and from which he obtains exclusive use in France.


The grandson of the founder of Hermès, Émile-Maurice is now alone in command of the luxury house and he will considerably develop Hermès in saddle-stitched leather goods (with luggage and bags).

1935 - KELLY

Created by Hermès in 1935, the bag owes its name to Grace Kelly , elegance itself. It became a myth in 1956 thanks to a photo published in Life Magazine. Rumors have come and gone, rumors have been around for a long time, the princess hid her pregnancy behind her Hermès bag.


Its design is inimitable. You don't have to be a fashion fan to recognize a Kelly. A sober line, a rigid outfit. Kelly captivates with a succession of details that make her signature. The flap, the straps, the padlock, the bell and the four nails to put it on the ground are its favorite attributes.

 This ultra luxurious bag symbolizes social success and can be bought at a high price. Designed by Rober Dumas in the 1930s, it demonstrated simplicity and was called “ladies' belt bag”. Grace Kelly's photography had a strong impact; all the elegant ones seize the bag. However, it wasn't until twenty-one years later that the bag was officially named Kelly. Today, the Kelly bag has grown a lot, for the pleasure of ladies: eight sizes, from Kelly 50 (50 cm) to Kelly Mini-mini (15cm), around twenty materials, box, ostrich, crocodile, lizard, vibrato, all the colors of Hermès, the tricolor versions ... more than 200 combinations. Different versions are possible, sport, city or evening, with gold and diamond jewelry padlocks. Custom orders are created ...

It will take 20 hours and 3 skins (on average) to make a Kelly bag, 20 hours during which a single craftsman will create this jewel of leather goods. Twenty steps, nearly two hundred manipulations, are necessary; all codified and identified. Hair removal, exfoliation, smoothing, slimming, treatment, massage. The skin must become perfectly flexible so that the craftsman can sew, stitch, glue and assemble the pieces of leather and metal, before affixing his signature. All this work is done with care, patience and love by its craftsman ... for a mythical piece that will cross the centuries ...


You might think that the Kelly Hermès bag was created for Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco. Of course the photo of Grace Kelly published by 'Life' magazine in 1956 and hiding her pregnancy behind a large Kelly bag has been around the world. Likewise during the period of her engagement, she was always in the company of a Kelly during her outings and this bag has become legendary thanks to her. In fact, this bag had been created 25 years earlier.


In 1892 Hermès marketed the 'Haut à Courroies' a large leather bag intended to carry the boots and saddle of a rider. In 1930, a smaller version was launched for women. Later still, the bag became even smaller with the possibility of adding a shoulder strap. Whether in leather, canvas and leather, ostrich or crocodile, this bag is the 'Classic' of Hermès.


Standard size: 20 cm - 25 cm - 28 cm - 32 cm - 35 cm


A timeless masterpiece, is one of the house's most coveted bags.


Available in two versions:  Returned and Sellier

1984 - BIRKIN

Jane Birkin started her artistic career in England but it was the France where she lives that brought her fame. She formed a legendary couple with Serge Gainsbourg at the end of the 60s, performing songs such as 'Je t'aime… Moi non plus', 'La décadanse' etc. ...


In 1984 she was on a plane and struggling to find something in her shopping bag full of things for her little daughter Charlotte. Next to it was the president of Hermès Jean Louis Dumas. The subject of their conversation became: "how difficult it was for a young mother to find a chic and practical handbag". During the flight they designed the ideal bag together. This is how the Birkin was born.


Birkin standard size: 25 cm - 30 cm - 35 cm - 40 cm


A timeless masterpiece, one of the most sought after bags.


Read Also :


Histoire Hermès : English page