Hermès celebrates its new Beverly Hills flagship
Hermès celebrated the opening of its Beverly Hills flagship last night with not one, but two celebrations. Guests were first welcomed to the newly renovated tri-level space on Rodeo Drive, which features the heritage brand's full collection, from tannery to tabletop. "The U.S. has always been very important to us. It saved us at one point and almost destroyed us at one point," said Axel Dumas, CEO of Hermès International, referring to the Great Depression. After closing its New York store in 1929, it was L.A. that welcomed the company back to the States years later. "The way we reentered the U.S. was through Los Angeles, and our first freestanding store in the U.S. was in 1972, on Rodeo Drive," he said, noting that after 41 years, they've just bought the building. "We really want to be here for the long run."
Shopping gave way to a complete sensory experience as partygoers such as Lisa Eisner and Balthazar Getty made their way to an industrial space housing custom-built artistic and digital installations at 3 Labs in Culver City—an homage of sorts to Hermès' innovation, art, and craft. While Jessica Alba posed for photos in a driving simulator on a projected Rodeo Drive, a Ginger Rogers-and-Fred Astaire-style pair danced in a converted soundstage, accompanied by a silent film. A poolroom replicated a special L.A.-themed scarf print with Hermès tiles projected onto the walls and floor and synchronized swimmers performed choreographed numbers. "It's French but still Los Angeles, with all of the film references," said stylist Petra Flannery.
The last of the destination rooms was a sunken wood-paneled library, displaying some Hermès vintage pieces owned by stars over the years, including Sammy Davis Jr.'s customized liquor case. Actress Teresa Palmer summed up the feeling of the evening: "It's glamorous, it's chic, it's incredible, and I would totally have it. Any of it."