September 2 2014

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Craft Show: Hermès Fêtes Its Festival Des Métiers


If you’ve ever wondered how a Birkin bag is made, now is your chance to find out. For a short time, Hermès is bringing its Festival des Métiers to New York, opening today at 583 Park Avenue through September 9 before moving on to San Francisco and Houston. The title translates to “Festival of Crafts” and is just that—a celebration of the Hermès tradition of luxury craftsmanship, where fans of the brand can meet with the very artisans who create its coveted leather goods, jewelry, scarves, watches, and clothing. The festival kicked off last year in Seattle and circulated through key Hermès markets all over the world.
“We started this operation as a way to show our markets some of the crafts used by Hermès,” Guillaume de Seynes, executive vice president of Hermès International, told at yesterday’s editor preview. “The U.S. is a natural destination for us because Hermès is extremely notorious in this market. Especially in New York, we have a lot of loyal customers who have been shopping for a long time and will be very thrilled to discover all of this know-how.”

The festival features multiple stations and product demonstrations. The silk station, for example, showcases how a Hermès scarf is made. The entire process takes about two years, from the design to the creation of the piece, using silk from the French town of Lyon and over 75,000 colors created by the artisans. “In our kitchen in Lyon, we have our own recipes and make the colors there,” said Hermès silk maker Kamel Hamadou. “The technique we use is traditional; it’s called ‘à la Lyonnaise,’ typical of Lyon. Since 1937, Hermès silk is made in Lyon and printed in Lyon.” Over in high jewelry, gem setter Maud Laville was using a dental tool to add 999 pavé diamonds to a magnificent Collier de Chien bracelet (pictured, above). The piece should be completed by the time the tour reaches Houston and will sell for over $400,000.

Click here to view our coverage of last night’s Hermès dinner celebrating the Festival des Métiers.

Photo: Neil Rasmus / / Courtesy of Hermes

Dept. of Culture